The Independent was forced to delete an article Friday that falsely claimed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) met with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas the day before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“A series of emails show Mr Thomas’s assistant corresponding with Diane Moulton on Mr DeSantis’s staff about setting up a lunch with Mr Thomas and four of his clerks,” the report said. “Ultimately, they decided to dine at the Supreme Court in the the Natalie Rehnquist Dining Room. On 24 June, the day after the luncheon, the court handed down its decision for Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 1973 decision which enshrined the right to seek an abortion.”
However, left-wing reporter Eric Garcia did not check the dates on the emails, which showed the back-and-forth exchanges occurred last year, not this year.
DeSantis Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern called Garcia out on social media, writing: “Hey @EricMGarcia from the @Independent, Is June 23th, 2021 a day before June 24th, 2022?”
Is June 23th, 2021 a day before June 24th, 2022? pic.twitter.com/VuvwsljSSD
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) October 28, 2022
“I am legitimately so sorry. I was not trying to mislead. I am legitimately embarrassed and humiliated,” Garcia responded. “I never wanted to do anything malicious. I am so apologetic. I should have double-checked the dates.”
“We are taking the article down. I cannot apologize enough. I should have double-checked triple-checked dates,” he continued. “I am mortified and legitimately embarrassed. I want to thank @JeremyRedfernFL for flagging. And apologize to Governor DeSantis and Justice Thomas. This is a horrible error on my part.”
“The story is in the process of being retracted. I am just embarrassed as hell,” he concluded. “Words cannot describe how mortified I am. I try to be honest in my work. I don’t try to do gotcha journalism. I always hated that. I can never apologize enough.”
DeSantis campaign Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw responded to Garcia’s report by writing: “And the implication is that Governor DeSantis, of all people, would try to pressure Clarence Thomas to change the outcome of a SCOTUS decision.”
“Which is patently absurd to anyone who has followed Governor DeSantis or Clarence Thomas for any amount of time,” she added.