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Kurtz: Why the Twitterverse’t wait for the evidence
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz weighs in on the news-media fallout over the judge Kavanaugh’s accusations, and why people are quick to assumptions without any evidence.
One of the depressing aspects of the cultural debate, triggered by the charges against Brett Kavanaugh is that so many politicians, experts and ordinary people already have their minds based on very limited information.
I suppose it was too much to ask that people actually wait until the Supreme Court candidate, and Christine Blasey, Ford, give testimony to and see what additional information emerges. This is not the way our hyperpolarized society works.
Nevertheless, it is amazing, the absolute security, with the people on the public stage, and a lot of people on Twitter, which declares that either he or you is lying.
It is hardly a coincidence that these conclusions are largely driven by ideology. Democratic pols and liberal commentators, to keep the love of Kavanaugh from the high court, are fast out of the gate and say that you believe that Ford, or at least that they are credible enough to potentially sink the nomination. Republican pols and conservative commentators who would love to see, the judge raised, secure it, and to doubts on Ford (and, in fairness, the eleventh-hour nature of the allegations).
Most people would immediately switch sides, if a Democrat was in the face of such allegations. See Clinton, Bill.
The vagueness of Ford’s account is only the debate intensify. Ford says she can’t remember in what year the alleged sexual assaults took place, she thinks, perhaps, of 1982, or whose house it was. This makes it very difficultly to prove, or disprove, and leaves open the possibility of he said/she said, that can not be solved.
The political maneuver is in progress. Chuck Schumer demanded that more witnesses be called, as Kavanaugh’s friend Mark judge, the accused in the attack. Lindsey Graham is the question of who pays for Ford’s lawyer and your polygraph examination. Republican senators also nagging are that Ford has not yet accepted the invitation, witnesses on Monday in the trial, Mitch McConnell, yesterday, offered her the possibility of a closed trial.
President Trump, for his part, ripped the Democrats for “obstruction” and “resistance” , he feels “terrible” for Mr Kavanagh, and that the FBI is going to investigate. But he was not to criticize gently yesterday Ford. “We want to give to tell everyone a chance, what you want to say,” the President told reporters.
There are already about a million times more interest in the Kavanaugh nomination. In front of the Ford after the front came, there was an intense debate about the degree to which he will move the court to the right, and in particular on the issues of abortion and presidential power.
But I think that much of the public does not really, in part because his confirmation seemed a foregone conclusion.
Now it is the subject of hot arguments not only on Twitter, but in cubicles and kitchen tables. It is reminiscent of the outrage over Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, but reminds me of other national melodramas, such as the O. J. trial, where everyone had an opinion, even on the minor characters.
I asked the question yesterday about how the balance of the damage that Ford’s life, if your story is true, with the fact that this alleged attack took place, as Kavanaugh was at Georgetown Prep. And on MSNBC yesterday, the New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss:
“Let’s say he did this exactly as you said. The fact that a 17-year-old, probably very drunk, a child, has done this, should the disqualifications should end? That is not the question at the end of the day, is it?”
A different, and very moving, Caitlin Flanagan, who describes a sexual assault comes from the Atlantic, when she was 15, the impact on their lives and how they finally came to a place of forgiveness.
Without giving away too much, Flanagan says, they would long ago accusation otherwise, if Kavanaugh had to have some attempt at an apology, like other men, with #MeToo allegations. But of course, this is not a case of a date gone bad.
Kavanaugh flatly denies that such a thing ever happened. So, Republican senators would be convinced that he’s lying against him.
This is a question for the messy legislative process. The court of public opinion waits for the evidence.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of “media madness: Donald Trump, the press, and The war for the truth.” You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.