NY Times columnist rips Kavanaugh reporting

Is a new uproar on the way at the Gray Lady?

Bret Stephens, a neoconservative opinion columnist at The New York Times, leveled sharp criticism on reports about the adolescent and college escapades of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Thursday.

What Stephens doesn’t disclose in his blast is that some of the most damaging stories he cites were scoops written by his newsroom colleagues.

The Times has a strict divide between its newsroom journalists and op-ed writers.

Stephens was a former editorial- page editor-writer at The Wall Street Journal, where he had been a harsh critic of candidate Donald Trump and a leading advocate for the Stop Trump movement before he was hired by the Times in April 2017.

The criticism of Trump continued after the move to the Times. But Stephens seemed to change his tune dramatically in a column posted Thursday, “For Once I’m Grateful for Trump”

He applauded Trump for standing up for the Kavanaugh nomination when others may have buckled under the public pressure.

But in defending Trump’s push for Kavanaugh, he seems to have turned some of his anger on the news side of The New York Times, which broke stories on Kavanaugh’s behavior as an adolescent and college student.

“Reading about a 1985 bar fight at Yale — a story that involved Kavanaugh throwing ice — resulted in no charges against him, and should never have been reported,” wrote Stephens.

We read it first in The New York Times, he neglected to add.

“Or reading a 1983 handwritten letter by Kavanaugh, in which he says of his gang of friends that “we’re loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us” — adolescent boasting now being treated as if it is a crucial piece of incriminating evidence. Or hearing from Yale classmates who claim to have seen Kavanaugh drunk, which somehow is supposed to show that he’s a demonstrable perjurer and possible sex offender.”

Again stories that were reported in full by the NYT news staff.

How soon before he feels the heat from the newsroom?

“Will a full-bore investigation of adolescent behavior now become a standard part of the ‘job interview’ for all senior office holders? I’m for it — provided we can start with your adolescent behavior, as it relates to your next job,” he writes.

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