Opposition Party: CNN Panel Blasts Kavanaugh Supporters as Racist, Sexist Conspiracy Theorists

In the 40 minutes since President Trump’s early Wednesday evening press conference, CNN’s The Situation Room did nothing to combat the notion that the liberal media is the opposition party. All told, the assembled analysts and journalists accused Brett Kavanaugh supporters of being racist and sexist conspiracy theorists who are being spoon-fed their talking points from Fox News. 

It’s appropriate that this recap began with carnival barker Jim Acosta, who reacted to the Trump presser by suggesting that it was not really “ever on the rails, as you heard numerous times during this press conference the President was not in touch with reality.”

 

 

Acosta argued that Trump “always seems to stand with the accused and not the accuser, and he really just did not want to answer these questions” as if Acosta wants people to believe someone by default who’s lacking the when and where alleged assaults occurred who also lack corroborating witnesses.

Acosta also touted his own appreciation for female journalist and how the President “doesn’t seem to get it” when it comes to the need to, well, always believe women no matter what (click “expand”):

But, Wolf, and just on a personal note, as I was standing in this press conference, you know, it seemed to me it was just a no-brainer for a female reporter to be able to ask the President of the United States some of these very important, critical questions, and I don't — I think this is a moment we will see captured in time here, Wolf, in that the President of the United States just doesn't seem to get it when it comes to this issue when he was going from male reporter to male reporter to male reporter on these things, and it just occurred to me at one point, you know, gee, perhaps a female reporter should be able to ask the President, press the President on this issue. So, yes, I think, Wolf, this is a President that seems to be caught up in this Me Too moment like a lot of, you know, Brett Kavanaugh's defenders up on Capitol Hill want to see how it plays out tomorrow. Of course, we know the president — acknowledging here, he’s going to be watching, Wolf.

Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin went further, arguing that, for Trump, “it’s always 1957 and he's the head of the Rat Pack.” Toobin added that, on sexual misconduct, Trump “doesn’t buy any of it” and would tell women to “deal with it.” 

When it comes to an eventual vote on Kavanaugh, Toobin predicted that most Republican Senators will vote for him because “[t]hey are complete political cowards.” All of that drew zero pushback from host Wolf Blitzer, political director David Chalian, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and reporters Kaitlan Collins and Nia-Malika Henderson. 

But what did draw approval from the panel? It was this declaration from Toobin about Trump supporters: “Can I make a suggestion? Maybe the base is much of the United States. Maybe this country is a lot more racist and sexist than we thought. Maybe a lot of people find this allegation preposterous.”

But the portion that best encapsulated the liberal media’s virulent disdain for everything you, the NewsBusters readers, believe and care about arose when Blitzer observed that Trump “suggested that people are going to be scared to accept appointments because they will go back to their high school years, their college years and look for dirt.”

 

 

Seeing as how that’s exactly what’s happened to Brett Kavanaugh, it’s easy to see why. However, the panel was incensed with Trump for making that claim. Henderson immediately lashed out that “he minimized” these serious allegations. 

While Toobin mocked it, Collins dubbed concerns on the right to be scare tactics and accused them right of doing lasting damage to any women who come forward with claims of being assaulted or raped. Meanwhile, Henderson deemed it an imagination of Fox News (click “expand,” emphasis mine):

TOOBIN: No one is going to want to be a Supreme Court justice anymore. It’s like to hell with that job. 

KAITLAN COLLINS: But actually, that speaks to the President's tactic here. I get it is humorous, but it speaks to the president's tactic, that he is trying to put fear into people that if you believe that people who have accused Brett Kavanaugh, then you believe you yourself can be accused of sexual assault and that is obviously not the case. A lot much people hopefully do not sexually assault people. People who accused of sexually assaulting people, those allegation, if credible, should be looked into. But President Trump is using a tactic here because this will come down to the court of public opinion. What do the constituents of Lisa Murkowski or Lisa Collins say to them about whether or not they voted yes or no on his confirmation. If these people look at Brett Kavanangh and they say, “well, he’s been accused of sexual assault,” if they are listening to president trump saying, if he can be accused of sexual assault, so can you, that puts fear in people. 

BORGER: So was I. 

COLLINS: So then they are more likely — they are more likely to side with him. Exactly. President Trump was accused of sexual assault. He said, look at me, I denied those allegations, they did it for money. That is going to put a lot of doubt on sexual assault, period, which is not something that, I think, a lot of women in this country hope is the result of things like the Me Too movement. It’s so women will be believed when they make these allegations. 

HENDERSON: But it does feed into conservative narrative and sort of a narrative that's been fed by Fox News. It’s this idea that there's a war on men and this idea that the Me Too movement has gone too far and now, at any point, any man can be susceptible to these sorts of allegations. So I think he's feeding into that narrative as well. 

CHALIAN: And mention the court of public opinion and I just — I do think it is worth noting where we are in the context of this confirmation. Kavanaugh has been losing the battle of the court of public opinion —

HENDERSON: Right. Mmmhmm.

CHALIAN: — throughout this process. The numbers have been going against him. He is one of the most unpopular nominees in the history of modern polling on Supreme Court nominees[.]

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room on September 26, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room
September 26, 2018
6:31 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: Well, Wolf, I'm not sure that this press conference was ever on the rails, as you heard numerous times during this press conference the president was not in touch with reality. I asked him the question, you know, why he always seems to stand with the accused and not the accuser, and he really just did not want to answer these questions. Finally, one of my colleagues picked up the question and pressed him on, you know, what is it about your past, is it your past that makes you sympathize with Brett Kavanaugh? And he essentially said, yes, that is the reason why. He feels he has had false charges leveled against him over the years and that is the reason he always seems to stand on the side of the accused and not the accuser. I think that's a pretty extraordinary, you know, exchange that the President had with us, an acknowledgment on his part that he — he essentially just does number believe accusers when they come forward accusing powerful men like himself of sexual misconduct. I think, you know, when it comes to what's going to happen tomorrow, I thought it was also very interesting that the President is going to be watching this., but, again, Wolf, time and again he referred to what's happening to Brett Kavanaugh as a con job — as a con game. He said it was a dangerous moment for the country because — and you can see his sympathies really on display, maybe more in this room than to our viewers, but I think it was plain to see to our viewers that he really was just sympathizing with Brett Kavanaugh in all of this and not really with any of these accusers. One thing that he did not really specify, I tried to press him on this, is whether or not he would be comfortable hearing from all of these accusers, all three of these accusers testifying publicly. He did not really give us an answer on that, although I think it’s — I think Gloria is right in pointing out he did make some rather interesting comments on Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, making it sound as if perhaps Rod Rosenstein may be staying on and that this phone call or this meeting, whatever they're going to have, is going to take place Friday or later than that because, you know, the President wants to be able to sit there and watch what happens in the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. But, Wolf, and just on a personal note, as I was standing in this press conference, you know, it seemed to me it was just a no-brainer for a female reporter to be able to ask the President of the United States some of these very important, critical questions, and I don't — I think this is a moment we will see captured in time here, Wolf, in that the President of the United States just doesn't seem to get it when it comes to this issue when he was going from male reporter to male reporter to male reporter on these things, and it just occurred to me at one point, you know, gee, perhaps a female reporter should be able to ask the President, press the President on this issue. So, yes, I think, Wolf, this is a President that seems to be caught up in this Me Too moment like a lot of, you know, Brett Kavanaugh's defenders up on Capitol Hill want to see how it plays out tomorrow. Of course, we know the president — acknowledging here, he’s going to be watching, Wolf.

(....)

6:39 p.m. Eastern

JEFFREY TOOBIN: You know, in Donald Trump's world, in the relation between the sexes, it’s always 1957 and he's the head of the Rat Pack. That's how he sees relations between men and women. Everything we've learned about how women are sexually harassed, how they respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence, he doesn't buy any of it. It is like, deal with it and the victims here, the only victims he ever talks about are men, including today. It’s like: "oh, well, the terrible message. He's not going to get anybody to serve on the Supreme Court because they're all so afraid of being accused of committing sexual violence." I don't think there's a chance in the world he's going to watch the testimony tomorrow and say: “Hmm, you know, I think she is telling the truth and I think Brett Kavanaugh is lying. It is never going to happen.” He's going to say: “That was great, she's part of the democratic con job.” He is sticking with Brett Kavanaugh. Mitch McConnell is sticking with Brett Kavanaugh. This is how he sees relations between the sexes, and he is going to go down with Brett Kavanaugh and probably he is going to win with Brett Kavanaugh because he's in charge of the Republican Party, and most of the Republican senators — all of these so-called independents, you know, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Corker, they all fold. They are complete political cowards and you know, maybe Murkowski and Collins, like with ACA, will stand up, but there's no chance these Republicans will defy him on this.

(....)

6:43 p.m. Eastern

TOOBIN: Can I make a suggestion? Maybe the base is much of the United States. Maybe this country is a lot more racist and sexist than we thought. Maybe a lot of people find this allegation preposterous. Well, maybe a lot of people think — you know, I mean —

DAVID CHALIAN: Well, Jeffrey, the president made that point. I think —

TOOBIN: Who won the election?

CHALIAN: Oh, no. You’re right.

TOOBIN: The guy — the guy from the Access Hollywood tape won the election. 

CHALIAN: But don’t go back to 2016, Jeffrey. I think the President was making that point. I agree with your assessment of where the president is on gender politics and he's not subscribing to the Me Too movement and what it — what it stands for, but he said very clearly in his remarks, he thought it was a little underhanded, but he said, you're going to see this in the midterms because he firmly believes that the country, a big swath of the country sides with him on this notion, that this is a world upended if you are guilty — if you are presumed guilty first and have to prove your innocence. The way he was talking about the cultural moment and when I went back and thought to what he said at the top of the press conference, that you’re going to see that the way the Democrats have handled this and the way that the confirmation process has gone, that this going to benefit the Republicans in the mid terms. This is the President's thinking on this. He believes he’s got — I think because of his victory in 2016, he believes the country is where he is on this. 

(....)

6:46 p.m. Eastern

TOOBIN: And this preposterous and absurd investigation that's supposedly going on is being conducted by the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans whose whole job it is to get Brett Kavanaugh confirmed. What kind of investigation is — it is like, you know, if the Yankees play the Nationals and the umpires are the Yankees. I mean, it is like — I mean it just makes no sense. 

(....)

6:47 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: And he suggested that people are going to be scared to accept appointments because they will go back to their high school years, their college years and look for dirt. He said at would be point — 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: And he minimized it. 

TOOBIN: No one is going to want to be a Supreme Court justice anymore. It’s like to hell with that job. 

KAITLAN COLLINS: But actually, that speaks to the President's tactic here. I get it is humorous, but it speaks to the president's tactic, that he is trying to put fear into people that if you believe that people who have accused Brett Kavanaugh, then you believe you yourself can be accused of sexual assault and that is obviously not the case. A lot much people hopefully do not sexually assault people. People who accused of sexually assaulting people, those allegation, if credible, should be looked into. But President Trump is using a tactic here because this will come down to the court of public opinion. What do the constituents of Lisa Murkowski or Lisa Collins say to them about whether or not they voted yes or no on his confirmation. If these people look at Brett Kavanangh and they say, “well, he’s been accused of sexual assault,” if they are listening to president trump saying, if he can be accused of sexual assault, so can you, that puts fear in people. 

BORGER: So was I. 

COLLINS: So then they are more likely — they are more likely to side with him. Exactly. President Trump was accused of sexual assault. He said, look at me, I denied those allegations, they did it for money. That is going to put a lot of doubt on sexual assault, period, which is not something that, I think, a lot of women in this country hope is the result of things like the Me Too movement. It’s so women will be believed when they make these allegations. 

HENDERSON: But it does feed into conservative narrative and sort of a narrative that's been fed by Fox News. It’s this idea that there's a war on men and this idea that the Me Too movement has gone too far and now, at any point, any man can be susceptible to these sorts of allegations. So I think he's feeding into that narrative as well. 

CHALIAN: And mention the court of public opinion and I just — I do think it is worth noting where we are in the context of this confirmation. Kavanaugh has been losing the battle of the court of public opinion —

HENDERSON: Right. Mmmhmm.

CHALIAN: — throughout this process. The numbers have been going against him. He is one of the most unpopular nominees in the history of modern polling on Supreme Court nominees and it has been getting worse, and specifically among women since the allegations have come out. So I think there's no doubt it is a battle in the court of public opinion, but it’s one Kavanaugh has been losing there for the last — since his — since his hearing.

NB Daily Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Sex Scandals Feminism Sexism CNN The Situation Room Video Government & Press David Chalian Jim Acosta Kaitlan Collins Jeffrey Toobin Wolf Blitzer Gloria Borger Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump
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