New York Times Issues Embarrassing Front Page Correction About Scott Pruitt's Daughter
On Sunday, The New York Times, America's newspaper of record, had to retract a report about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt using his position at the EPA to help his family life. The Times reported that Pruitt used the EPA to get his daughter McKenna accepted into law school, when in reality she was accepted long before Pruitt stepped foot into the EPA.
"An article on Saturday about senior staff members at the Environmental Protection Agency who said they frequently felt pressured by Scott Pruitt to help in nonwork matters included an item that erroneously described Mr. Pruitt’s use of his position for personal matters," the Times admitted Sunday.
Even the correction did not explain exactly what had been misreported, however. Instead, the correction explained that a Virginia lawmaker, William Howell, admitted to writing a letter of recommendation fo the University of Virginia Law School on McKenna's behalf. The key issue was timing. "He actually wrote it while Mr. Pruitt was the attorney general of Oklahoma," the Times admitted.
Since the Times report has been corrected, PJ Media found the original text for the false claim:
As an example, Mr. Pruitt, shortly after taking the E.P.A. job, reached out to the former speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates seeking help for his daughter, McKenna, in securing admission to the University of Virginia School of Law. William Howell, the former speaker, appears on Mr. Pruitt’s official E.P.A. calendar, and he confirmed in an interview that he was approached by Mr. Pruitt and subsequently wrote a letter to the school’s dean on the daughter’s behalf.
The correction did not address what the meeting between Pruitt and Howell did actually concern, if indeed it appeared on the EPA schedule. When Pruitt did reach out to Howell, it was long before he became EPA administrator.
After further research by a legislative aide, Howell admitted that he had incorrectly stated the date of his letter of recommendation for McKenna Pruitt. The letter was actually written on November 1, 2016, more than three months before Pruitt was confirmed as EPA administrator in February 2017.
"The law school, which had declined to comment for the article because of privacy concerns, issued a statement on Saturday saying Ms. Pruitt had given the school permission to confirm that she had been offered early admission in late November 2016 and that the 'application was evaluated according to our usual admissions procedures,'" the Times correction explained.
The article laid out numerous times when Pruitt directed staffers to help in personal matters "and obtain special favors for his family." According to the report, whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski said Pruitt instructed staffers to "see what you can do" about getting McKenna Pruitt a clerkship at the White House Counsel in the summer of 2017.