Jamaal Bowman Apologizes for Statement the NY Times Never Told Readers He Made

AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey

Rep. Jamaal "Fire Alarm" Bowman apologized this week for comments he made last year downplaying rape connected to Hamas' 10/7 attack on Israel. I wrote about those comments here when they were first reported by Politico back in March. Politico had uncovered a video recording of an appearance Bowman made last November in which he suggested the rape claims were "propaganda."


It was a long time coming but Monday Bowman finally apologized for those comments during a radio interview.

Brian Lehrer: Last listener question on this, then we'll turn the page and do domestic issues for the rest of the segment. Listener writes, "I have heard Representative Bowman deny the October 7th sexual violence in speeches. Why?" Asks the listener.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman: Immediately when the UN provided additional evidence, I voted to condemn the sexual violence. I apologize for my comments. Now, we are continuing to do the work to fight sexual violence and domestic violence in all its forms. We've been doing that since we've gotten into Congress with local organizations here in the district. As soon as I got the additional information from the UN, we condemned the sexual violence, we voted to condemn it, and we're continuing to do the work.

You may notice that he didn't answer the question at all. He was asked why he denied sexual violence by Hamas and he skipped right over that and moved to how he changed his tune later on. But lots of other people didn't need to change their tune because they hadn't denied this in the first place. Why did Bowman feel the need to defend the honor of Hamas a month after the attack? That's the question and Bowman can't or won't answer it.


Lucky for him, readers of his hometown paper many never hear about his comments or his apology. Yesterday former NY Times opinion editor Adam Rubenstein pointed out that the Times somehow failed to mention the entire story.

Contrast the non-coverage of Bowman's remarks with the paper's full court press on comments made by Republican Todd Akin.

It's almost as if there are two different standards in play.

Rubenstein's point is even more striking when you look over the recent coverage of Bowman where the Times could have easily inserted some mention of those comments. For instance, this story published last week titled "Progressive Democrats Scramble to Save One of Their Stars From Defeat." The subhead on the story reads, "Representative Jamaal Bowman’s views on Israel made him a top target. But his primary has become a flashpoint in a broader fight within the Democratic Party."


What views on Israel, in particular, have made him a top target? This seems like an ideal place to report on what is probably the single most controversial thing he has said about Israel since 10/7. Instead, the author carefully tap dances around it.

Mr. Bowman appeared to be cruising toward a third term last fall, relying on a record of fighting evictions and gun violence. He condemned Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack forcefully, but emerged afterward as one of the leading champions of the Palestinian cause in Congress...

...even some of Mr. Bowman’s allies, including Democratic House leaders who prioritize protecting incumbents, say his electoral woes are at least partially of his own making.

Where other Democrats with large Jewish constituencies or prospective primaries have shied away from inflaming tensions, Mr. Bowman has doubled down on his pro-Palestinian views. He was among the first House Democrats to call for a cease-fire and to accuse Israel of genocide.

He has also endured a string of embarrassing episodes, including the recent resurfacing of old poems and essays dabbling in conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the middle of it all, Mr. Bowman pulled a House fire alarm that he said he believed would open a locked door, leading to his censure and guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge.

It's impossible to believe this was an oversight. The author went out of his way to avoid mentioning Bowman's comments on rape, which again are on video and are not in dispute. This is media malpractice.


We expect Bowman's friends and allies to overlook his comments but the NY Times is supposed to give readers the facts, not shield their eyes from things that might hurt Bowman's reelection changes.

Update: I'm going to post this in the headlines, but Bowman has another problem in the news today. Luke Rosiak and Christopher Rufo have a story up at the Daily Wire accusing him of plagiarizing parts of his dissertation.

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