The New York Times on Friday corrected a story that it said created an “unfair impression” that Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spent more than $50,000 on posh new curtains at her official New York City residence.
The original story said the State Department paid for “customized and mechanized curtains for the picture windows in Nikki R. Haley’s official residence” to the tune of $52,701.
The problem, though, was that the story noted several paragraphs later the lavish expense was commissioned before Haley was appointed in early 2017.
“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,” the Times noted in its story.
In a rare editors note added to top of the story, the paper wrote: “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 editor’s note continued: “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.”
Soon after publishing late Thursday, the story and its initial headline — “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701” — was widely circulated.
Many on the left viewed it as another example of lavish spending of taxpayer dollars by another Trump administration official.
This is not okay. As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I call on @HouseForeign Chairman @RepEdRoyce to hold an oversight hearing on @StateDept spending on @nikkihaley and her deputy. https://t.co/c2ipX1s79d
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 14, 2018
More @GOP corruption and waste: The State Department spent $52,701 buying curtains for @NikkiHaley's official residence as U.N. ambassador, just as the department was undergoing budget cuts and had frozen hiring. https://t.co/7jrhKhNmEh
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) September 14, 2018
Others noted the story’s misleading headline.
Misleading headline. Few are reading past the first couple grafs. And now most of Twitter thinks @nikkihaley is like Pruitt or Price when she’s 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
Six graphs in before they tell you Obama's Administration ordered the damn curtains. A better headline would be, "Haley Fails To Cancel Obama Era Curtain Order."https://t.co/OFj49FfmdA
— Did you… read the article? (@bungarsargon) September 14, 2018
This is terribly misleading. The curtains were ordered during the Obama administration. https://t.co/R11bTA38q4
— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) September 14, 2018