NYT Reporters Blame NYT Social Media Team for Kavanaugh Screw Up

'I drafted this with this in mind to have actually the opposite effect'

New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin said the controversial initial tweet promoting her reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a "misworded tweet" and that she did not intend for it to be published.

She excused the tweet during an appearance on ABC's The View by saying reporters are asked to draft tweets to go with their articles, and that "they don't always get used, they don't always get sent out, they often don't."

The New York Times Opinion Twitter account initially tweeted out a link to Pogrebin and fellow Times reporter Kate Kelly's excerpt from their book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, and wrote, "Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun. But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn't belong in Yale in the first place."

The account then deleted the tweet and the paper apologized, calling the wording of the tweet "inappropriate and offensive."

"Politico is now reporting, Robin, that you wrote that tweet. You can see how, whoever wrote it, it could be tough for people that have been sexually assaulted to read a tweet like that," co-host Abby Huntsman said. "Was it you that wrote it and if so, why not say, ‘It was me, it was wrong, let's move on?'"

"It was a misworded tweet," Pogrebin responded. "But what happens at the Times is the reporters are asked to draft tweets, we're also asked to draft suggested headlines. They don't always get used, they don't always get sent out, they often don't."

"I drafted this with this in mind to have actually the opposite effect," she continued. "Which is to anticipate those who would say, ‘A guy pulling down his pants at a party when they're drunk is on the spectrum of sexual misconduct. It's not sexual assault. It's not rape. What's the big deal?' And to try to put in context Deborah Ramirez's experience and to say actually it was a big deal and that this can be quite meaningful."

"Maybe for me, a New Yorker, I would say get that out of my face," Pogrebin added.

She stressed the alleged incident's potential impact on Ramirez. "So for those who minimize it and dismiss it, I was trying to help them understand that. It had the opposite effect and seemed to undermine her."