‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’ authors discuss NYT story

Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly blame a missing fact in The New York Times on an “oversight” in the editing process.
5:57 | 09/17/19

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Transcript for ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’ authors discuss NYT story
"The New York Times" ran an excerpt of your book over the weekend in the opinion section that included a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh but you guys left out a key detail of the alleged victim who you name in the book but we're not going to name on the show, quote, refused to discuss the incident and several of her friends do not recall it happening. She doesn't. Yes, that she doesn't recall it happens. I think this is sort of ground zero for why so many people mistrust the media, why people nickname "The New York Times" the New York slime. The "Times" actually had to run an editor's note following up. How did this vital fact get left out? Thank you for the question. We're eager to clear the air on this. First of all, there was no desire to withhold important information from our readers. We have all of it in the book and the essay is an adaptation of the book that of course we had to edit for length and the thrust of the essay was about -- probably a bad word choice. The point of the essay was about Debra Ramirez, a woman who had gone to college with justice Kavanaugh and had this experience where she alleged that he exposed himself to her and it was a very troubling event. And we lay out all the reasons why that was, not just the moment itself but the experience she was having at Yale being very difficult. Within that we talked about this new as yet unreported allegation because we thought it was Jermaine. It was a similar type of situation to the Ramirez one. During the editing process there was an oversight and this key detail about the fact that the woman herself has told friends she doesn't remember it and has not wanted to talk about it got cut and it was an oversight and the "Times" adjusted it and we're very sorry that it happened. I understand that the woman didn't want her name out publicly. If not, why is her name in the book? Her name is in the book because we think it's relevant information and we think it's accurate and we know that her name was provided to members of the senate and the FBI by a witness named max Stier who is a good governance activism in Washington. This name is in a letter. He did at one point I understand do work for Williams & Connolly. Why wasn't that in the piece if we're talking about credibility? I understand it's relevant in this case it was a very support mention and we only talked in brief terms about what he's doing right now, so we didn't see all of that context to be necessary. But I understand why you're bringing it up and I think it's You also sort of threw "The New York Times" opinion board under the bus saying they chose to omit it. I've written pieces in "The new York Times." In my experience I get the final say on what runs, at least that's what happens with me. We're a team at the "New York we have processes in place. We wrote this. It was edited. There was back and forth as there always is. It's kind of a team effort frankly to make sure that everybody's comfortable with the final product, and there was just an oversight here. Did you guys just miss it? Did you miss that that was -- Somebody picked it. -- So important. But you are the authors of the book. It's in the book. Miss it in "The New York Times" -- And we first had it in the piece and so it's an editing process that has a lot of different drafts. I think actually the way it happened was the editors being concerned about naming her -- because the "Times" has a tradition of not naming victims and really has to deliberate whether or not to do that. In that sentence that had her name it also had that she doesn't remember it. They took out the whole sentence and in removing her name in order to kind of protect her and make sure we weren't sending people to her door, we also took out the fact that she didn't remember it. Did you read it right before it went to print? We thought we had, yeah. As soon as we realized this, we corrected it and they wrote an editor's note and they restored it. Didn't you realize it because Molly Hemingway made the correction? I just want to know blankly, you understand why so many people think this is a hatchet job. The reason we did this book in the first places was this was such an incredibly polarizing event in our country's history. Everyone saw in it what they wanted to see. It was used for political purposes at the time. It's being used again. We're looking at a version of that right now. This is at large. People have seized on details in her book. The reason we did this was to revisit these events with ten months of reporting to frankly look more closely at Brett Kavanaugh and who he is, what kind of person he was as a young boy, through high school, through college, what kind of professional he was. What were his 12 years on the court before he got to the court and we actually found that he was -- we have found that we corroborate these stories of Debra Ramirez and Christine blasey-ford but in the 36 years years since, Brett Kavanaugh has been a better man. Whether he realized the error of his ways and consciously reformed himself and grew up and ma matured, he's been an exemplary judge. Everyone we talked to couldn't speak more highly of him on both sides of the aisle and he has a more nuanced view on the court. He's actually an establishment conservative who has promoted women on the court. That's something else we wanted to get across here which is everybody can kind of demonize him and everyone can kind of demonize these victims and the reality is somewhere in between, considerably more complicated, considerably more nuanced and that's what we're trying to portray in this book. It's well done by the way. Thank you. Thank you. I read it yesterday. ABC news spoke to this woman and the recent allegation outside her home. She told ABC she was not interested in speaking to reporters because she was involved in the reporting last year during the confirmation process and she can't do it again. That's a quote. But when she was asked if there are other sources who could speak to this story, she told ABC, all I can say is ask Brett. Kavanaugh.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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