Opinion | New York Submit eliminated a narrative about Ibrahim Khan from its web site


The New York Submit is formally busted. In September 2017, it printed an apparent scoop about an alleged sexual assault by a prime staffer to then-New York Metropolis Public Advocate Letitia James. Then it disappeared the story with out alerting its readers — a serious violation of journalism hygiene.

Now, 5 years later, that staffer, Ibrahim Khan, has resigned from James’ New York attorney general office amid sexual harassment claims, in response to a Dec. 2 report within the New York Occasions.

What does the New York Submit need to say about all of this? Little or no.

The 2017 article recounted the claims of a 47-year-old staffer in James’s public advocate workplace that Khan, in 2014, had drugged and sexually assaulted her at a vacation celebration. The piece cited a grievance that the staffer had filed with New York state’s Division of Human Rights. It was printed, moreover, simply weeks earlier than exposés on the sexual misconduct of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein supercharged a plume of #MeToo tales.

A spokeswoman for James’s workplace on the time supplied a rebuttal to the staffer’s claims, calling them “an outright lie.” In response to questions from the Erik Wemple Weblog this week, an AG spokesperson wrote that three impartial companies “investigated the allegation and decided that there was no foundation for additional motion. Sexual assault is a really severe matter, which is why the workplace undertook each step needed to make sure that these allegations had been totally investigated.”

On Friday, the New York Occasions reported that Khan had resigned as chief of workers of James’s workplace. In a press release, Khan stated that he’d been “slated” to go away for the non-public sector by yr’s finish, and the transfer was “unrelated” to an investigation into his conduct. A spokeswoman for James stated that an “impartial, neutral investigation was carried out, and the worker has since resigned.” Citing one supply, the Occasions reported that a number of allegations had been delivered to the AG’s consideration by a political advisor, “not by the victims themselves.”

That Occasions report talked about the New York Submit article about Khan, together with the truth that it had gone lacking from the newspaper’s web site. In a Monday piece on the upheaval, the New York Post acknowledged its elimination of the printed piece and supplied an evidence: “The Submit eliminated the article from its web site as a result of it realized [the accuser] had not really recognized Khan as the one who drugged and assaulted her, and that stated she had stated she had no reminiscence of who the attacker was.”

Contradiction alert: The September 2017 report explicitly said that the accuser “claims within the papers that Khan drugged and sexually assaulted her. She advised The Submit she ultimately recalled particulars.”

In a quick dialog with the Erik Wemple Weblog, the accuser declined to debate the New York Submit article intimately. “I can’t have anyone telling something,” she stated. “Will probably be my very own story.” Efforts to safe remark from Khan have been unsuccessful.

We’ve requested Iva Benson, a spokeswoman for the New York Submit, to reconcile the contrasting variations of occasions, amongst different inquiries. She replied that the New York Submit can have no remark past what it has already printed.

Journalism way back settled on norms for dealing with tales that crumble. Readers must be apprised of the event, whether or not or not it’s by way of a retraction, editor’s notice or correction. If the New York Submit took these steps, it managed to sneak them previous the Erik Wemple Weblog. A query concerning a retraction was amongst those who the New York Submit spokeswoman declined to reply.

The actual-life implications of publishing after which deleting a report about sexual misconduct got here into concentrate on Wednesday, when the New York Occasions reported the account of Sofia Quintanar, a former colleague of Khan within the AG’s workplace who’d alleged that he “caught his tongue down my throat” with out consent in November 2021. She stated she later thought-about coming ahead along with her story and was heartened when a good friend advised her that the New York Submit had beforehand reported an allegation towards Khan. “She stated she couldn’t retrieve The Submit’s article, and determined to ‘simply take this to the grave,’ ” reported the Occasions. Quintanar subsequently started confiding in others, and her grievance, together with that of one other colleague, made its solution to James in early October, in response to the Occasions.

James has beforehand positioned herself as a #MeToo purist. “I consider ladies,” she stated in asserting the outcomes of her workplace’s 2021 investigation into sexual misconduct complaints towards then-New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. “And I consider all of those 11 ladies” — referring to allegations from practically a dozen ladies towards Cuomo. As this blog reported early this year, the AG investigation, in addition to the media, ignored a lawsuit that known as into query the credibility of a key accuser, and it stood behind a breast-groping allegation that proved wobbly on consequential details. The report’s investigative presumptions typically tilted in a single course — towards Cuomo.

When the accused was a longtime affiliate of James’s, nonetheless, the usual shifted. Had the Occasions not pressured the problem, it’s doable that Khan would have moved on with no public ripple. Identical to that, James morphed from a champion of #MeToo transparency and penalties into one other politician in search of to duck accountability. When The Washington Submit inquired about Khan final week, for example, it met this dismissal from AG spokeswoman Delaney Kempner: “The rumor mill that the washington publish is creating is fairly low for you guys.”

The “rumor mill” grievance is valuable: Asking questions shouldn’t be gossip. It’s an try and be taught the information — information that shroud the AG’s workplace in a most unflattering mild.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button