Last Friday, New York magazine published a cover story in which E. Jean Carroll, a fairly prominent journalist and advice columnist, said that she was sexually assaulted in the mid-1990s by now-President Donald Trump. Carroll became the 22nd woman to allege, since 2016, that she was sexually assaulted or harassed by Trump. The accusation is made in Carroll’s upcoming book, and two of her friends confirmed to the magazine that Carroll told them at the time about the alleged attack.
The president has denied the allegations, as he has with all others in the last three years. “She’s not my type,” Trump said Monday, per The Hill. He had said earlier that he has never met Carroll, although the New York article included a picture from the 1990s of the two of them together.
Over the weekend, Carroll sat for multiple television interviews. But by Monday, many observers began complaining that the story was not being covered prominently by major news outlets. Several newspapers omitted the story, while The New York Times did not place it prominently. And one newspaper, it turns out, ran a story about Carroll but then took it down.
CNN reported Monday night that Col Allan, a longtime lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, ordered The New York Post to take down a story about the accusations. This took place on Friday afternoon after the New York story was published. The paper also removed a wire service story.
Allan, a former editor of The Post who is currently an advisor to the Murdoch-owned paper, is a self-professed supporter of President Trump. The newspaper did respond to CNN’s requests for comment but not dispute the network’s characterization of what happened.
Asked why Murdoch lieutenant Col Allan would order the removal of the Post story about Carroll's accusation against Trump, one of the sources told me, "Nobody needs to explain why. We already know." https://t.co/GTh4z7N2eZ
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 24, 2019
“People inside the Post have suspected Murdoch brought back Allan to the Post to help steer the tabloid in a pro-Trump direction,” CNN reported, although stories about the accusations remained online in The Wall Street Journal and Fox News, two other Murdoch-owned outlets.
Meanwhile, The New York Times wrote on Monday about why they didn’t give the Carroll story more prominent coverage. The Times did not publish the story in the paper until Sunday, or give it prominent online placement until Saturday.
Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s executive editor, acknowledged that the paper had “underplayed” the article and said that it was because the Times was being cautious.
“We were playing by rules that didn’t quite apply,” Baquet said.
“They’ve allowed us to break major stories, from Bill O’Reilly to Harvey Weinstein. But in this case, it was a different kind of story.”