Last weekend, The New York Times took heat for declaring that their “investigators” found no pattern of sexual misconduct against Joe Biden, before proceeding to list a pattern of sexual misconduct.
After the outlet was called out online by it’s readers, Executive editor Dean Baquet came out during an interview to say that the change in the story was done after receiving a complaint from the Joe Biden campaign.
Ben Smith, who also represents The New York Times asked Baquet:
“I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: ‘The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.’ Why did you do that?” Smith asked.
“Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct,” said Baquet.
“And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say,” he claimed.
Last week, Tara Reade filed a criminal complaint alleging that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked in his U.S. Senate office. When asked why the New York Times did not covers Reade’s claims against Biden as they covered claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Baquet claims the cases aren’t the same.
“Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way. Kavanaugh’s status as a Supreme Court justice was in question because of a very serious allegation. And when I say in a public way, I don’t mean in the public way of Tara Reade’s. If you ask the average person in America, they didn’t know about the Tara Reade case,” said Baquet.
“So I thought in that case,” he continued, “if The New York Times was going to introduce this to readers, we needed to introduce it with some reporting and perspective. Kavanaugh was in a very different situation. It was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment.”
Baquet’s interview is seen as damage control by The New York Times to cover for the outlet protecting Democrat nominee Joe Biden who will challenge President Donald Trump in November.