At first blush, the New York Times hit on Brett Kavanaugh seems rather senseless. It covers the same ground that was covered by an intensive FBI investigation during the course of the confirmation hearing and it doesn’t find anything new or interesting. The one new factoid the article claims to find,
“A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier notified senators and the F.B.I. but the F.B.I. did not investigate” https://t.co/0ZjuPwIMlO
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) September 15, 2019
resulted it a major correction to the story
The New York Times updates its report on a resurfaced sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to note the alleged victim doesn’t recall the so-called assault, and has refused to be interviewed about it. | @GriffJenkins pic.twitter.com/x954WhLnHw
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) September 16, 2019
My colleague, Bonchie, has all the details in Here’s Just How Much Of A Dumpster Fire That New Kavanaugh Hit Piece Is.
What is significant here is that the writers of the piece are also the authors of the book upon which the piece is based. One has to wonder how the key piece of information, about the the alleged victim in the story having no recollection of the even ever happening, was omitted if one excludes maliciousness as a reason. (I also have questions about how “friends” pushed Kavnaugh’s penis into someones hand because that is an impressive act of penis steering.) And the same can be said of the New York Times recycling the debunked allegation:
You know how NYT added editor’s note saying Brett Kavanaugh alleged victim is said not to recall new alleged incident from 35 years ago? Times again leaves that out of new piece, this one about Dem calls for impeachment. https://t.co/Oo7fFW1AsG pic.twitter.com/HOxSycIMsR
— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 16, 2019
And, even after the correction, the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne, admittedly not the sharpest knife in any drawer, was still pushing it:
The costs of this approach were underscored this weekend by a New York Times report that offers new corroboration for charges by Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when both were undergraduates at Yale. In denying the charge, Kavanaugh told the Senate that had it been true, the incident would have been “the talk of the campus.” Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly — drawing on their new book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” — write tellingly: “Our reporting suggests that it was.”
More than that, they report on an entirely separate incident involving Kavanaugh that Max Stier, a classmate of Ramirez’s, brought to the attention of the Senate and the FBI at the time of the hearings. It involved, they write, “a different drunken dorm party” where, according to the allegation, Kavanaugh had a different inappropriate encounter with a female student. Stier is president of the thoroughly bipartisan and widely respected Partnership for Public Service. From my experience, he is the last person who would want to get into the middle of an ideological fight — unless his conscience required him to.
Well, there you have it. Max Stier must be a partisan hack. https://t.co/NMvJFdPwXz
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 15, 2019
Is that the same Max Stier who was one of Clinton’s defense attorneys? Yes, yes it is. https://t.co/JAM4rdDViy
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 15, 2019
Being well aware of the aphorism about never attributing to malice what can be explained by stupidity, I think we are well beyond the realm of stupidity here and we should consider possible motives for the New York Times acting in this manner.
In my view, the New York Times has completed its travel from newspaper to an activist propaganda organ determined to set the narratives that will control US policy. Here is Andrew Sullivan discoursing on the infamous 1619 series relentlessly flogged by the New York Times. This is a series of essays, which will be coming to your kid’s classroom, which asserts against all evidence that the entire history of the United States is built upon slavery:
But the NYT chose a neo-Marxist rather than liberal path to make a very specific claim: that slavery is not one of many things that describe America’s founding and culture, it is the definitive one. Arguing that the “true founding” was the arrival of African slaves on the continent, period, is a bitter rebuke to the actual founders and Lincoln. America is not a messy, evolving, multicultural, religiously infused, Enlightenment-based, racist, liberating, wealth-generating kaleidoscope of a society. It’s white supremacy, which started in 1619, and that’s the key to understand all of it. America’s only virtue, in this telling, belongs to those who have attempted and still attempt to end this malign manifestation of white supremacy.
I don’t believe most African-Americans believe this, outside the elites. They’re much less doctrinaire than elite white leftists on a whole range of subjects. I don’t buy it either — alongside, I suspect, most immigrants, including most immigrants of color. Who would ever want to immigrate to such a vile and oppressive place? But it is extremely telling that this is not merely aired in the paper of record (as it should be), but that it is aggressively presented as objective reality. That’s propaganda, directed, as we now know, from the very top — and now being marched through the entire educational system to achieve a specific end. To present a truth as the truth is, in fact, a deception. And it is hard to trust a paper engaged in trying to deceive its readers in order for its radical reporters and weak editors to transform the world.
If we take this as a basis for analysis, then we have two clear motives.
First, everyone know Chief Justice John Roberts is a weak sister who lays awake at night worrying about what the New York Times and its fellow travelers think about the Supreme Court. If you look at Roberts’s recent voting history, he has clearly slipped to the left on issues where the editorial page of the New York Times had a strong point of view. For instance, he not only saved ObamaCare but he was the deciding vote in killing the ability of the Census to enumerate the number of US citizens. Reportedly, he literally changed his vote. Roberts’s concerns about the Supreme Court being a political branch really came to the forefront when President Trump criticized a decision imposing an injunction on his administration’s asylum policy as being from an “Obama judge.” Roberts immediately replied with this nonsense:
We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.
Clearly, the New York Times and he left are aiming at the very legitimacy of the court in this attack.
Of the 5 conservatives on the Supreme Court:
4 were appointed by presidents who did not originally win the popular vote (Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh).
2 have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct (Thomas and Kavanaugh).
1 (Gorsuch) was appointed to a stolen seat. pic.twitter.com/kySOfcu8TD
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 15, 2019
No moderately sane person believes that this bullsh** is going to result in the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice. But I do’t think that is the objective. In the upcoming session, the Supreme Court will hear critical cases on gun rights, on DACA, on religious freedom, on whether federal sex discrimination statutes extend to the sexual perversion or your choice rather than mere gender. Hammering Kavanaugh may make a weak and fearful Roberts vote the way the NYT editorial page wants so he can say, “even though we have a conservative majority, because one of our members has been accused of sexual misconduct and because we’re illegitimately appointed we’ll bend federal law and the constitution to show you that we’re actually very nice fellows.”
If it was not so well known that John Roberts is a waffler who will abandon his purported convictions if people scream loudly enough about the Supreme Court, the Kavanaugh stuff would not again be whipped into the frenzy it is. Roberts’ spinelessness encourages attacks on SCOTUS
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 16, 2019
The second target is obviously the US Senate. Why? Because Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not in good health. She’s had three run-ins with cancer in addition to having already beaten all the actuarial tables. It is a safe bet that her health status is a lot more dicey than the official announcements let on. This opens the door to an ugly confirmation hearing in the midst of a presidential election. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were very weak votes for Kavanaugh. They took a lot of abuse for their votes because they are weak and the progressives understood that they could be bullied, if not this time, then the next. The overwhelming favorite to replace Ginsburg is Seventh Circuit appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett. Her nomination represents an existential crisis for the left because a Catholic woman (“the dogma is loudly within you”) with seven children is not going to be able to plausibly say that she doesn’t have some strong opinions on Roe v. Wade, and all of her protestations that she will be bound by precedent are going to be viewed through the lens of Catholic-Mom-of-seven. While Collins and Murkowski might have been willing to rebuff the worst excesses of the #MeToo madness, whether they will want to go on record as the vote that overturned Roe is unclear.
So, I think we have to look beyond the superficiality of blaming media bias for this late and seemingly stupid hit on Kavanaugh. This isn’t a media hit, it is a propaganda campaign with Kavanaugh as its prop. It is designed to both influence the actions of the Chief Justice in regards to cases that the Supreme Court will hear and to fire a warning shot at some very weak Republican senators about what is expected of them should there be a new Supreme Court nomination to consider.