Dan Gainor: Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh reveal big problem in media
In a nation where every major issue ends up in the Supreme Court, it only makes sense a nomination to that court has turned into political combat. And the media love it.
Journalists have set aside their already pretend neutrality to openly support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. They have either skewered Kavanaugh or pushed to delay the hearings in a desperate hope that Democrats take the Senate and stop all future Trump nominees.
This is a national #MeToo moment. Ford has to be believed because, in the words of ABC Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, “For 250 years we have believed the he in these scenarios. Enough is enough.”
The battle spiraled out of control from there. “View” Co-host Joy Behar called Kavanaugh a “coward” and “probably guilty.” Smarmy New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called out the judge as “smarmy, smirking, entitled and mercenary.” The Times editorial board described the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh as “credible,” a common term journalists used to tip the scales of justice.
The Atlantic turned the whole history of American jurisprudence on its head and dumped responsibility on the accused. “Kavanaugh Bears the Burden of Proof,” though innocent until proven guilty is the American legal standard. ABC merely ignored the death threats Kavanaugh and his family have received
Then there’s Kavanaugh’s accuser Ford, who Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers lauded: “It takes guts to do something like this.” MSNBC Host Chris Hayes defended Ford and bizarrely compared holding early hearings to rape, asking if the GOP is going to “ignore her telling them to stop and just take what they think is rightfully theirs?”
The left can’t even be consistent about being opposed to sexual assault. CNN tried to downplay a self-confessed sexual assault by Democrat media darling Sen. Cory Booker as somehow “different” than allegations against Kavanaugh.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow had Hillary Clinton on her show and asked her about the case. Yet Maddow didn’t have the guts to ask Clinton about the rape allegations against her own husband. Clinton accuser Juanita Broaddrick complained on Twitter and called for an investigation into “My RAPE Allegations.”
When journalists aren’t trying to destroy Kavanaugh, they are trying to delay. Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus is a good liberal bellwether. She covered the nomination of Judge Robert Bork as a “journalist” and claims now “it was a fight worth waging with all necessary ferocity.” Nice and neutral.
Back in June she called for similar treatment of Kavanaugh, saying “This must be another Bork moment.” In a recent column, she argued, “The urgency is to investigate, not to rush to confirm a lifetime appointment.” That’s the liberal party line. Marcus liked it so much, she relied on the words of the late Democrat Sen. Robert C. Byrd when he rejected African-American nominee and now Justice Clarence Thomas. Of course, Byrd was also a former Klansman. (She didn’t mention that.)
If all else fails, the news media are already laying the groundwork for the next effort. The Times has already run an oped constructing, you guessed it, “The Case for Impeaching Kavanaugh.” Bloomberg Opinion Editor Francis Wilkinson was worse, sounding like a representative from a banana republic. He threatened that, after Trump is gone, “Kavanaugh’s case would be reopened and relitigated by a Democratic majority.”
2. Rosenstein Destroys the Narrative: The Times has built its reputation by setting the narrative for the left and the media. This week it certainly complicated things by proving the claims that forces within the deep state are working against Trump.
The paper took down media darling Rod Rosenstein on Friday with this headline: “Rod Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment.” That’s a huge reversal of about a year and a half of media coverage that dismissed the “Deep State” as the ravings of right-wing loons.
The Times itself used the term back in February, 2017, quoting radio icon Rush Limbaugh about “the shadows of the deep state.” The paper mocked it as an idea coming from radio hosts and “talk radio listeners.”
That’s been the media theme ever since. Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik mocked the idea back in February with talk of boogeymen. “Right-wing’s ‘deep state’ narrative sounding like 1950s McCarthy talk to me,” he wrote. NPR ran an oped in August saying the same thing. “Opinion: Why The Term ‘Deep State’ Speaks To Conspiracy Theorists,” it pretended.
The Times already gutted this idea with the infamous oped from within the Trump administration. But the Rosenstein reveal was not what the left or media wanted to hear. They either believe what they have told themselves like a mantra or they believe their favorite lefty newspaper.
Even CNN had to admit the story was a “bombshell.” The problem for them is that, so far, Rosenstein was the only one in the room when the bomb went off. Lefty Vox was quickly warning that Rosenstein might soon be fired. By Friday night, ABC News had confirmed The Times report of Rosenstein’s planned overthrow of the president.
Now, which outlets will admit Trump was right all along?
3. More NBC #MeToo Problems: NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack is caught up in an ever-evolving #MeToo scandal and the story keeps getting worse. It involves porn and his time as chairman and CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment and lands under the headline: “Accused Sexual Harassers Thrived Under NBC News Chief Andy Lack.”
According to the Daily Beast, the company couldn’t get Lack to act even when it “discovered that a music executive named Charlie Walk had sent ‘sexual’ messages via company email to female employees, including ‘graphic’ pornography.”
Things reportedly got worse after that. “After Lack was confronted with evidence of Walk’s misconduct, Walk allegedly harassed several Sony female employees, which he categorically denies,” the report continued.
The story is incredible or incredibly depressing and just gets worse with one of the people reviewing the Ronan Farrow sex harassment investigation also alleged to be “an accused sexual harasser.”
4. The Times’ Self Own about Disinformation Tips: Every news outlet wants story tips, but how you go about it matters. The Times, in classic holier-than-thou fashion, declared: “If You See Disinformation Ahead of the Midterms, We Want to Hear From You.”
Only that request landed just days after the paper’s State Department Correspondent Gardiner Harris smeared UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and falsely claimed she had spent $52,701 on curtains that had actually been ordered by Team Obama. The article even told readers that fact in paragraph six, beneath a headline, five paragraphs and a photo all blasting Haley. The Times followed with a lengthy editor’s note.
There was more. The Times was forced to run an embarrassing correction admitting it had confused Hollywood star Angela Bassett for former Trump appointee Omarosa Manigault Newman. Bassett, who has nearly 100 acting credits including “Black Panther” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” handled it with class. The Times blamed a “photo wire service” while readers mocked the paper mercilessly.