There has been criticism over the judge appearing on Fox — curiously no such condemnation is directed at Congress.
After weeks now of absorbing accusations and charges of sexual malfeasance as a high schooler Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his bride sat in for an interview with Fox News. In speaking with Martha MacCallum he addressed a number of charges and spoke in roundabout fashion about losing his virginity. This is where we have descended politically as a nation.
And of course the members of the media — who absolutely love pontificating on this story — had to rise up and demean Kavanaugh for daring to take to the airwaves and get his version broadcast. The one-sided impression of this was rather amusing in all examples.
First, according to the Washington Post (that would be the outlet Dr. Christine Ford reached out to, instead of the authorities), we have them weighing in on the appearance on Fox by Kavanaugh with, “It is unheard of for a Supreme Court nominee to give interviews during the confirmation process.” Probably. There are many things that have played out in this that could be labeled as “unheard of”, to be honest.
Brian Stelter, CNN’s media expert (ahem), does his usual tap dance around partisanship by not making comments himself but quoting others and declaring their take as newsworthy. (They say it, he remains objective!) For the post-interview commentary he had this quote from law professor Steve Vladeck:
The interview is a microcosm of everything that’s been wrong with this confirmation process. We shouldn’t prevent nominees from speaking publicly, but to do so under these circumstances, in that context, and in a manner calculated to exacerbate the partisan divide over the nomination, is not a good look for the Supreme Court in the long term, even if it helps the political calculus for the nominee in the short term. It reinforces the view that nothing in this process matters at all except getting 50 votes by any means necessary…”
Yes, there has been plenty that could be called “wrong”, professor. Those items probably could be said to have provoked the interview in fact. Though it is telling only Kavanaugh’s interview is cited in the wrongness.
CNN colleague Kaitlan Collins also took exception, noting Kavanaugh is willing to talk, while Dr. Ford has so far demurred.
Senate Republicans argued Kavanaugh shouldn’t testify first, that Ford should since she’s the one who made the allegation. Now Kavanaugh has the chance to tell his story twice — on Fox tonight and again under oath Thursday. Ford says she’s denied multiple interview requests.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 24, 2018
Ford has that luxury. There are plenty of political names willing to take up the cause for her.
Margaret Sullivan from the Washington Post was dismissive of the interview. I guess she takes exception when members of the conservative set find a favorable outlet, when that should only take place with Democrats and the press.
Female interviewer, check. Fox News, check. Bill Shine approved, check. When an "exclusive interview" promises to be a challenge-free infomercial. https://t.co/fFCtNgZplO
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) September 24, 2018
And joining in the dogpile was USA Today’s Windsor Mann, with this less-than-adroit interpretation of the interview.
Anyone who would campaign for the Supreme Court should not be on the Supreme Court. https://t.co/H1yZLGjKzQ
— Windsor Mann (@WindsorMann) September 24, 2018
There’s an original take; coming on TV to answer to charges of a dark crime is now considered a way for someone to “campaign” for the Supreme Court. That is a reality behind the Kavanaugh appearance the above journalists ignore — the answering of charges.
Curiously that concept that the Fox interview is considered a departure from confirmation decorum and is disrupting the political calculus was not also a consideration by these judicial geniuses during the previous week. If you are so concerned about the political divide then where was this concern while Senators were seeking out cameras in order to spread accusations freely about the nominee?
Christine Gillibrand has declared that Kavanaugh’s low key response thus far to the accusations is cause for her decision. “Is that the reaction of an innocent person? It is not.” She has definitively said she believes the word of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Mazie Hirono came out and essentially told all men in America to “shut up” and do the right thing regarding her assumptive guilt of Kavanaugh.
When Hirono sat in the CNN studio with Jake Tapper she was asked if Kavanaugh should be granted the standard practice of being presumed innocent before evidence is brought up. Amazingly her response was that no, he would not enjoy the legal basis because of his judicial history. “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.”
As warped as that logic is it was echoed by Dick Blumenthal, as he appeared on Morning Joe. The legal wizard Dick adopted the stance of Ford’s lawyer, that the accuser did not shoulder the burden of proof, and expanded upon that to a ridiculous conclusion. He has declared the burden is upon the White House to “disprove” the guilt. These are the vaunted minds that are directing the national narrative on this issue.
Additionally, they have all arrived at these decisions without having even having heard the testimony from Dr. Ford. The accusation has been enough for them. Even as they are clamoring for a new hearing and an investigation they have displayed this is not needed; their minds are already made up.
And they have been plastered all across our media landscape, lambasting Kavanaugh and proposing his guilt is firmly established. Curious there is no hand-wringing from the media thinkers about their corruption of the hearing process. But, in light of this media onslaught, Kavanaugh has had the temerity to come forward and defend himself. The implication from the press is that he should just pipe down and absorb all the charges flung at him. Instead he has actually been willing to stand up to the gamesmanship.
He has been accused in the media, so he has defended himself in the media.
Notice that only half of that equation is earning derision. Like our stunted senators, it appears many in the media have also made up their collective minds. Imagine what might occur should any evidence or testimony actually rear itself up.