Hey sports fans, no doubt you’re ignoring the playoffs to continue to tweet about the Kavanaugh nomination. Ignoring for the moment he’s already behind his new desk and set up his voice mail greeting as Justice Thomas tells him where the best lunch places are around the court building. He’s already in. In fact, he’s already calculating how soon he earns a vacation day and using the office photo copier for his daughters’ school projects. That’s how employed he is.
So there’s not too much more to be said there.
Although, there is one thing that’s still bugging the Czar.
Where were our media during this fiasco?
That’s right, they were crawling all over Brett Kavanaugh, talking to his high school buddies, his college roommates, his old girl friends, looking for any hint of beer, date-rape drugs, fruit punch, thrown ice, or harsh words. Every time he bought a baseball ticket, paid his credit card bill, or went to the beach, the media knew. They were on top of this: possibly, no human in history has ever been so thoroughly investigated in such a short time. Someone in the media, for sure, could tell you when the last time he did his laundry or how much he paid for his haircut. We probably learned more about Brett Kavanaugh than we know about our neighbors.
And what did they learn about his accusers, from the fascinating Dr. Ford to the woman who said she attended multiple date-rape parties and drank the mystery punch at each one?
Dr. Ford said she was afraid of flying. Or did she? We don’t actually know whether she said that or her attorneys did, because when questioned, she openly stated she flew frequently. And what did she know about Senator Grassley offering to interview her at her own home or workplace at her convenience? She said she never heard about it. Why not? Well, we don’t know that, either.
Of course, we do know quite a lot about the accusers. We know Dr. Ford can’t recall how she got to the party in question or how she got home. We know the people named in her account clearly stipulated no such event seems to have happened. We know that one accuser says Kavanaugh’s fraternity hosted an obscene party a year after Kavanaugh graduated. We know another accuser unsuccessfully charged claims of sexual harassment against a former employer. We know none of them filed police reports at any time, and that no charges are forthcoming.
How do we know all of this? We learned all of it—all of it—from the Senate confirmation hearings. In fact, a whole lot more was learned about each of the accusers, as well as a lot of exculpatory information about then-Judge Kavanaugh from questions asked by the Senators.
So we learned almost nothing about the accusers from our media, but learned enough information effectively to exonerate Kavanaugh from questions asked by the Committee…who relied on nothing but transcripts of interviews.
Think about that for a second. Not a single US Senator did any independent investigation or research or probing or poking around. Instead, they relied on statements uttered in pre-hearing interviews, testimonies, and on answers during the sideshow. And just on that information alone, our Senators were able to get good answers.
The Czar is curious about that. If the Senators and staff were able to gather all this information limited only to some printed transcripts, what could the media have learned about the accusers if they spoke to friends and families of the accusers? Or went to the schools and neighborhoods where these events took place? Or checked to see if these facts added up in any way?
No, sadly, it appears the media only elected to find information that could destroy Brett Kavanaugh or prove the accusers correct. The American public only heared the other side of the story from a handful of Senators asking questions based on previously admitted testimony.
The cynical among you can admonish the Czar and point out that they were working hand-in-hand with Senators Feinstein, Harris, Booker, and Durbin all along. And of course they were. Everyone knows this. That’s not the question.
The question is whence their lack of curiosity originates. Not a single reporter at a local paper, national empire, or cable channel sat up and said, “Wow, if I check into this, I could blow this story wide open.” Yep, there would be serious consequences and possibly that journalist would face the wrath of colleagues and soon-to-be-former colleagues. But there was a time, not very long ago, that most journalists would have thought it worth the fallout. Old-school journalists would have relished the idea of having an exclusive.
Most journalists, you see, are attention whores. The sooner they can make a story about themselves, the better. So yes, it would have taken any decently schooled journalist a matter of hours to destroy the accusers’ stories about Brett Kavanaugh, and then about three days to deal with the revelation and effects of the discoveries. Then, for three weeks, the news would focus on the awful, terrible journalist who ruined the lives of these women. Has journalism gone too far? Where does a reporter’s responsibility end when dealing the victims? Who is this journalist anyway? And that’s the allure: get them all talking about you.
Weirdly, this didn’t happen this time. No one seemed interested in stealing the limelight. Maybe journalists are getting tired of the noise and are just going through the motions to get it over with. Maybe: but the Czar could still see the gleam of excitement whenever another accuser stepped forward.
Or maybe it’s because they really thought this one was in the bag: that Kavanaugh was totally guilty because he had to be: he was an upper-middle-class white guy in his 50s, who went to a prep school, was in a fraternity, and attended a fancy law school. If there’s anyone more guilty than that, the media would like to know it. Boy, would they.
Sadly, the Czar concludes that the media didn’t do basic journalism—more specifically, they didn’t do their job at all—because there was no possible way Kavanaugh could be innocent. He was the embodiment of confirmation bias.
And while we’re all still upset over how the Senate Democrats acted in public, and how badly feminists and celebrities behaved during the process, let’s spend a few moments and realized the media got caught phoning it in. They didn’t even get out of bed on this one.