NBC News retracted a story about donations linked to President Joe Biden’s senior director for cyber policy after accusations that it was anti-Semitic on Wednesday.
The article, written by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian, noted that “a family foundation linked to” newly-minted official Anne Neuberger “donated more than half a million dollars in recent years to the main pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington.”
NBC’s article said that the donations don’t “appear to pose a legal issue.” Dilanian did, however, cite anonymous current and former national security officials who said it risks “creating the possible appearance of bias in favor of Israel by a top American official.”
The article was quickly slammed by some as anti-Semitic and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), among others, demanded a retraction.
.@NBCNews must retract this offensive story. Charges of dual loyalty are anti-Semitic and insult millions of Americans—Jewish & non-Jewish—who stand by our ally Israel. We will not be deterred from exercising our rights as citizens to advocate for a strong US-Israel relationship. https://t.co/Jof9sIKXX7
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) January 27, 2021
Really great story for today of all days, thanks for reminding us where we stand and putting us in our place.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 28, 2021
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) also criticized the piece, calling it an “absolutely horrific dual-loyalty smear.”
“It doesn’t matter if this smear is against a Democrat or Republican, it is plain wrong,” the RJC wrote on Twitter.
“After a number of readers raised issues with this article, NBC News conducted a review and has determined that it fell short of our reporting standards,” NBC News wrote in an editor’s note issued Wednesday evening. “In order to warrant publication, it needed on-the-record quotes from critics, rather than anonymous ones.”
“The article should have also included more views from those who believe that donations to AIPAC do not represent a conflict. And it did not give Neuberger adequate time to respond to our reporting,” the note continued.
The article remains on NBC News’ website “in the interest of full transparency with” its readers, according to the editor’s note. The original page for the article now only has the editor’s note. This page also notes that the article has been moved to the website’s archives section. (RELATED: NBC News Writes First Muslim ‘Backlash’ Story 6 Hours After New York Terror Attack)