New York Times Walks Back Article Over 'Unfair Impression' of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley

The newspaper said that their report "should not have focused" on the former governor of South Carolina.

Published Sep 14, 2018

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The New York Times amended a story on 14 September 2018, saying that it created an "unfair impression" of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in its original form.

The story, published a day earlier, concerned the cost (over $52,000) of mechanized curtains installed in Haley's official residence in New York City.

The story noted that the plans to buy the curtains were in the works before Haley was appointed to her position by President Donald Trump, and the decision -- in which Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, had no input -- was made in 2016, when Trump's predecessor Barack Obama was in office.

Nonetheless, the original headline read "Nikki Haley's View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701," prompting online criticism of Haley for wasteful spending.

The Times later modified their headline to "State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy" and added a lengthy editor's note at the top of the article stating the following:

An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question. While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador's residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials. The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.

Similarly, the magazine Vogue updated their own post on the Times story with an editor's note of their own and amended a headline that originally called Haley "the latest White House Big Spender." The headline now reads: "The State Department Spent $52,701 on the Curtains In UN Ambassador Nikki Haley's Penthouse."

CNN host Jake Tapper corroborated the Times' reporting on Twitter, quoting what he described as a source at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. "Bottom line, per source: 'Amb. Haley had no choice in the location of the residence or what curtains were picked out that summer,'" Tapper wrote:


Harris, Gardiner.   "State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy."     The New York Times.   13 September 2018.

Wemple, Erik.   "New York Times Wrongs Nikki Haley with Curtain Headline."     The Washington Post.   14 September 2018.

Read, Bridget.   "The State Department Spent $52,701 on the Curtains In UN Ambassador Nikki Haley's Penthouse."     Vogue.   14 September 2018.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.