“Any reporter who was able to verify the claims against Kavanaugh would be an instant hero and awarded all the journalism prizes. Is anyone even attempting to do so? Democrats took the claims so seriously that they charged Kavanaugh with the crimes in Senate hearings. Did they mean what they said? If they’re telling the truth, he should be impeached and imprisoned.”
(Mollie Hemingway – The Federalist) What happened to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation battle? The claims ranged from Christine Blasey Ford’s remotely plausible if unsubstantiated allegation of a violent attempted rape to Michael Avenatti’s completely outlandish and also unsubstantiated allegation of hosting serial gang rape parties.
From September 12 to October 6, the claims absolutely dominated all major media. They ran on the front pages of all major newspapers and filled the hours on cable and network news. Magazine journalists at The New Yorker ran with the claims, despite massive corroboration problems.
The claims were taken so seriously by the media and some U.S. senators it led to serious delays of the confirmation voting process. A hearing was held during and after which all the talking heads on cable asserted Blasey Ford was completely “credible.” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, even maneuvered to reopen an FBI investigation to dig into the claims. Then they disappeared. Overnight.
The argument for delaying the confirmation process indefinitely was that everyone needed time to investigate the allegations. The argument underlying the media coverage was that these allegations were “credible” and needed to be investigated and reported on given the importance of the lifetime position for which Kavanaugh was nominated. The allegations were hitting in the midst of the Me Too movement, which claims to address sexual assault by powerful men. It should be noted that for a claim to be declared “credible,” it doesn’t need to be verified or have any substantiating evidence but merely that journalists and pundits “believe” it or find it possible.