Yes, exactly. WHO?
In what may be the most embarrassing gaffe since an unstable vet hopped a fence and got past six members of the Secret Service and wound up in the East Room of the White House. There’s a reporter covering Capitol Hill for the wonky Congressional Quarterly who this week confused House Maj. Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for a mystery man who wanted to give freshman lawmakers and the GOP Conference some advice.
Her editors, specifically Gillian Roberts, editor for CQ Now, aren’t talking. The “exclusive” story ran behind a paywall. Is the reporter’s interview subject even a lawmaker? Who knows?
The news was first reported by Politico media writer Hadas Gold, who pointedly refers to the CQ journo as a “young reporter.” Included in her story is CQ‘s terribly embarrassing correction.
I hesitate to pile-on during what may be the worst week of Amrita Khalid‘s journalism career. We all make horrifically stupid errors at some point along the way that might stay quieter if there wasn’t a 24-hour news cycle. It’s also evident that the Millennial’s editors did nothing to protect her from such a gaping error. As Gold points out, no alarm bells sounded even amid details that clearly didn’t fit with McCarthy.
Khalid has been a “legislative action” reporter for CQ for the past year, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that, she was a research assistant for National Journal, a research associate for Government Executive Media Group and an intern at the Newseum. She’s also written abundantly for DCTheatreScene.com as well as Washington City Paper dating back to 2010. Her stories appear to be lively and entertaining. Like many Washingtonians, her resume is stacked. She has a B.A. in political science and a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University.
The incident has echoes of 2011, when then-Daily Beast reporter Howard Kurtz thought he was interviewing House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Except, well, no, he was actually interviewing his then-spokesman, Kurt Bardella. In his story, Kurtz hilariously described Issa as having a penchant for referring to himself in third person. After Kurtz discovered the error, it took him more than a month to come clean. He blamed the delay on his hectic schedule.