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The New York Times under fire for report on Nikki Haley’s curtains

September 14, 2018

The New York Times reported that the State Department spent $52,701 for “customized and mechanized curtains” in U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s apartment. However, five paragraphs into the story, Ms. Haley’s spokesman revealed that the plans originated during the Obama administration.

“A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration,” the report read.

Ms. Haley’s spokesman told The Times that the U.N. ambassador did not have a choice in picking out the curtains.

The article framed this decision in light of the hiring freeze at the State Department. It pointed out that the order and installation overlapped with proposed budget cuts in the State Department, dropped projects, and the number of Americans representing the country in the U.N. General Assembly.

Two Obama-era officials had opposite opinions on the purchase.

“How can you, on the one hand, tell diplomats that basic needs cannot be met and, on the other hand, spend more than $50,000 on a customized curtain system for the ambassador to the U.N.?” former White House official Brett Bruen told The Times.

Patrick Kennedy, who was the head management official in former President Barack Obama’s State Department, told The Times that the lease is in the government’s name. He argued the apartment was an investment for the government as it would serve the ambassador’s needs for entertainment and security.

“All she’s got is a part-time maid, and the ability to open and close the curtains quickly is important,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Several journalists slammed the article on Twitter and argued it was misleading.

Misleading headline. Few are reading past the first couple grafs. And now most of Twitter thinks @nikkihaley is like Pruitt or Price when shes not. How irresponsible. Read the whole story. Also the rent is less expensive than previous admins https://t.co/XpeZzi2wg9 Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 14, 2018

1/ A word on the false meme bopping around about @nikkihaleys $52,701 curtains. NYT story notes in 6th paragraph, A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said. Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 14, 2018

This seems like a pretty important paragraph that we should get to the bottom of before calling them Nikki Haleys $52,000 curtains https://t.co/2RfJkFqvch pic.twitter.com/AZOJwsofwS Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 14, 2018

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