‘Time’ Defends Writer Against Spicer’s ‘Deliberately False Reporting’ Attack

Time Magazine defended its White House reporter, Zeke Miller, against the White House press secretary’s charges that he engaged in “deliberately false reporting” for erroneously writing that a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office last week.

“No news organization ever wants to make an error, but we all have procedures for handling them when we do,” a note from managing editor Nancy Gibbs published Tuesday read. “Zeke [Miller] moved quickly to correct the record, and we stand behind him for taking responsibility for the mistake. He and our other reporters will continue to cover the new Administration thoroughly, fairly and fearlessly.”

Miller originally wrote to journalists on Inauguration Day that the bust of King had been removed from the Oval Office (after checking for it twice, he later wrote). Forty minutes after a pool report based on his observation was sent to other journalists, Miller found a White House aide who confirmed to him that the bust was still in the office. Miller then spent the night, and much of the weekend, apologizing for his error and sending corrections to reporters.

“The President and White House aides have cited this mistake as an example of ‘deliberately false reporting,'” Gibbs’ note read. “It was no such thing,”

Gibbs also wrote that over the weekend Miller asked a White House advisor to pass an apology on to President Donald Trump. That contradicts Sean Spicer’s position in a press briefing Monday.

“Where was the apology to the president of the United States?” Spicer asked on Monday, after referencing Miller’s erroneous report. “Where was the apology to millions of people who read that and thought how racially insensitive it was? Where was that apology?”

In fact, Spicer himself had accepted Miller’s apology on his Twitter account three days earlier:

On Monday night, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also blamed Miller for her need for Secret Service protection.

“Because of what the press is doing now to me, I have Secret Service protection,” she told Sean Hannity. “We have packages delivered to my house with white substances. That is a shame and yes I hold him into account for it.”

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