Journalism has always been the last bastion for finding the truth about what is going on in the world around us, especially in a time when information can travel across the world in seconds. The responsibility of journalistic outlets to be truthful in their reporting is at an all time high, yet some choose to use this incredible power to form a narrative that may not exist, or to prop up a particular political party through outright lies, or lies by omission. The New York Times is currently the worst perpetrator of these acts.
On September 15th, the New York Times posted an article titled "Calls for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment Come Amid New Misconduct Allegations" Reading the headline alone, it would seem that credible allegations had come forward and a new investigation would be opened up that would incriminate Justice Kavanaugh. The article states "[Deborah Ramirez] recalled being at a dorm party where participants were drinking heavily and said that Mr. Kavanaugh had [committed sexual misconduct]." Here begins the problem. The Times mentions 7 people who had heard of this incident prior to his nomination for SCOTUS, and as it turns out, this allegation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that none of the corroborating witnesses could recall the incident or even being at the party in question.
In another article titled "Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not." details another similar misconduct allegation. It states "We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez's allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends [helped him commit sexual misconduct]." Stier has declined to speak about the allegations publicly, however he notified the Senate Judiciary Committee and FBI of his account and they did not pursue an investigation. Soon following the publishing of the essay, many democratic presidential candidates began calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment. Julián Castro, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California are among those who made statements to the media to this effect. Additionally, there were several movements on social media rallying around having Justice Kavanaugh removed from his seat. After all this had occurred, the Times released a correction in the form of one sentence at the end of the article, stating "The female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode." Which all but derails the allegations altogether as they are not credible.
The saying "A lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth can put its pants on" is applicable here. The New York Times irresponsibly posted the essay before doing proper investigative journalism which lead to several people in political positions of power to echo their statements and do real damage in the name of a lie. If we are going to mend the already large divisions in the United States, it has to start with responsible journalism.