Patterico's Pontifications

9/14/2018

New York Times Misleads Readers … About Nikki Haley’s Curtains (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

In New York Times , this breathless insinuation appears on the Politics page:

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Here are the first 5 paragraphs of the Oh-My-Gosh-She-Didn’t! report:

The State Department spent $52,701 last year buying customized and mechanized curtains for the picture windows in Nikki R. Haley’s official residence as ambassador to the United Nations, just as the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring.

The residence, in a new building on First Avenue, has spectacular views, and Ms. Haley is the first ambassador to live in it. For decades, her predecessors lived in the Waldorf Astoria hotel. But after the hotel was purchased by a Chinese insurance company with a murky ownership structure, the State Department decided in 2016 to find a new home for its top New York diplomat because of security concerns.

The government leased the apartment, just blocks from the delegation’s offices, with an option to buy, according to Patrick Kennedy, the top management official at the State Department during the Obama administration. The full-floor penthouse, with handsome hardwood floors covering large open spaces stretching nearly 6,000 square feet, was listed at $58,000 a month.

While ambassadors around the world are given residences, there are only two such residences in the United States — one for Ms. Haley and the other for her deputy.

Ms. Haley’s residence is particularly grand since it is used for official entertaining. But her deputy’s is also very nice, having served as the location for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s intimate steak dinner in May with Kim Yong-chol, North Korea’s top nuclear weapons negotiator. During the dinner, Mr. Pompeo used its sweeping views to point out various features of New York City’s skyline to the senior official from the world’s most reclusive country.

Pretty unbelievable, right? Who does she think she is? Isn’t this just typical of the flashy, brassy, best-of-everything Trump?

But, buried down in the sixth paragraph, we find this nugget:

A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.

Ah, you don’t say! (As a reminder, NYT, Haley did not assume office as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations until January 27, 2017. Just saying…)

So how are the media elites framing the story? Just how you would expect them to:

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And from one of the left’s newest, bright lights:

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(Notice the number of retweets.)

It’s almost like the NYT wants readers to believe that only in the “Trump-era diplomatic front” of lavish excesses does an ambassadors dwell in such sumptuous surroundings.

Dishonest hacks.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

UPDATE: Facing criticism, an editors’ note has been appended to this story:

An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question. While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador’s residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials. The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.

–Dana


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