update desk

Mother Jones, NBC News face backlash over articles about NSC official, AIPAC donations

A controversial story was moved to the archives on NBC, as per an editor’s note.

Anne Neuberger. Credit: National Security Agency.
Anne Neuberger. Credit: National Security Agency.

Mother Jones and NBC News have faced backlash over publishing articles on Wednesday about a top National Security Council official and her family foundation donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

The stories about Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, were first written by David Corn of Mother Jones, and subsequently, by Ken Dilanian of NBC News.

In a tweet on Wednesday, AIPAC posted, “@NBCNews must retract this offensive story. Charges of dual loyalty are anti-Semitic and insult millions of Americans—Jewish & non-Jewish—who stand by our ally Israel. We will not be deterred from exercising our rights as citizens to advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”

AIPAC did not call out Mother Jones.

“@AIPAC is an American organization that supports an alliance critical to American nat. security—as do a majority of Americans. Questioning the loyalty of a public servant for supporting it is not just offensive, it reeks of bigotry. @MotherJones owes Anne Neuberger an apology,” tweeted the American Jewish Committee.

In an editor’s note on Wednesday night, NBC News wrote, “Earlier today, NBC News published an article reporting that a family foundation linked to President Joe Biden’s senior director for cyber policy on the White House National Security Council donated more than $500,000 in recent years to AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington.

“After a number of readers raised issues with this article, NBC News conducted a review and has determined that it fell short of our reporting standards. In order to warrant publication, it needed on-the-record quotes from critics, rather than anonymous ones. The article should have also included more views from those who believe that donations to AIPAC do not represent a conflict. And it did not give Neuberger adequate time to respond to our reporting.”

In response to the editor’s note, AJC tweeted, “@NBCNews has now taken down this repugnant smear piece and acknowledged that it failed to meet its journalistic standards. Your move, @DavidCornDC.”

However, the story was not deleted. Rather, stated the editor’s note, “in the interest of transparency with our readers, NBC News has moved the original article to our archives,” adding a hyperlink to the story.

AIPAC declined further comment. NBC News, Dilanian, Corn and Mother Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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