On Tuesday, the New York Times broke news based on a document it obtained reporting that resources at the Department of Justice were being "[redirected]" to investigate and sue schools where affirmative action policies appear to be discriminatory.
"The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department's civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants," the story revealed.
But just three paragraphs later, the story also divulged there was no information suggesting who, in particular, the DOJ is concerned about discrimination against. "The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies," it conceded.
So why is the DOJ's alleged focus on "white applicants" presented as a matter of fact in the first paragraph of the story?
A DOJ source responded to that discrepancy in a comment to The Daily Caller on Wednesday, remarking, "The story appears to assume it deals with white students without evidence."
"This was a personnel posting; it does not reflect a new policy or program or any changes to longstanding DOJ policy. Whenever there's a credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, the department will look into it," the source continued.
And that's likely why the Times was unable to figure out "whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination." Opponents of affirmative action policies rightfully do not believe the color of a person's skin should impact their chances of being accepted to a particular college. It's as simple as that.
If the document the Times obtained doesn't single out any particular race, that's a good thing. Hopefully it signals the department is committed to correcting discrimination against students regardless of their race.
Why the Times decided to presume the DOJ was focused on white applicants, and then present that presumption to readers as fact, is another question entirely.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.