The New York Times reporters who've written a new book about the Kavanaugh confirmation have been making the media rounds -- a prestigious press tour that was largely and conspicuously denied to the conservative co-authors of a bestselling, news-packed book on the same subject -- and some of their answers have caught a lot of people's attention. Over the last 24 hours, these journalists have (a) blamed their editors for originally omitting a crucial fact (that the supposed female victim from the "new" accusation does not recall the alleged incident ever happening) from an opinion story based on their work, (b) theorized that perhaps the woman couldn't recall the totally uncorroborated claimed occurrence because she was too drunk (pure speculation), and (c) praised Kavanaugh's post-college life and career to the hilt:
"In the 36 years since [alleged collegiate and high school malfeasance], Brett Kavanaugh has been a better man. Whether he realized the error of his ways, whether he consciously reformed himself, or he grew up and simply matured -- he has been an exemplary judge. Everyone we talked to couldn't speak more highly of him, on both sides of the aisle. And he actually has a much more nuance view, kind of position on the Court. He's not a right-wind ideologue either. He's actually an establishment conservative who has promoted women on the Court. So that's something else we wanted to get across here: Which is, you know, everyone can kind of demonize him, and everyone can kind of demonize these victims, and the reality is somewhere in between. And considerably more complicated, considerably more nuanced, and that's what we're trying to portray in this book."
This is quite an extraordinary answer, given that it attempts to be fairly charitable to Kavanaugh, citing the universal admiration he's earned as an adult, both in his personal and professional life. But it assumes that Kavanaugh has been 'rehabilitated' from crimes and wrongdoing that he has adamantly and consistently denied -- and for which there is no evidence. Go back and read this. Calling Ford and Ramirez "victims" presumes they are telling the truth, with the implication being that Kavanaugh is guilty. Ford's uncorroborated story is not believed by her own father, or by the very close female friend Ford cited as a key witness (who has emphasized that she's a liberal Democrat). And Ramirez's story is doubted by...Ramirez. These reporters are treating corroboration and evidence as if they're secondary or even tertiary concerns. And by the way, if Kavanaugh is aggressively lying about these accusations, then that undermines the whole 'better man' story they're trying to tell, as a means of balancing the Narrative.
Permit me to also point out that the Times' news division passed on this latest story, as did the Washington Post, and the opposition party. How weak must a claim have been for even the shameless preeners on the Senate Judiciary Committee to have waved it off? This weak, as it turns out. I'll leave you with two additional points. First, on the subject of corroboration, read this takedown of yet another piece of terribly irresponsible media framing:
Second, despite all the sound and fury, it doesn't sound like Democratic leadership is on board the impeachment bus:
Senior Democrats are moving quickly to snuff out calls to impeach Brett Kavanaugh, arguing those tactics are unrealistic and politically harmful. Democrats are already wrestling with whether to try to oust President Donald Trump, and leadership sees little room for the party to take on a second divisive impeachment saga barely a year before the presidential election. So the demands by 2020 presidential contenders to remove the Supreme Court justice, on the heels of new reporting about allegations of sexual misconduct, are getting panned...“Get real,” as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) put it Monday afternoon.
One wonders if leading Democrats would change their tune if the party seizes control of the Senate and White House after 2020.