The Washington Free Beacon published a damaging scoop about the end of Warren’s early 1970s tenure as a grade-school teacher in Riverdale, N.J., and the mainstream media circled their wagons. On the campaign trail and social media, Warren has claimed that her employment in Riverdale was effectively ended by her pregnancy, using the anecdote as a way of connecting with female voters.
The Free Beacon went back and found the minutes of the Riverdale Board of Education’s 1971 meetings, which make clear that in April of that year, the board unanimously offered her a second-year contract, and that in June, her resignation was “accepted with regret.” When Beacon reporter Collin Anderson reached out to the Warren campaign for a response, it didn’t offer one. Instead, it talked to CBS News, which published a piece the next day with the headline, “Elizabeth Warren stands by account of being pushed out of her first teaching job because of pregnancy.”
The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan called it a “narrowly factual” “unfair” “smear.” Eric Lach of The New Yorker sniffed that “the Free Beacon didn’t have a scoop; it had an innuendo.” Vogue declared, “If you think Elizabeth Warren is lying, you’ve never been a woman in the workplace.” PolitiFact just couldn’t come up with any conclusion, other than “At the time, it was common for women to be forced out of teaching jobs after they became pregnant.”