‘Harmless Fun’: NYT Faces Backlash After ‘Offensive’ Tweet About Kavanaugh Allegations

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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The New York Times faced backlash after its opinion section tweeted “offensive” comments Saturday while promoting a piece about allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The now-deleted tweet described a sexual act Kavanaugh allegedly did while he was a student at Yale University. The accompanying article by NYT reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly described the allegations against Kavanaugh.

“We deleted a previous tweet regarding this article. It was offensive, and we apologize,” New York Times Opinion tweeted Saturday.

“Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun,” the deleted tweet said. “But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn’t belong at Yale in the first place.”

Many hit back at the news outlet on social media. (RELATED: New Book On Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Has Incendiary Allegations About Christine Blasey Ford)

“Shooting someone in the fucking face may seem like harmless fun but can lead to serious medical consequences — NYT, probably,” Charlotte Clymer, press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, tweeted. “Just so done with this nonsense. Jesus.”

Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, wrote the tweet was “very bad,” adding that “the editors’ framing of the piece as being about the culture on the Yale campus” was equally poor. The Saturday article, titled “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With The Privileged Kids. She Did Not,” is adapted from an upcoming book the two NYT reporters wrote.

“This is … such a profound lapse in judgment and common sense,” writer Roxane Gay tweeted.

President Donald Trump chimed in as well.

“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!”

NYT Opinion posted a follow-up that called the “harmless fun” tweet “poorly phrased.” It deleted this as well before apologizing in a third tweet.

Kavanaugh, who Trump nominated, has denied the allegations. He took office in October 2018.

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