Anatomy Of A Smear: Brett Kavanaugh And The New Journalism

It’s becoming easier and easier to believe that journalists at mainstream outlets have so long been favored — and, frankly, used by the very powerful as a highly-connected public relations pipeline (see Russian collusion) — they’ve forgotten how to actually report the news.


Take the last few days of coverage regarding SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused by someone who won’t come forward, won’t give an interview, and won’t go on record of possible sexual assault 35 years ago while he was in high school.

A serious charge always, but especially in today’s #MeToo environment. And boy how the press ran with it, even disturbingly suggesting that Kavanaugh’s later record of hiring women and being proud of coaching his daughter’s basketball team was somehow proof he had a guilty conscience for his past misdeeds.

However, as The Washington Examiner rightly notes, there are a number of credibility problems that come with anonymous allegations that his accusers apparently were aware of for months before announcing them as a way to imply there should be a delay on the vote to confirm him as the next Associate Justice to the Supreme Court (a confirmation that is all but guaranteed).

The accuser refused to speak to the press, the Senate, and the FBI. Both Kavanaugh and his male colleague in the room with him at the time categorically denied the assault. So we have two straightforward denials and one anonymous accuser refusing to let anybody independently vet her claims, let alone explain them.

While many survivors of sexual assault wish to remain anonymous to the general public, if the woman accusing Kavanaugh believes his crimes so serious as to disqualify him from the Supreme Court, she must at least speak to the press and the Senate. Even Farrow and Meyer themselves published two damning allegations anonymously against (now) former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, stipulating that they independently verified their allegations after the women agreed to be interviewed at length and offer corroborating evidence.

Between the evidence (nonexistent) and the timing, the letter screams partisan animus. At worst, the letter is a shameless smear against a man with an unimpeachable record, clearly timed as a Hail Mary attempt to keep a conservative stalwart from the Supreme Court. And with the woman unwilling to provide an iota of corroboration to her account, the worst-case scenario seems like the likeliest.


Notably, Kavanaugh, as a lawyer and judge, would know that a categorical denial of the allegations — which he has proffered — is a bad idea if one believes such a denial could ever be questioned. Which would indicate Kavanaugh is secure in his denial.

And then there was the letter sent from 60+ ladies who knew Kavanaugh during the time frame when the assault was alleged to have happened, summed up in the tweet of one of the letter’s signatories:

But the smear continued, with reporters on twitter suggesting there’s no way these ladies could have organically organized quickly enough to send the letter, implying that the effort was pre-planned because they knew the allegations existed and were primed to answer them.

Mrs. Hume herself dismantled that argument succinctly in an op-ed in The Weekly Standard.

The letter was conceived and drafted by friends of Brett’s, and it was drafted after allegations came out on Thursday. I learned about the letter from a friend and fellow signatory. Others learned about it the same way. Those surprised at the speed with which it came together should see it as yet another testament to Brett’s excellent reputation.


What all of this makes clear — along with another recent smear attempt against UN Ambassador Nikki Haley regarding some curtains she never purchased, a story ultimately retracted by The New York Times after Twitter did its thing — is that top reporters, working at top media outlets, have forgotten their mandates to remain objective and are behaving almost en masse as crisis communicators for progressives political objectives.

As reporting-without-confirmation continues, and continues to be exposed, the question of whether it’s happening is answered: it undeniably is. The question now becomes: are these top-flight reporters even aware they’re being used, or have they so long been in the partisan tank they no longer see the walls of their propaganda cage?


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