In yet another failed attack on the Libs of Tik Tok, the Washington Post devalues itself even further.
It is almost as if the management defies attempts at journalism integrity at the Washington Post. It was said that the arrival of new Executive Editor Sally Buzbee was to bring in a new dedication to ethical practices and such, but far too often we have seen this paper reduce itself in terms of editorial practices and newsroom operations. That this newest example arrives with yet another attempt at scorching the account Libs of Tik Tok only heightens the idiocy that is on full display.
The latest episode is centered on the controversy surrounding Boston Children’s National Hospital, and its policies toward adolescent trans operations. The outrages began when the LOTT account posted videos produced at the hospital which discussed the operations they provide for youth undergoing trans-identity issues. LOTT was accused of “attacking” the hospital and endangering the workers there – by reposting videos that the hospital staff had posted to social media.
A firestorm erupted from this, with accusations that the account had misled people and was inspiring protests and threats to be made against the hospital and the workers. As the press did its job of running defense for the hospital, repeating the claims that the details in those videos were not proof they operated on those younger than 18 for these procedures, last week LOTT exposed more problems.
A new entry had audio recordings of staff at the hospital laying out the parameters of these procedures, and stating the facility did provide these procedures for those as young as 16 years old. This led to more outrage in the press – towards LOTT, for posting this contradictory evidence. Instead of seeing cause for a deeper investigation of the hospital, WaPo decided to say LOTT was out of line for taking the words of hospital workers as accurate. As part of more of the PR cleanup effort, the Washington Post wanted to report on the details of this latest development and to its credit reached out to Chaya Raichik, who operates the Libs of Tik Tok account.
The paper reached out, but as we will see, there was no interest in actually speaking with Raichik.
The reporter working on this piece was Peter Jamison, and he displays some rather troubling behavior in crafting his article — behavior we are seeing with more frequency. The first action is the common occurrence of contacting a featured player in a story but giving them a small window of opportunity to respond, due always to a deadline. This leads to the summation, “We reached out for answers, but received no response by press time.” The implied dodge by the individual is heavily presented.
It was something we saw in the infamous 60 Minutes hit-piece on Ron DeSantis, where a short time of only a few hours was given for a member of the state health department to answer questions and provide data. This, despite being contacted on a Thursday, for the Sunday broadcast. Also, they had been told that a requested-for-time Zoom call for the response would not be acceptable, despite the episode showing that others who were delivering critical comments about Ron DeSantis were permitted to do so over video conferencing.
In this newest example, it gets even worse. After Jamison reached out to Raichik for a comment or possible interview something inconvenient took place. She responded to the request and did so in a timely fashion. After telling Jamison that she would be happy to speak directly with him and asking what the best method of contact would be, she did not get an immediate response. Shortly that same afternoon, Raichik discovered the article regarding her had been published.
This happened, despite responding to Jamison within less than 15 minutes of his request. Raichik decided to display what happened on Twitter, and thus begins the problems for The Post. Raichik showed the screenshots where she answered Jamison immediately, and then, in less than four hours, the article went live early Friday evening.
After calling out this despicable move, Jamison adjusted his piece, explaining that the Post “missed the response,” and then insinuated that a request on her end had precipitated delays before publishing.
In response to a request for comment for this story, Raichik immediately agreed to an interview on the condition that she be allowed to record it. But after learning The Post had missed that response and published the story before an interview could be arranged, she stopped communicating with The Post and expressed outrage on Twitter. “That’s not how this works,” she tweeted.
If there has been anything to learn about Raichik and her Libs of Tik Tok account, she is willing to take up the fight when the press looks to engage with her. She posted part of Jamison’s adjustment in his article, and this led to more embarrassment for the paper. Much like we witnessed this past April when Taylor Lorenz worked on the shameful doxxing of Raichik as being behind this account, the Post has been reduced to numerous revisions after the fact – or, lack of facts, as it were.
Following Jamison’s edits, a correction was later posted at the bottom of the article:
An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that Raichik had not responded to a request for comment. The Post was not aware she’d responded through Twitter message before the story was published.
This is the paper attempting to be cute in its excuse-making. This tries to indicate that Raichik’s answer to the reporter had gone unnoticed due to her choice of responding via Twitter messenger. Problem: The screenshots clearly show that she had been contacted through Twitter messenger. Jamison asked for an interview through a portal that he then decided to no longer check? That not only makes no sense, but it is also entirely inept. Either he is incapable of basic follow-up work, or he never intended at all to speak with Raichik.
This addled work ethic follows suit with April’s debacle, where multiple corrections to the piece were needed. It also appears to be common practice, as another piece Lorenz published about influencers had her claiming she was unable to speak directly to individuals for that hit piece when it was then shown that Lorenz did not attempt to reach out until after the initial publication.
And just to put the appropriate bow on this mess, Jamison’s article carries this tag at the end of his piece:
– Taylor Lorenz contributed to this report.