USA Today edits Kavanaugh piece with ‘pedophilia’ hints, gets even more backlash
The article by Erik Brandy, which was published on USA Today’s website on Friday, revolved around Kavanaugh’s words during a Senate testimony on Thursday. He said that he may never be able to coach his daughters’ basketball team anymore due to the sex assault accusations and broader scandal surrounding his Supreme Court nomination.
The author questioned whether the nominee should ever coach youngsters and alluded to the case of Larry Nassar, a US gymnastics team coach who was found guilty of multiple sexual assaults, despite this having no connection to the issue. Kavanaugh, 53, is accused by college professor Christine Blasey Ford, 52, of an incident which allegedly occurred 36 years ago, while they were both high-school students.
The article caused a huge backlash from conservative commentators online and, in an unusual move, the outlet made significant changes to the piece.
The headline has been changed to clarify that it was an opinion article, while the text now opens with an editor's note, which reads: “Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee he loves coaching his daughters' girls basketball teams, but said in testimony Thursday 'thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.' The intent of this commentary was to address that question. The column was re-edited to more closely reflect that intent and labeled to reflect it as the writer’s opinion.”
Several paragraphs calling on Kavanaugh to stay away from youth sports have also been deleted.
“The US Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around,” one of the removed passages read.
The paragraph that concluded Brandy’s original piece was also dropped. “The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?” it had read.
The Kavanaugh saga has been the focus of media attention over the last few weeks with many US outlets not shy about taking sides. But USA Today became the first to actually make considerable changes under public pressure.
However, the amendments didn’t seem to appease the critics, who said that the move changed nothing and expressed hope that USA Today would still be sued over the “shameful” article, and apologize to Kavanaugh.
The shout of guilty is never overcome by the whisper of innocence. Anyone involved in editing or approving for publication should be fired immediately. There must be accountability if this campaign of character assassination is to be stopped.— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) September 30, 2018
This changes nothing. I'll say it again:— Fred Danlag (@danlagf) September 30, 2018
I pray you people get sued, lose big time, and go out of business as a result.
One of the sickest things I've ever read. You don't deserve to use USA in your company name.— USMC212 (@USMC2122) September 30, 2018
Too little too late.— Katherine Brown (@kbrown184) September 30, 2018
I see USAToday sinking fast...bail boys bail— Anita's View (@Well4him) September 30, 2018
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