NBC News is spreading an unfounded conspiracy theory that claims President Trump and newly retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cut a secret deal that ensured Brett Kavanaugh would be chosen as Kennedy’s replacement.
Here is how NBC’s Capitol Hill reporter, Leigh Ann Caldwell, spread this conspiracy Tuesday morning. Her first tweet read:
"On Kavanaugh pick Kennedy and Trump/WH had been in negotiations for months over Kennedy’s replacement. Once Kennedy received assurances that it would be Kavanaugh, his former law clerk, Kennedy felt comfortable retiring, according to a source who was told of the discussions."
Then she tweeted this:
"Furthermore, the five names Trump added to his list of Federalist Approved judges last November was to get Kavanaugh on that list. The other four names were considered cover, per source. In other words: the decision has been baked for a while[.]"
Then she got around to the truth, which is that this is nothing less than a conspiracy, a rumor, something told to her by one person — and, most importantly, that she has not even bothered to try and confirm this prior to spreading it:
"To be clear: This is from one source and dont have any info on whether potus talked to kennedy about a possible replacement."
First off, there is no journalism here. Once again, NBC News is irresponsibly and maliciously passing along something they were told by someone, something no one has bothered to even try to confirm.
Spreading gossip is not journalism. “This is what I heard” is not journalism.