Conservative website Drudge Report shared an article on Monday that attempted to smear the credibility of a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. But the hit piece, published by another outlet, targeted the wrong person.
Drudge Report tweeted a link to a story published on Grabien News that claimed it had discovered a trove of negative reviews written by former students of a professor named Christine Ford.
“Christine Ford is the worst educator I have experienced,” one former student wrote in a review on RateMyProfessor.com. “Avoid taking her class and avoid any interaction with this person.”
But Grabien News’ sloppy sleuthing led them to the wrong Christine Ford. Christine A. Ford, the subject of the harsh reviews, is a licensed social worker who taught at California State University Fullerton.
Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, teaches at Palo Alto University. She says Kavanaugh pinned her down and groped her at a gathering in suburban Maryland around 1982.
Grabien News eventually retracted the story and published an editor’s note in the entry to “apologize for the error.”
“We’ve since learned there are two Christine Fords working in clinical psychology in California and we wrote this report about the wrong Christine Ford,” according to Grabien’s note in the retracted article. “We regret not going to greater lengths to ensure this was indeed the same Christine Ford. Please do not share this article with anyone (and if you have, delete it/withdraw it); we are only leaving the page up so you can see this important update.”
Drudge Report later deleted the tweet linking to Grabien’s botched reporting, though the site neither informed its more than 1.4 million followers about the retraction nor apologized for the error.
Matt Drudge, founder and editor of Drudge Report, did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Despite Drudge’s apparent attempt to sweep its promotion of the failed hit piece under the rug, Twitter users were quick to drag him for it. Even if Kavanaugh’s accuser had been the subject of negative student reviews, some people wondered, how would that be relevant to her allegations, anyway?