No! Don’t hit ‘Publish’! Oh, oh, now what do we do?
Deseret News publishes column by the Utah Senator Orrin Hatch on his reaction to meeting with Merrick Garland, but before actual meeting occurs
The Deseret News featured a column Thursday by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch on his meeting with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, in which the Senator called Garland a “distinguished federal judge.”
“Our meeting, however, does not change my conviction that the Senate should consider a Supreme Court nominee after this presidential election cycle,” Sen. Hatch wrote.
One problem: the meeting hadn’t yet taken place.
Hatch wrote the column before the planned meeting as a way to explain why he would continue to oppose a hearing and vote on the nominee. The editors of the Salt Lake City newspaper then pressed the “Post” button prematurely.
The paper, embarrassed with their mistake, pulled the story, but later reposted it knowing that Google never forgets.
Hatch, for his part, at least doesn’t make up any details of the meeting that hadn’t taken place, instead concentrating on his arguments for why the Senate has the right to ignore President’s Obama’s pick for the court.
“I have taken this principled position in accordance with decades of established precedent and the guidance provided in the Constitution. The president has the power to nominate judges, but he cannot appoint them without the advice and consent of the Senate. These distinct roles are part of the checks and balances delineated in the Constitution, which allows the president and the Senate to determine for themselves how best to exercise their respective powers,” Hatch wrote.
“It’s all over the news,” one Deseret News reader wrote as a comment on the column. “Hatch hasn’t met with Garland yet. The rest of America knows how bogus this article is.”
“The Deseret News manages to look as bad as Hatch. Way to go!” wrote another.
Newspaper readers aren’t the only ones having fun with the column. Several media outlets are already jumping on the faux pas.
“Earlier this morning, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah) published a story that he apparently wrote in the future,” Stassa Edwards wrote for Jezebel.
The editor of the Deseret News was forced to apologize, saying that the “electronic publication of this version, awaiting edits from Senator Hatch following his meeting with Judge Merrick Garland, was inadvertent. We apologize to Senator Hatch and our readers for this unfortunate error.”