Patterico's Pontifications


DEVASTATING PROOF OF MEDIA BIAS: New York Times Airbrushes Away Democrat’s Embarrassing False Claim Without a Trace

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:30 pm

Jay Caruso noted that Senator Claire McCaskill had claimed early today never to have met with a Russian ambassador:

Then undeniable documentary and photographic evidence emerged that she had.

I bet she wishes she could just airbrush that initial tweet from history — like it never happened.

Kinda like the New York Times did today with her claim.

They reported it — and then, when they figured out it was wrong, they simply vanished it. Whoosh. Presto-change-o! It was never there. Did you hear me? It was never there.

Earlier today, The Times — and yes, I will name the reporters; they are Eric Lichtblau, Michael D. Shear, and Charlie Savage — published an article titled Democrats Call for Sessions to Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry. (It now reads Jeff Sessions Recuses Himself from Russia Inquiry.) As the day went on, The Times revised the article in various ways, using the same URL, never noting their edits.

But my favorite edit came to the following paragraph, which was in the original story:

But Democrats were unassuaged. In a statement, Mr. Franken called Mr. Sessions’s testimony “at best misleading,” noting, “It’s clearer than ever now that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately.”

Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, cast doubt on Mr. Sessions’s explanation that he had met with the Russian ambassador because of his duties as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying that was beyond the panel’s jurisdiction.

“I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years,” she wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.”

And Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, went further, calling for Mr. Sessions to resign because he let a “demonstrably false” statement stand for weeks without correcting the public record.

Then, the Internet began presenting proof that she was wrong, and the language in bold . . . disappeared.

You can track the changes at the site At 4:34 p.m. Eastern, the story still contained the paragraph above. But at 5:18 p.m. Eastern, New York Times axed the language in bold. Review the changes here. Here is a screenshot from that shows the change made at 5:18 p.m.:


It’s actually quite newsworthy that a politician who criticizes Jeff Sessions for saying he didn’t meet with the Russian ambassador when he had . . . herself said she didn’t meet with the Russian ambassador when she had. If the New York Times were interested in simply reporting newsworthy material, they would have left in McCaskill’s claim, and reported that she was wrong.

I’m going to say that again, because it’s important. If the New York Times were interested in simply reporting newsworthy material, they would have left in McCaskill’s claim, and reported that she was wrong.

But, you see, they’re not interested in simply reporting newsworthy material. They have an agenda. This didn’t fit their agenda. So they disappeared it. Without a trace. Without a hint that it had ever been there.

Except, that is, at (and on the Twitter timeline of the Federalist’s Sean Davis, who first caught this).

If you want to understand why Americans are furious at the news media, this is Exhibit A. The newspaper of record deliberately covered up a newsworthy story that we can prove they knew about, just because it was inconvenient for the leftist, anti-Trump agenda they are pushing.

You want to know why we don’t trust you, media? This is why. Right here. This is why.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Jason Chaffetz Calls on Sessions to Recuse and Clarify His Statement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

Jason Chaffetz has announced on Twitter (where all the Big Announcements from politicians happen these days) that “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”

This seems like a sensible position. (Indeed, Sessions has already offered to recuse himself “whenever it’s appropriate.”) Let’s put it in context.

The Sessions story, which Democrats and Big Media (but I repeat myself) are treating as The Big News of the Day, is a rather nothingburger flap over Jeff Sessions’s meetings with a Russian ambassador during the campaign. These meetings have caused Democrats to go into a tizzy and scream and yell and demand that Sessions resign. I am on record as of last night as saying that the story is much ado about nothing, and that Sessions did not commit perjury. Al Franken’s question was: “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” That is a question directed at Sessions’s contacts as a Trump campaign official, not as a member of the Armed Services Committee. Session’s answer is not perjury and Democrats need to calm down.

That said, Chaffetz’s call for recusal and clarification is not a bad idea. Sessions’s answer was far too categorical and unqualified: “I’ve been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” Well, he did meet with the Russian ambassador, and it appears that of the other members of the committee who responded to a Washington Post inquiry (not all responded), nobody else said they had met with the Russian ambassador. As Tom Maguire noted on Twitter, that ambassador had a reason to meet with all Trump’s surrogates, including Sessions — but not necessarily with other committee members.

The bottom line is that there is no evidence Sessions met with the ambassador as a member of Trump’s campaign — but the wording of his answer was inexact. Rather than digging in his heels, he should indeed clarify his statement, and should recuse himself from inquiries into contacts between the Russians and Trump campaign officials. This doesn’t mean he needs to resign or that he perjured himself — just that he needs to hold himself to a high ethical standard — and be more careful about how he answers questions in the future.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

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