On June 10, The New York Times inadvertently briefly posted an article on the lives of the women involved in Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal. The article, written by reporter Michael Barbaro, was titled “For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers.” It was quickly deleted before being replaced with a production note:
“An article was posted on this page inadvertently, before it was ready for publication,” read the note left on the story page.
“The story was posted inadvertently before it was ready,” New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha told BuzzFeed. “We do not discuss stories in advance of publication.”
But while the story was deleted from the Times website, large portions of it remained cached by Google. By looking at search result listings in a series of more than 100 searches in Google News, it was possible to reconstruct what appears to be the bulk of the article: 1,342 words.
The article that emerges is a sympathetic look at several of the women whose names were made public after Weiner accidentally tweeted a lewd picture to a college student. The women, many of whom went public in exchange for cash, and one of whom is a porn star who held a press conference to draw attention to herself, are portrayed as victims of a harsh media environment who have banded together in a shared struggle to reclaim their lives:
This is the life of a Weiner Woman: infused with indignity, two years later. Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor of New York is a carefully calibrated wager that voters have made peace with his lewd online behavior, a seemingly victimless cybercrime for which his wife and family have forgiven him. But for the women who were on the other end of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit conversations, the scandal remains an open sore that has cut short careers, disrupted educations and shattered reputations. In ways big and small, they say, the experience has defined them: once-private details of their lives, as well as their exchanges with Mr. Weiner, are now immortalized on the Internet for all to see and judge.
“I cannot tell you the devastation,” Lisa Weiss, a blackjack dealer who leaked her emails with Weiner to RadarOnline, is quoted as saying, calling herself “a little piece of collateral damage from the Weiner situation.”
“Fans of Mr. Weiner from the start, their feelings about him now are complex and unsettled: Some, like Ms. Weiss, are heartened by his campaign for mayor and rooting for him to win, despite their travails,” the story says.
The porn star Ginger Lee, who capitalized on the situation by staging a press conference with the lawyer Gloria Allred, “called on [Weiner] to stay out of the race to spare women like her further anguish,” the spiked Times story said. “Every new headline and news story about him reminds reporters and bloggers that we exist, and the cycle starts all over,” she said through her lawyer. “There will be a new flare-up of jokes, inaccurate statements, and hurtful remarks.”
Weiss and Traci Nobles, a Georgia fitness instructor, both say in the story that they support his mayoral campaign.
“I think third time is going to be the charm,” Nobles told the Times. “A perfect comeback story, ya know?”
Asked about the fallout, Mr. Weiner said in a statement to the Times: “I am deeply sorry that my behavior caused so much upheaval in the lives of those who were unwittingly involved.”
The portions that could be recreated were taken from the Google cache below; BuzzFeed cannot guarantee the sentences appear in the exact order as The New York Times intended to them to be.
Update Several hours after this story was posted the New York Times republished their story. A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement: “Our editors decide when a story is ready for publication. Outside coverage does not play a role in that decision,” according to Dylan Byers of Politico.
Anthony Weiner responding to the New York Times in an interview with City and State said “I want to reiterate that sense of apology, and I’ve never talked about the private exchanges that we’ve had and I never will, because I think that they’ve already been put through enough.”
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