NYT, BuzzFeed Feud Over Watkins' Ethical Failures | NTK Network NYT, BuzzFeed Feud Over Watkins’ Ethical Failures

NYT, BuzzFeed Feud Over Watkins’ Ethical Failures

The New York Times blamed the reporter's previous editors for ethical lapses. BuzzFeed thinks the Times is focusing on the wrong story.

By NTK Staff | 07.03.2018 @3:00pm
NYT, BuzzFeed Feud Over Watkins’ Ethical Failures

The New York Times and BuzzFeed News sparred Tuesday over responsibility for disgraced reporter Ali Watkins’ ethical lapses, after she revealed that she had been dating a staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee while she covered the panel.

The Times announced Tuesday that it would continue to employ Watkins, but she would be transferred to a different beat in New York City and report under the guidance of a mentor.

The Times criticized her previous employers, The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, for not addressing Watkins’ ethical lapses, even though they knew of Watkins’ relationship with Senate Intelligence staffer James Wolfe.

“Although her disclosures varied in detail, none of her editors barred her from covering the intelligence committee, or explicitly told her that the relationship was inappropriate,” the paper wrote.

“As she started her career, I believe she was not well served by some editors elsewhere who failed to respond appropriately to her disclosures about her relationships,” Times executive editor Dean Baquet chimed in.

BuzzFeed did not appreciate the shot, with BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal criticizing the Times for focusing on Watkins’ sex life.

“We are focused on the important First Amendment issues in this case, including the government’s highly inappropriate seizure of reporter communications,” he wrote.

Federal investigators seized some of Watkins’ records in connection to a leak investigation against Wolfe.

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