Conservative Media Has Field Day After Comey Attends Event At NYT Building

New York Times headquarters
June 23, 2017 3:22 p.m.

Photos of former FBI director James Comey walking into the New York Times building with his wife surfaced online Thursday night, prompting conservative news outlets to wildly speculate that Comey could be going to the newspapers’ offices to dish more dirt.

The Daily Mail published the first report, saying Comey was seen entering the Times building with his wife, Patrice Failor, wearing sunglasses with “his gaze forward as he marched through the front entrance of the Eighth Avenue building which houses the publication.”

The report stated Comey drew second glances from “stunned by-passers” as he entered the building, but included a comment from a spokeswoman for the Times who said the former FBI director didn’t visit the newsroom.

“That statement does not rule out the possibility that he met with a Times reporter elsewhere,” the article read, adding that Comey was in the building for three hours and was photographed at a charity event there.

According to tweets from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, Comey was in the building to attend a ceremony for the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) at the Covington and Burling law firm, which is housed in the same building as the Times. Comey and his wife have been foster parents in the past, Haberman noted.

She also posted photos from the event she said she received from a “person close to Comey:”

Times reporter Nick Confessore chimed in as well, explaining there are multiple tenants who occupy offices in the New York Times building besides the newsroom:

But the newspaper’s denial that Comey visited the newsroom did not stop other conservative news outlets, including The Conservative Treehouse, Free Republic and Truthfeed, from running with the Daily Mail story, nor Fox News from reporting on the incident Friday morning alongside a chyron reading “Sneaky Visit.”

Fox reported that The New York Times received a “special visitor” and aired photos that Daily Mail photographers took of Comey and Failor entering and leaving the building. Throughout the rest of the “Fox and Friends” segment Friday, the show’s co-hosts repeatedly said that Comey’s “visit” comes after the former FBI director confirmed that he passed information about private conversations he’d had with the President to the media.

Co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ed Henry eventually backtracked, saying they were “learning more about the incident” and that Comey was actually visiting a law firm inside the building that “was hosting some sort of charity event for abused kids.”

“Great if he was doing charity work. It does not erase the fact there’s been all kinds of leaks at The New York Times. Period, end of story,” Henry said.

Watch below via Media Matters:

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