New York Times says it should not have assigned Kavanaugh critic to story: 'She is not a news reporter'

New York Times says it should not have assigned Kavanaugh critic to story: 'She is not a news reporter'
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The New York Times on Tuesday said the newspaper should not have assigned an opinion writer to co-byline a recent news story about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's alleged involvement in a bar fight during his college years at Yale in 1985.

The White House had criticized the newspaper for publishing the story because one of its writers, Emily Bazelon, previously criticized Kavanaugh as a "5th vote for a hard-right turn" on voting rights shortly after he was nominated to the Supreme Court in July by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE.

"She is not a news reporter," said Times' spokeswoman Eileen Murphy on Tuesday afternoon. "Her role in this story was to help colleagues in the newsroom gather public documents in New Haven, where Emily is based. In retrospect, editors should have used a newsroom reporter for that assignment."

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Bazelon, who also serves as an instructor at Yale Law School in addition to writing for the New York Times magazine and opinion pieces for the paper, shared a byline on a story based on a 1985 police report about an incident where Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice during a bar fight.

The Times spokeswoman added that the newspaper stands by the story.

On July 8, Bazelon wrote on Twitter that she was "strongly" disassociating herself from Kavanaugh, who also went to Yale Law School, after he was nominated by the president.

"I strongly disassociate myself from tonight's praise of Brett Kavanaugh," Bazelon wrote. "With respect, he's a 5th vote for a hard-right turn on voting rights and so much more that will harm the democratic process & prevent a more equal society."

"Those are fundamental values we try to instill in our students. They matter more than collegiality and credentials," she added.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ripped the Times for publishing the story while questioning the paper's motivation.

"What motivated New York Times reporter to write this ridiculous story?" Sanders wrote on Twitter. "Throwing ice 33 years ago, or her opinion of Judge Kavanaugh in July?"

A vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation could occur by the end of this week as the FBI continues its investigation of sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh made by women referring to alleged incidents at high school school and college parties.