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New York Times Apologizes for ‘Inappropriate’ Christine Blasey Ford Tweet

Jim Larrison / Flickr

During Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, The New York Times’ opinion page called into question the credibility of his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982.

A forum for conservative commentators Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens, among others, the Times’ opinion page has been criticized for normalizing far-right ideas. In a tweet, the Times wrote: “[D]o you find her testimony credible?” with three choices: “yes,” “no” or “unsure.”

The Times quickly deleted the poll.

Ford said in her testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that since coming forward with her story, death threats and harassment have forced her and her family to move out of their house.

“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,” Ford said.

“Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have had to relive my trauma in front of the entire world, and have seen my life picked apart by people on television, in the media and in this body who have never met me or spoken with me,” she said.

Weiss, a New York Times op-ed editor and staff writer, also opted to quickly delete a tweet that seemed critical of Ford:

Weiss was criticized for her blasé attitude toward sexual assault. “Let’s say he did this exactly as she said,” Weiss said on MSNBC earlier this month. “Should the fact that a 17-year-old, presumably very drunk kid, did this, should this be disqualifying? That’s the question at the end of the day, isn’t it?”

Previously, a public editor might have been able to follow up and hold the staff at the opinion desk accountable in-house. But in May 2017, the Times eliminated the position. “The one thing an ombud or public editor can almost always do is hold feet to the fire, and get a real answer out of management,” former public editor Margaret Sullivan tweeted at the time.

Naomi LaChance
Blogger / Editorial Assistant
Naomi LaChance has written for local newspapers such as the Berkshire Eagle and the Poughkeepsie Journal as well as national outlets including NPR, the Intercept, TYT Network and the Huffington Post. Her…
Naomi LaChance

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