A New York Times hit piece on Brett Kavanaugh focusing on his high school yearbook not only used anonymous sources to brag about sexual conduct, it also hid “key facts” including an anti-Trump politician as its source.
Monday’s Times article targeted the Supreme Court nominee with a look at the inside jokes in his 1983 Georgetown Preparatory School yearbook, claiming that, according to an unnamed source, a reference in a photo of Kavanaugh with classmates is bragging about sex.
According to The New York Times:
The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.
Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.
Renate Schroeder Dolphin was one of 65 women who signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee backing Kavanaugh who they knew during their school years. Kavanaugh’s classmates in the yearbook photo insisted the caption had no sexual reference of any kind.
Exclusive: In his high school yearbook, Brett Kavanaugh and his football teammates referred to being part of a “Renate alumni” club. It was a reference to a young woman they knew. She is now furious. by @katekelly and me! (1/5) https://t.co/sBTQFu05EB
— David Enrich (@davidenrich) September 24, 2018
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reported on another questionable portion of the Times article, authored by Kate Kelly and David Enrich: A reference to a “Mr. Madaleno” was quickly removed from the article after it was published online.
“The claim of sexual braggadocio is sourced earlier in the article to one named and one anonymous individual who claims to fear retribution,” Hemingway wrote. ” NewsDiffs, a site that tracks changes to articles at the New York Times, caught the rapid deletion of his name.”
This looks rally bad for the New York Times. https://t.co/6URUCN8GBD
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 25, 2018
Richard S. Madaleno Jr., who attended Georgetown Prep with Kavanaugh, recently lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in Maryland where he is a state senator. Earlier this year, BPR reported on his eyebrow-raising campaign ad revealing the “number one way” to “piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans” in the first political television campaign ad that featured a same-sex kiss.
Gay candidate desperate to ‘pi** off’ Trump kisses partner in RIDICULOUS campaign ad https://t.co/7bqiWhIxMQ 🤮🤮
— Mimi ♥ Beary (@mebrwb4Israel) June 9, 2018
Georgetown Prep classmate William Fishburne, another source for the Times piece, was a campaign surrogate for Madaleno, according to Hemingway.
Other sources, one of which the Times did not mention was an editor on the yearbook, reportedly “requested anonymity because he fears retribution,” claimed the jokes were bragging about sexual conquests, though this was denied by Kavanaugh’s classmates.
Kavanaugh’s lawyer tells us that the “Renate” mention on his yearbook page was referring to him and Renate having “attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event.” (4/5)
— David Enrich (@davidenrich) September 24, 2018
“Several of the men say sources the Times used weren’t close enough to the group to speak knowledgeably about their jokes,” Hemingway noted.
According to Hemingway:
The last line of the article is “[Dolphin] and a second friend of Ms. Dolphin’s denied that there was any sexual contact between Ms. Dolphin and Judge Kavanaugh or anyone else in his circle.” A similar denial was the first line of a statement to the New York Times from some of the men mentioned in the article, but it was not printed. It began, “None of us has ever taken part in any kind of verbal conduct or physical actions described by the Times and never bragged about or suggested any such thing.”
The Times, which allowed anonymous sources to make the claim of sexual bragging that forms the basis of the story, would not allow anonymous sources to dispute that claim or defend the group of classmates.
David Enrich, who co-authored the Times report, pushed back against the claims about Madaleno.
We interviewed Madaleno on the record. We planned to quote him. Before publication, his comment was cut b/c it was redundant. We missed a stray reference, which we subsequently removed. He was not our original source. He said he had no direct knowledge of the “Renate” situation. https://t.co/c1giHJktyp
— David Enrich (@davidenrich) September 25, 2018
“He was not our original source. He said he had no direct knowledge of the ‘Renate’ situation,” Enrich tweeted Tuesday.
Reaction on social media seemed to indicate that not many were buying the questionable story.
— Nash Rambler (@NashRamblers) September 25, 2018
The fact they are even looking, without a trace of irony at people’s high school yearbooks when they were children and minors tells me everything I need to know about these sick evil scumbags.
— Jimmy Levy (@JimmyLevy15) September 25, 2018
What a laughably amateurish hit job. Their new motto is all the news that fits our agenda.
— Kevin Morgan (@Knamorgan55) September 25, 2018
The NYT doesn’t understand that while we did not all got to a fancy prep school, our school’s social life was similar. We did all these same things, made all these same inner circle jokes, and thought we were clever.
We know even if true, what weight to assign to it. Zero.
— Poundsand (@Poundsand2) September 25, 2018
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