Brit Hume BLASTS the NYT’s Unfit to Print Kavanaugh Report

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In the aftermath of The New York Times’ salacious hit piece accusing Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, it came to light that the newspaper intentionally omitted key exculpatory facts. Looking at how The Times handled the publishing of this story, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume shredded the liberal rag for running with something unfit to print, even invoking the gravestone of a former Times editor.

This is a story that should never have gotten anywhere near print,” Hume declared during Tuesday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. Point-by-point, Hume tore into how the smears made it to the public (click “expand”):

I mean, this – Remember now, we’re talking about a second-hand account from a witness that the authors did not speak to, and who is not speaking. And he is said by friends to be saying this happened. Right?

So, it isn't even a firsthand account. So, right there you’ve got a huge strike against you if you’re trying to get the story into print in the old New York Times. Right? And then on top of that, you have the fact that the woman herself is not talking, the alleged victim is not talking and has told -- and she has told friends that she didn't remember this.

I can only imagine what would have happened back in my newspaper days if I went to an editor and said: ‘this is what I have got.’ I can just see him picking up the copy and throwing it across the room,” Hume quipped. “And you couldn't get anywhere near -- this is nowhere near publishable. It's not even remotely close.”

 

 

Carlson reminded viewers that The New York Times report was based off a book excerpt and the authors have been blamed the editors for the omission of key facts.

After Hume noted that the authors had admitted “Kavanaugh led an exemplary life” and had “been a reputable judge,” he called them out for picking the most damaging and flimsiest tidbit to excerpt (click “expand”):

HUME: They chose to use -- to excerpt this second-hand uncorroborated account.

CARLSON: The flimsiest thing they had.

HUME: Exactly right because it was the most damaging and, therefore, likely to achieve the most cachet among the audience that they are clearly trying to appeal to, and which I would submit they’re probably a part of.

“Whatever you think of The Times it's obviously liberal, but the idea was they get the facts right. What happens if they don't get the facts right,” Carlson wondered along with realizing the currency of the newspaper (accuracy) was damaged.

To that question, Hume recalled an interaction he had with “the legendary, curmudgeonly” former editor of The Times, Abe Rosenthal and the chat they had about his goal for the paper. “And he said to me: ‘When I'm gone,’ he said, ‘I want it to be said of me, quote: He kept the paper straight.’ That actually is on his gravestone.”

Hume said he didn’t understand what Rosenthal meant at the time. “Well, now I understand what Abe Rosenthal was worried about. The flood gates have been opened and you get crap like this in the newspaper,” he concluded.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight
September 17, 2019
8:05:44 p.m. Eastern

(…)

TUCKER CARLSON: So, Brit, as a piece of journalism, how do you assess this story?

BRIT HUME: This is a story that should never have gotten anywhere near print. I mean, this – Remember now, we’re talking about a second-hand account from a witness that the authors did not speak to, and who is not speaking. And he is said by friends to be saying this happened. Right?

So, it isn't even a firsthand account. So, right there you’ve got a huge strike against you if you’re trying to get the story into print in the old New York Times. Right? And then on top of that, you have the fact that the woman herself is not talking, the alleged victim is not talking and has told -- and she has told friends that she didn't remember this.

So, I can only imagine what would have happened back in my newspaper days if I went to an editor and said: “this is what I have got”. I can just see him picking up the copy and throwing it across the room. And you couldn't get anywhere near -- this is nowhere near publishable. It's not even remotely close.

CARLSON: So, they kind of gamely defend themselves by saying, “well the editor did this.” Now, you’ve – A lot of writers, I'm one of them. You know, you’ve had a book excerpted in print, right? They take your book and make a newspaper piece out of it

HUME: Right.

CARLSON: You watch pretty carefully, don't you?

HUME: Of course, you do. On top of that, remember this, they say and have been saying in television interviews in recent days that they believe these accusers Debra Ramirez, you remember her.

CARLSON: Of course.

HUME: And this woman who was the alleged victim in this case, that he did abuse them. Right? But they also go on to say that they believe he basically has led an exemplary life; Kavanaugh led an exemplary life since then and that they think basically he’s a good guy and has, you know, been a reputable judge and a man with no history of this sort of stuff.

Well, you know, after all we heard about him during those hearings, you would not think that necessarily about him. And you would think that that might be the subject of the article that based -- that would be a book excerpt.

CARLSON: Yes.

HUME: What did they choose, however, to excerpt, right? They chose to use -- to excerpt this second-hand uncorroborated account.

CARLSON: The flimsiest thing they had.

HUME: Exactly right because it was the most damaging and, therefore, likely to achieve the most cachet among the audience that they are clearly trying to appeal to, and which I would submit they’re probably a part of.

CARLSON: Leaving out critically relevant facts like the fact that this supposed victim didn't remember the assault is a kind of dishonesty and it devalues the currency of the paper, which is accuracy. Whatever you think of The Times it's obviously liberal, but the idea was they get the facts right. What happens if they don't get the facts right?

HUME: Well then, I think the representation begins to decline. I remember when Abe Rosenthal was the legendary, curmudgeonly editor of The Times for many, many long years. I went to see him once about a job – this was years ago back in the 1970s. And he was an eccentric guy, no doubt it, but he was a very strong editor.

And he said to me: “when I'm gone”, he said, “I want it to be said of me, quote: He kept the paper straight.” That actually is on his gravestone. And I remember thinking at the time The New York Times was the straightest newspaper anywhere. It was the bible. It was the reliable source.

When I was covering regular Reaganomics in the early ‘80s and Congress, The Washington Post was writing all kinds of editorialized stuff on their news pages about it. The New York Times didn’t do that. They played it very straight, they were very fair. Always were, right? Well, now I understand what Abe Rosenthal was worried about. The flood gates have been opened and you get crap like this in the newspaper.

CARLSON: It’s the default position of journalists. You’ve got to push back pretty hard. Brit Hume, great to see you.

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