2018 came to a close at CNN with host Brian Stelter reminiscing about the horrific Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process, where the highly-qualified judge nearly had his life ruined by three women who presented baseless, evidence-free allegations of sexual assault from over three decades ago.
In Sunday’s edition of “Reliable Sources,” Stelter hosted a roundtable discussion with several prominent journalists who broke big #MeToo stories, including Ronan Farrow, about how the recently appointed SCOTUS Justice had “very credible” accusations brought against him.
According to Ronan Farrow, Kavanaugh’s two main accusers, Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, had the most compelling stories that were drowned out by America’s partisan divide. Transcript provided by MRC TV:
BRIAN STELTER: It’s also notable the way that these issues have permeated the culture beyond reporting about CBS or any other company. When you think back a few months to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and how so much of what we’re talking about was on the table during those confirmation hearings. You, of course, were doing reporting about this as well. Are there lessons to be learned from the Kavanaugh experience?
RONAN FARROW: Well, I would say that was a case where there were a number of women with very credible allegations and then there was a separate circus playing out in the media where there was an immense amount of partisan sniping happening. And all of this went into a cauldron of mistrust and entrenched enmities on the Hill and in the American public. And to me as a reporter who has a track record if you look at tough stories about Democrats and Republicans, that was immensely frustrating. Because the fact patterns themselves were compelling and were important and deserved to be heard.
And you know, obviously, there were the two on-the-record stories that we broke the first details of Christine Blasey Ford and then Deborah Ramirez. Both of whom I think were very credible. But then there were other leads out there that were foreclosed because of that partisan race to confirm and because of the incredible rancor around it.
It r at a college party in The New Yorker without providing a single eye-witness to verify her account. Like Christine Blasey Ford, “witnesses” that could corroborate her story refuted her account.
Farrow went on to say that other possible leads on Brett Kavanaugh were “foreclosed” upon due to the partisan atmosphere:should be noted that Ronan Farrow published the Deborah Ramirez allegation that Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to he
STELTER: So you’re saying there are women who had allegations against Kavanaugh who never came forward?
FARROW: I’m not going to talk in specific terms except to say that beyond what we reported more opportunities for reporting were foreclosed by the fact that there was this incredibly vicious partisan atmosphere around it. And that that is at odds with anyone seeking the facts.
CNN contributor Irin Carmon went on to paint Christine Blasey Ford as a victim, not Brett Kavanaugh.
IRIN CARMON: I think any reporter who’s talking to a potential source who wants to talk about serious harm has to be honest about the fact that they can experience some version of what Christine Blasey Ford experienced. I mean, it was reported that she has had to move several times, that she hasn’t been home. And so I think you know, the transparency and ethics as a — as a reporter involve acknowledging the fact that there are real risks to speaking up. Yes, you are going to contribute to the truth but it is possible that your life will never be the same again and I think we should be honest about that.