Kennedy's Ties to Men-Only Owl Club? Burk-Obsessed Times Doesn't Give a Hoot

January 19th, 2006 2:48 PM

In November 2002, The New York Times latched its iron journalistic jaws onto a story which it considered to be of extreme national import: feminist Martha Burk's crusade to blackmail Augusta National Golf Club, the host of the Masters Tournament, into ending its men-only membership policy by pressuring CBS to drop its coverage of the storied golf championship. Burk's crusade eventually failed, but only after an almost obsessive focus by the New York Times about the quixotic mission.

Fast forward to January 2006 and the Alito hearings, and the revelation that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) once belonged to, and as recently as October donated $100 to, the Owl Club, a male-only social organization which was booted from Harvard for refusing to admit women as members.

Five days after the Washington Times broke the story on Jan. 12, Kennedy's office announced the senior senator from the Bay State was severing ties to the organization.

Coverage by the New York Times: zero articles on the original scoop by the Washington Times and an AP brief ran on page A14 of the Jan. 18 print edition.