In case you missed it, late last week, the New York Times covered the shocking story of a black girl who said that three white boys at her private Christian school held her down and cut her dreadlocks:

Sounds awful.

The New York Times piece — along with other media outlets — also noted that Karen Pence teaches at this school.

Obviously this is proof that the Pences are every bit the hateful bigots we’ve been told they are.

Or maybe it’s just proof that our Guardians of Truth wouldn’t know truth if it stabbed them in the face:

More from WaPo’s Joe Heim:

The grandparents of the girl, who are her legal guardians, released an apology Monday.

“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” the grandparents wrote in a statement. “To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school. To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.”

“We understand there will be consequences and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them,” the statement continued. “We know that it will take time to heal, and we hope and pray that the boys, their families, the school and the broader community will be able to forgive us in time.”

The school’s principal, Stephen Danish, also issued a statement, and sent an email to parents and community members.

“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false. We’re grateful to the Fairfax County Police Department for their diligent work to investigate these allegations,” Danish wrote. “While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict. We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing.”

Oh, well. No harm done, right? We’ve just got to heal.

Because anything that makes the Pences and Christians look bad is fit to print, according to the New York Times and their ilk. Who cares if it’s fake? Anything that perpetuates the necessary narrative is worth the risk to their reputations.

Works every time it’s tried.

Don’t hold your breath.

The girl is young, and this shouldn’t be held against her for the rest of her life. Her family’s apology seems sincere. But media who seized on this story should not be forgiven for their transgression, because it’s only the latest in a long series of incidents of gross media malpractice. The media are repeat offenders and deserve to be held to account.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional text and tweets.