Ronald Reagan’s Fault: New York Times’ Kate Zernike on Why Accuser Stayed Quiet

New York Times reporter Kate Zernike made Saturday’s front page with her take on how Christine Blasey's allegation against Brett Kavanaugh is playing with the public “Swing District Supports Her, But Gingerly,” from Doylestown, Pa. Zernike was struck that no one she talked to brought up Anita Hill -- but what about Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, credibly accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and worse? Bizarrely, Zernike skipped Clinton and reached all the way back to President Ronald Reagan for blame.

In a series of interviews this week, voters here were inclined to believe Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, now a research psychologist in California -- though some questioned her motive for coming forward more than three decades later, and whether allegations about his behavior as a teenager should be counted against him.

A pro-Blasey Democrat figured prominently, in the first quote and in the large photo that took up the top part of the jump page in print.

“It’s completely insane that anyone would think that this woman would put herself out there without this being a real thing,” said Blair Elliot, 50, a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the owner of Siren Records. “Somebody who was lying about what happened wouldn’t be asking the F.B.I. to investigate.”....“When you’re 17 you know that kind of thing is criminal,” Mr. Elliott said. “We all make mistakes and should be able to rectify them. We’re not all trying to be on the Supreme Court.”

The Times “liked” that quote so much it made it the photo caption.

Heidi Froehlich, 38, who works at the record store, said she understood Dr. Blasey’s reluctance to come forward, noting those who have doubted her, and the death threats that have reportedly forced Dr. Blasey and her family from their home.


Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, she said, seemed to symbolize the country slipping backward in its attitudes toward women under President Trump, himself accused of groping multiple women over the years: “It’s like: set your clock back 100 years.”

“He thought he could get away with what he thought he could get away with; he’s one of the good ol’ boys,” she added, referring to Judge Kavanaugh.

Apparently, it’s all Reagan’s fault:

Many people interviewed said they understood why Dr. Blasey might have stayed silent in 1982 -- the days of Reagan conservatism, a decade before there were many women in Congress. The #MeToo era, they recognized, had made it easier to come forward. Three people offered their own stories of sexual assault or harassment, and described their own long struggles to come forward or confide in anyone.

Zernike managed to bring up Hillary Clinton while ignoring her husband, and the fact that Hillary was part of the White House offensive to smear the women who came forward with credible accusations of sexual assault against him.

Hillary Clinton won this area only narrowly over Mr. Trump. But as in many swing districts, the energy about voting in November’s midterm elections has been higher among Democrats. Interviews reflected that....

Zernike conveniently skipped over Bill Clinton and reached back to the liberal lodestar, the Thomas-Hill hearings:

No one invoked Anita Hill, whose allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas in 1991 might seem a parallel to Dr. Blasey....

She piled on unsubstantiated details about Kavanaugh:

And many saw too many gaps and doubts piling up around Judge Kavanaugh: the White House’s withholding of 100,000 pages of records from his time as a lawyer in the Bush Administration; his credit card debts; and his celebration of heavy drinking in a speech and in emails that were turned over to the Senate.

The story concluded with wise words from an interviewee: Kavanaugh was probably guilty because of “bad vibes.”

Robert Pennington, 28 and a Democrat, agreed. He had watched Judge Kavanaugh’s hearings with increasing doubt. “There are people who I don’t agree with their policies but they don’t give me bad vibes,” he said. “He gives me bad vibes. He’s dodged so many questions.”

Case closed!


NB Daily Kavanaugh Nomination Bias by Omission Sex Scandals Feminism New York Times Kate Zernike Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford Anita Hill Ronald Reagan
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