NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur was blasted on Twitter for having a lack of journalistic curiosity about Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and his church evicting tenants.
The story was highlighted by his challenger, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, Tuesday when he held a press conference outside the Columbia Towers apartment building in Atlanta, a building owned by the church led by Warnock. Wallker was flanked by Georgians who he said received eviction notices from the building while Warnock received a $7,417 monthly housing allowance from the church.
Although reports of Warnock’s building evicting disadvantaged tenants had been publicized for a week, Kapur appeared to put the onus of proof on Walker while repeating the Warnock campaign’s denial.
Kapur tweeted, “Herschel Walker holds a presser with Georgians who he says got eviction notices from Raphael Warnock’s church-owned building. He sidesteps questions about whether any of them were actually evicted. (Warnock says none were during that period of the pandemic.)”
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According to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, a dozen eviction lawsuits were filed against residents between February 2020 and September 2022. One report included an eviction notice for a resident owing as little as $25.88 in past-due rent.
Members of the Washington Free Beacon fired back against Kapur’s tweet.
Executive editor Brent Scher wrote, “Have you considered, just like, looking at the eviction notices? They are public documents!!! We published them!!!”
“My favorite part about this tweet is that this reporter isn’t even interested in debunking Walker’s claims (you can’t btw, they’re true: [link to story]). Just a ‘huh not sure that’s right. Anyway, November will be about turnout,’” Senior investigative reporter Joe Simonson tweeted.
Andrew Kerr, the reporter who originally broke the story, responded in a thread with the eviction notices in question, including some prior to and after the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m happy to walk you through how to pull these public court documents that prove Warnock is lying through his teeth if you need assistance. My DMs are open,” Kerr wrote.
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Other social media users attacked Kapur for a lack of curiosity into Warnock’s church issuing eviction notices.
“If only there were an industry of dedicated trained professionals whose job it was to confirm such details and ‘report’ back to the rest of us if it is true or not,” The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller joked.
Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum wrote, “So what did you find out when you checked who was right?”
National Review journalist Claude Thompson wrote, “I’m sure Sahil will follow up with a well-researched piece reviewing public documents.”
“Are you going to report the facts and the eviction notices that are very real or just what the candidate that you want to win is saying about them?” X Strategies senior digital strategist Greg Price asked.
“Sahil tweeted this as if Herschel is making this up. The eviction notices have been made public,” Immigration Reform investigative associate Jason Hopkins wrote.
“Your lack of curiosity beyond a press conference is rather telling. It is possible to obtain the actual eviction notices,” Townhall.com columnist Brad Slager tweeted.
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At the press conference, during which Walker was allegedly called a racial slur by a protester, the Republican candidate criticized reporters for showing no interest in the story regarding Warnock’s church evicting tenants. He has since repeatedly criticized Warnock for promoting his status as a pastor while his church tries to remove disadvantaged residents.
“Where in Matthew 25 does it say that you can evict people who are struggling?” Walker asked.