Megyn Kelly Literally Throws NYT Kavanaugh Story in the Trash

On her show Wednesday morning, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly literally treated a New York Times story detailing a 1983 letter written by Brett Kavanaugh like a piece of garbage, crumpling up a copy of the letter and throwing it away. Even as all three broadcast networks, including her own, hyped the story, Kelly told viewers how “ridiculous” it was.

Following a taped report on the latest developments in the FBI inquiry into allegations against Kavanaugh, Kelly led off a panel discussion by holding up a print-out of a letter obtained by the Times, in which a teenage Kavanaugh was planning a beach vacation with friends in the summer of 1983: “But I want to start with this, this letter that they pulled from Kavanaugh’s youth where he admits that his group that’s going into this house are ‘loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us.’”

 

 

After reading the quote that the liberal newspaper supposedly thought was incriminating, Kelly (literally) trashed the story:

Can I just say, this is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. If you read this whole letter, you will be so impressed at the responsibility of this young man saying to his roommates, “This is when the lease needs to be paid. It has to be paid in cash. Do it up front. Have to be respectful. Have to do this. These are the rules of the house.” And then he puts a postscript on there, a P.S., saying, “Hey, by the way” – it’s a joke. It’s a joke. This does not help anyone’s case and The New York Times, they should not be focused on that. Okay? That's my take on the letter.

As she finished speaking, she crumpled the print-out copy of the letter into a ball and threw it to the floor. The in-studio audience applauded the move.

Fellow NBC News colleague Stephanie Gosk tried to salvage the hit piece: “I’ll say one thing about that. And it’s something a lot of people are scratching their heads about. When he was asked about drinking in the hearing, why not just say, ‘You know what? I drank too many beers.’” Kelly corrected her: “He did admit that. He did.”

Then NBC and MSNBC Legal Analyst Daniel Goldman jumped in, arguing: “This is why it’s relevant. It’s not relevant that he drank, it’s relevant because if he admitted that he blacked out drinking in high school or college, then there’s the possibility that he does not remember the – what happened in the incident with Dr. Ford.” Kelly pushed back: “That letter does not disprove that. That is a silly reference by a teenager.”

Moments later, Kelly concluded: “I really feel like this is gonna tick off the American people. Going after him nit by nit as to the number of beers he drank, the number of kegs they had when he was in college.”

She then took a moment to be the only reporter on the broadcast networks to cover potential inconsistencies in the testimony of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford:   

And today, the news on that is looking at the Ford polygraph. An ex-boyfriend of Dr. Ford has now submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly – Fox News is reporting this, they say they’ve obtained it – in which he says that Dr. Ford told him she had prepared her friend for a polygraph test. That she, quote, “Explained in detail to that friend what to expect, how polygraphs worked, and that she helped that friend become familiar and less nervous about the exam.”

Why is that relevant? Because Rachel Mitchell asked Dr. Ford, “Have you ever had discussions with anyone on how to take a polygraph?” Answer: “Never.” “I don’t mean countermeasures,” the prosecutor said, “I’m talking about any sorts of tips, anything like that?” Answer: “No.” Question: “Did you ever give advice to someone who was looking to take a polygraph?” Answer: “No.” And so the question is, if we’re going to go back and parse every single line of the testimonials, do we have to do it to both of them?

Near the end of the discussion, Kelly blasted the increasingly non-credible allegations from Julie Swetnick against Kavanaugh, seeming to lecture her own network for conducting an interview with the unreliable accuser:

 

 

Really, we only have one woman alleging assault...against Brett Kavanaugh, one woman who claims he may or may not have exposed himself to her, she didn’t see it with her own two eyes. And then this third woman, Julie Swetnick, who I don’t even have time to get into her hot mess of a testimonial. But I’m no longer even including her in the accusers. I mean, honestly, her allegations have gone so far off the rails and her credibility issues are so severe, I think we should stop talking about her.

Even Goldman, a Kavanaugh critic, admitted: “This is why it’s problematic....Julie Swetnick really did not appear credible, walking away from the declaration.” Kelly interjected: “At all. At all.” Goldman added: “And that undermines it all for Dr. Ford.”

Kelly reiterated:

I’ve been saying from the beginning I have refused to report Julie Swetnick’s allegations on this show, which Avenatti teased for a week before he dropped them on us. You know, you don’t tease alleged gang rape, right? So I haven’t been talking about Julie Swetnick. And then when we finally got to hear her and hear about her background, it was very clear this woman has severe credibility problems. Let’s just stop talking about her.

Before the segment ended, MSNBC contributor Noah Rothman demanded that “we do need to see a lot more media interest in Dr. Ford” in terms of the credibility of her allegations as well.

On Tuesday, even with Kelly out for the day, the panelists on her show picked apart Swetnick’s credibility.  

NBC’s handling of the Swetnick interview was so bad that it prompted South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to declare that the network was a “co-conspirator in the destruction of Kavanaugh” and that “their journalistic integrity has been destroyed over this case.”

Here are excerpts of the October 3 panel discussion on Megyn Kelly Today:

9:04 AM ET

(...)

MEGYN KELLY: But I want to start with this, this letter that they pulled from Kavanaugh’s youth where he admits that his group that’s going into this house are “loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us.” Can I just say, this is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. If you read this whole letter, you will be so impressed at the responsibility of this young man saying to his roommates, “This is when the lease needs to be paid. It has to be paid in cash. Do it up front. Have to be respectful. Have to do this. These are the rules of the house.” And then he puts a postscript on there, a P.S., saying, “Hey, by the way” – it’s a joke. It’s a joke. This does not help anyone’s case and The New York Times, they should not be focused on that. [Crumples up the letter and throws it away] Okay? That's my take on the letter. [Applause]

STEPHANIE GOSK: I’ll say one thing about that. And it’s something a lot of people are scratching their heads about. When he was asked about drinking in the hearing, why not just say, “You know what? I drank too many beers.”

KELLY: He did admit that. He did.

GOSK: Really?

NOAH ROTHMAN: He said he over-imbibed very frequently in college, as everybody did. And if that is a disqualification for a confirmable post, no one will serve in government.

GOSK: No, no, and I’m not saying that it is, Noah. That’s an unfair characterization. I’m not saying that. But I am saying that he was hesitant and there was actually no reason to be. Because almost everybody has got some story from that period of their life that they regret.  

DANIEL GOLDMAN: This is why it’s relevant. It’s not relevant that he drank, it’s relevant because if he admitted that he blacked out drinking in high school or college, then there’s the possibility that he does not remember the – what happened in the incident with Dr. Ford. And he must maintain that he did not black out because otherwise his categorical denial will be meaningless.

KELLY: That letter does not disprove that. That is a silly reference by a teenager.

GOLDMAN: It was silly of him to take the tact he took and not just come out with it and say, “I absolutely drank too much.”

KELLY: He did say that.

GOLDMAN: No, he didn’t. He was very –  

ROTHMAN: He said, “I drank too many beers.”

KELLY: Here’s my own – he said, “I drank too many beers.” Here’s my impression, in his interview –  

GOLDMAN: “But I never blacked out.”

KELLY: And you can’t prove that he did, that’s the thing. You can’t prove that.

GOLDMAN: Sure.

KELLY: But in his interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News, he was much more choir boyish. And I think that really hurt him. Because I think that’s still the impression in people’s head, which is his testimonial about himself was too squeaky clean. By the time he got before the Senate, he had changed his story more, to, “Alright, I like beer. I still like beer. And I drank too much beer at many times.”

I really feel like this is gonna tick off the American people. Going after him nit by nit as to the number of beers he drank, the number of kegs they had when he was in college. Let’s just – let’s – if he perjured himself, that’s one thing, but he did admit to the drinking. We need to find out whether he sexually assaulted anybody.

And today, the news on that is looking at the Ford polygraph. An ex-boyfriend of Dr. Ford has now submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly – Fox News is reporting this, they say they’ve obtained it – in which he says that Dr. Ford told him she had prepared her friend for a polygraph test. That she, quote, “Explained in detail to that friend what to expect, how polygraphs worked, and that she helped that friend become familiar and less nervous about the exam.”

Why is that relevant? Because Rachel Mitchell asked Dr. Ford, “Have you ever had discussions with anyone on how to take a polygraph?” Answer: “Never.” “I don’t mean countermeasures,” the prosecutor said, “I’m talking about any sorts of tips, anything like that?” Answer: “No.” Question: “Did you ever give advice to someone who was looking to take a polygraph?” Answer: “No.” And so the question is, if we’re going to go back and parse every single line of the testimonials, do we have to do it to both of them?

GOLDMAN: We absolutely do. And this is another reason why there should be a full FBI investigation. And the problem with the fact that there isn’t. That person should be spoken to and so we understand whether the context was in her capacity as a psychologist who understands how memory works, is that what she was talking about?

KELLY: She didn’t contextualize her answer, “No.” That was her answer, “No, Never.”    

GOLDMAN: Or ask her, “Do you remember this conversation of 20 years ago with a friend?” She may not. And the point is, that just because – and I think this is where Trump and others get it wrong – because you may not remember where exactly it was or some of the tangential events...

KELLY: Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

GOLDMAN: ...doesn’t mean you don’t remember the traumatic experience.

KELLY: That’s true.

GOLDMAN: And what is troubling to me about this FBI investigation is it’s being handcuffed and it is not a fulsome investigation. They are not speaking to Kavanaugh –

KELLY: They never suggested it was going to be. And as for not speaking to Kavanaugh or Ford, Jeff Flake – we only care about Flake, Murkowski, and Collins at this point basically because those are the three swing votes – Jeff Flake was on Today this morning saying, “I don’t care about that. The Senate already had a crack at Ford. They already had a crack at Kavanaugh. That was never contemplated, and I’m fine.”  

GOLDMAN: They didn’t really have a crack at Kavanaugh.

KELLY: But what you think and what I think doesn’t matter. The only people who matter are Flake, Collins and Murkowski.

(...)
    
9:09 AM ET

KELLY: Really, we only have one woman alleging assault against Donald – against Brett Kavanaugh, one woman who claims he may or may not have exposed himself to her, she didn’t see it with her own two eyes. And then this third woman, Julie Swetnick, who I don’t even have time to get into her hot mess of a testimonial. But I’m no longer even including her in the accusers. I mean, honestly, her allegations have gone so far off the rails and her credibility issues are so severe, I think we should stop talking about her.

GOLDMAN: And it’s problematic. This is why it’s problematic. Is that when you watch her interview and you watch Dr. Ford’s testimony, you see a fundamentally different thing. One really appeared very credible and Julie Swetnick really did not appear credible, walking away from the declaration.

KELLY: At all. At all.

GOLDMAN: And that undermines it all for Dr. Ford.

KELLY: Totally. I’ve been saying from the beginning I have refused to report Julie Swetnick’s allegations on this show, which Avenatti teased for a week before he dropped them on us. You know, you don’t tease alleged gang rape, right? So I haven’t been talking about Julie Swetnick. And then when we finally got to hear her and hear about her background, it was very clear this woman has severe credibility problems. Let’s just stop talking about her. Let’s focus on Ford, who showed up, who was credible. You can find holes in her story, but she deserves our ear. Go ahead.

ROTHMAN: But we do need to see a lot more media interest in Dr. Ford. I think she’s very credible. I think her story was affecting and moving. But she has entered into testimony her therapy notes, her medical records, which she has withheld from the Judiciary Committee.

KELLY: Yeah.

ROTHMAN: You can’t cite that as evidence and then say, “I’m keeping it back.”

KELLY: And you can’t give them to The Washington Post. She says she gave her therapist notes to The Washington Post, but won’t give them to the Senate.

GOLDMAN: Right, because The Washington Post will actually guard them and the Senate will leak them. [Laughter]

KELLY: Well, I mean, listen, it’s – then you can’t use them. They you can’t use them.

NB Daily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans NBC New York Times Video Megyn Kelly Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford Julie Swetnick

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