Hillary Clinton's team is not at all happy with a recent error-riddled New York Times report on the Democratic presidential candidate, and it let the newspaper know as much this week in a blistering, somewhat threatening letter.
"[W]e remain perplexed by the Times' slowness to acknowledge its errors after the fact, and some of the shaky justifications that Times' editors have made," Hillary for America communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote in a letter addressed to Executive Editor Dean Baquet.
"We feel it important to outline these concerns with you directly so that they may be properly addressed and so our campaign can continue to have a productive working relationship with the Times," she added in what appears to be a none-too-subtle threat to cut off the Times' access to the former secretary of state.
Palmieri's scathing letter, which was first obtained by CNN and then later made public by Clinton's campaign team, comes shortly after the Times falsely reported last week that two federal inspectors general had recommended that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into Clinton's use of a private, unauthorized email server when was secretary of state. The Times initially reported that the recommendation came about in response to news that Clinton's private account had sent and received classified information.
As it turns out, the recommendation was not made on criminal grounds, so the Times was forced to update its story with two serious rewrites before admitting later that the entire report was "a mess."
"Just as disturbing as the errors themselves is the Times' apparent abandonment of standard journalistic practices in the course of its reporting on this story," Palmieri's letter reads.
"First, the seriousness of the allegations that the Times rushed to report last Thursday evening demanded far more care and due diligence than the Times exhibited prior to this article's publication," she added. "Second, in its rush to publish what it clearly viewed as a major scoop, the Times relied on questionable sourcing and went ahead without bothering to seek corroborating evidence that could have supported its allegation."
It's not just the errors that bother Team Clinton, she wrote. It's how the newspaper justified the mistakes after it became clear that the Times' reporters had made several mistakes.
"I wish to emphasize our genuine wish to have a constructive relationship with The New York Times. But we also are extremely troubled by the events that went into this erroneous report, and will be looking forward to discussing our concerns related to this incident so we can have confidence that it is not repeated in the future," she concluded, warning the newspaper to tread more carefully in the future.
You can see the full, 1,903-word letter here: