USA Today Rewrites Column Smearing Kavanaugh as Child Molester Unfit to Coach Girls Basketball (UPDATE: USA Today Adds Editor’s Note)

(UPDATE AT END) After receiving a barrage of criticism, USA Today has rewritten a column by Erik Brady published Friday evening that called for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be barred from coaching girls basketball, as he has done for years, with the insinuation he might be a child molester because of the last minute, hazy, uncorroborated accusations by three women that he sexually assaulted them decades ago at drunken school era parties. Those charges are being used by Democrats and the media to block Kavanaugh’s nomination and destroy his stellar reputation as a well-regarded conservative jurist and devout Catholic family man. (Original TGP report here.)

USA Today promoted the column on Twitter Friday night with a message that Kavanaugh should stay away from kids, illustrated with a photo of Kavanaugh with his daughters’ basketball team that he coached. The photo has since been replaced. “From : “The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around,” writes .” (UPDATE: USA Today deleted the tweets from Friday and Saturday about the article. New tweet at end.)

https://twitter.com/USATODAY/status/1045840651827449856

Original photo used by USA Today to smear Kavanaugh has since been replaced at the article page and on Twitter.

Saturday afternoon USA Today tweeted, ” This sports column has been updated.”

https://twitter.com/USATODAY/status/1046121184100839425

A screen cap was made:


Update is an understatement. The lede has been completely rewritten, and the conclusion deleted, to remove any call by Brady for Kavanaugh to stop coaching girls basketball.

Original lede:

Brett Kavanaugh testified the other day that he might never coach girls’ basketball again.

He shouldn’t – at least not until further investigation has concluded.

The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around…

Rewritten lede:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified the other day that he might never coach girls’ basketball again.

“I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Kavanaugh said in his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.”

He just might be right. Oh, not the part about blaming Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee – that’s just to avoid placing blame on his wholly sympathetic accuser – but the may-never-coach-again part. The nation is newly vigilant on who coaches and trains its children given recent scandals in gymnastics and other sports.

Original conclusion:

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?

Rewritten conclusion:

Gone. The end is chopped off and not rewritten.

Left in the column is the reasonable exploration of what the standards are for a youth coach accused but not charged with sexual abuse.

One of the more prominent critics of USA Today was GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel who said, “This is a new low. Will Senate Democrats and the media stop at nothing to destroy this man’s character?”

Images of original USA Today version:

USA Today added an ‘editor’s note’ to the top of the column trying to explain away the original smear job and tweeted out a notice, “A previous tweet contained a statement that has since been edited out of a sports column. That tweet has been deleted. The updated opinion column and editor’s clarification are here:”

Editor’s note: 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. 

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