Media

NY Times’ Maureen Dowd says Biden campaign aide pressed her to scrub ‘goodest’ gaffe

New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd said a campaign aide working to help re-elect President Joe Biden asked her to scrub a verbal gaffe from one of his recent media appearances.

In her column in the op-ed section of Sunday’s Times, Dowd wrote that TJ Ducklo, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, emailed her after she published a commentary on Saturday that included reference to the word “goodest.”

Biden appeared to utter the non-word during his interview on Friday with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, but the network later revised the transcript to reflect that the president actually said “good as.”

New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd said a Biden campaign officials pressured her to alter the wording of a recent piece she wrote. AP
TJ Ducklo, a Biden campaign spokesperson, reportedly emailed Dowd on Saturday.

Disney-owned ABC News altered the initial transcript at the behest of the White House, according to The New York Times. The Gray Lady also revised the Biden quote “to conform with the updated ABC transcript.”

Dowd’s Saturday column was updated with an addendum that also reflected the change made by ABC News.

In her Sunday column, however, Dowd included the “goodest” quote which came in response to a question from Stephanopoulos about how Biden would feel if he stayed in the presidential race and ended up losing to former President Donald Trump.

“I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about,” Biden told Stephanopoulos, according to Dowd’s second column over the weekend.

In an interview last week with ABC News, President Biden appeared to utter the word “goodest” — though the White House disputes this. ABC

Dowd noted in her Sunday column that “‘goodest’ isn’t a word” and that she had her “ears up against the computer, 10 times, and that’s what it sounded like.”

“We also checked the ABC News transcript and that’s the word they used,” Dowd wrote.

Ducklo had emailed Dowd on Saturday to “flag” a revision that ABC made to its transcript, according to her column.

“I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the good as job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about,” Biden is quoted as saying in the revised ABC News transcript.

Ducklo is a former White House deputy press secretary who resigned in 2021.

According to Dowd, Ducklo asked her to “tweak” the column and “change the word ‘goodest’ to make my piece ‘consistent with the corrected transcript,’ even though the revised version was also gobbledygook.”

Dowd wrote that she responded to Ducklo by letting him know “we would tell our editor what he thought” — to which Ducklo is said to have replied: “Yeah again, it’s not what I think. It’s what ABC News, who conducted the interview, thinks.”

“I think it would be quite unusual if the Times asserted the president said something that the news organization who conducted the interview says he didn’t say…,” Ducklo is reported to have written to Dowd in the email exchange.

When Dowd inquired as to whether the Biden campaign pressured ABC News to change the transcript, Ducklo is said to have replied: “ABC News, like any news organization, makes their own independent editorial decisions. Surely you are not suggesting otherwise.”

He sent text messages threatening to “destroy” reporter Tara Palmeri. WireImage

According to Dowd, Ducklo sent a subsequent email which read: “Had another convo on this. ABC News received the tape and confirmed the error to us. Then made the correction.”

Despite the controversy over what the president said, Dowd was scathing, writing: “Whatever the president meant, his answer to that question went over like a lead balloon. No one cares if he feels good about himself in a losing cause.”

She added that “maybe the White House should think about closed captioning.”

The Post has sought comment from the Times, ABC News, Ducklo and the White House.

In February 2021, Ducklo made headlines after he resigned as White House deputy press secretary in the wake of threatening text messages he sent to a reporter who was working on a story about his relationship with another journalist.

Palmeri was working on a story about Ducklo’s relationship with Alexi McCammond.

Ducklo vowed to “destroy” the career of Tara Palmeri, a former New York Post journalist who was working at the time for Politico. He accused Palmeri of being jealous of his relationship with Alexi McCammond.

At the time, McCammond was a reporter for Axios who covered Biden’s presidential campaign. After news of the relationship surfaced in early 2021, McCammond was taken off the White House beat and reassigned to cover Congress.

McCammond is a former Axios reporter. She and Ducklo have since split up.

Later that year, she was hired to take over as editor-in-chief for Teen Vogue, but she ended up returning to Axios after staffers at the magazine protested decade-old tweets which were deemed by some to be racist.

McCammond and Ducklo split up, though it is unclear when the relationship ended. Last week, McCammond slammed her ex on TikTok, calling him “toxic.”

“Good morning!” McCammond, who currently works as an opinion editor for The Washington Post, wrote on TikTok on June 30.

“I’d just say ‘morning’ but [I’m] not my toxic ex who works for the Biden campaign and has to play cleanup after that disastrous debate,” she added in the post.

McCammond also included a caption describing Ducklo as “the smallest man alive,” referring to the Taylor Swift song.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news