LA Times Writer Apologizes for Sharing Unverified Story Attacking John McCain

John McCain / Getty
July 20, 2017

A Los Angeles Times writer apologized Thursday for spreading a negative story about Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) without verifying it beforehand.

McCain, 80, announced Wednesday night that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer. The Times' Jessica Roy tweeted in response that her friend's husband had reached out to McCain seeking help for the same condition, only to be rebuffed by the Arizona Republican.

When asked if she had seen a copy of the letter, Roy tweeted that her friend was still looking for it.

Around the same time, Roy's friend posted on Facebook claiming she wrote to McCain after her husband was kicked off Arizona's state Medicaid agency. She alleges that McCain wrote back suggesting they move out of Arizona "because he did not consider health insurance (and thus, access to healthcare itself) a human right."

But later, Roy's friend updated her Facebook post. She now revealed that it was an insurance judge who first recommended they move out of state, and that McCain's office "may only have been parroting back what the Judge told us."

She added that "although I have copies of all my correspondence," she could not find the letter in question.

"McCain's response may have come as late as 2011, and not in 2010, I cannot exactly recall now," she wrote.

Roy deleted her initial tweet, and posted an apology for sharing a story that she had not fully confirmed.