NBC’s Gosk: Collins’ Kavanaugh Speech ‘Drummed Up by Some PR Expert’

Appearing on Megyn Kelly Today, NBC News Correspondent Stephanie Gosk accused Republican Senator Susan Collins of trying to have it “both ways” on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and dismissed her speech on the Senate floor announcing her support of the Judge as something “drummed up by some PR expert in a back room.”

Noting that Collins was “getting it big time” from critics for saying that she did not believe the allegations against Kavanaugh, anchor Megyn Kelly defended the Maine lawmaker: “Susan Collins has every right to believe what she wants to believe. And yet, you know, some who don’t like her vote don’t seem to feel that way....You’re not allowed to think it was a case of mistaken identity, if you do, you’re a victim shamer, you’re, I don’t know, a misogynist. It’s absurd.”

 

 

Proving Kelly’s point, Gosk proclaimed: “Susan Collins wants it both ways....this idea that you can vote for Kavanaugh and come up with this explanation that quite frankly sounds like it was drummed up by some PR expert in a back room, that, ‘I believe them both. They both are telling the truth. They both are right.’”

Gosk asserted that Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford “has specific details in her mind. You either believe she’s credible or she’s not.” Kelly interjected: “I don’t think that’s true.” Gosk continued: “The idea that she would remember all of these things and not remember the face really just defies belief.” The reporter hammered Collins again: “And basically you have a senator who wants the women just to be happy about her because she still believes her....I’m just not buying that excuse.”

Kelly countered: “Listen, it could have been a case of mistaken identity. I do believe that’s possible. And you could look at Dr. Ford and say, ‘She just didn’t convince me, there were too many holes in her story, I didn’t find her credible.’”

Correspondent Keir Simmons lamented Kavanaugh being sworn in to the high court: “I was just so disappointed to see – to watch Brett Kavanaugh and have these questions in my mind. You know? Still have all of these questions running through my mind.”

Moments later in the panel discussion, Kelly warned:

My own feeling is this whole process has been very bad for the #MeToo movement. That some people will look at this at the moment, as the moment where the #MeToo movement jumped the shark. Because it was weaponized in the political context, not so much even by Dr. Ford, who is the least controversial of the women who came forward, but by women like Julie Swetnick, whose claims fell apart on national television. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who never missed an opportunity to tease his alleged gang rape accusation which fell apart. And others.  

Gosk actually agreed with that assessment:

This has been the problem from the beginning. The danger for the #MeToo movement was, first, “Let’s listen to the women, let them come forward, let’s listen to them,” became, “Let’s believe them all,”or, “You have to believe them all.” That is really dangerous territory. Because as I’ve said here many times, human beings, they lie. Men lie. Women lie. We have to factor that into the calculus.

Kelly also observed that one of Ford’s “biggest mistakes was hooking up with those partisan operative lawyers who completely manipulated her to political gain to serve their own purposes.” The host emphasized: “They were Democratic activists.... She should have gone with independent lawyers who had no axe to grind in the politics world....It could have been handled so much better to her benefit.”

Here are excerpts of the October 9 segment:

9:04 AM ET

(...)

MEGYN KELLY: But here’s one of the things that’s bothering me now. So the people who voted yes on Kavanaugh, like Susan Collins is getting it from Maine, she’s getting it big time. And Susan Collins has every right to believe what she wants to believe. And yet, you know, some who don’t like her vote don’t seem to feel that way. She came out and said, “Look, I don’t believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant. I believe something happened to her, I don’t believe he was her assailant.” Well, she just got killed for that. You’re not allowed to think it was a case of mistaken identity, if you do, you’re a victim shamer, you’re, I don’t know, a misogynist. It’s absurd. You can look at both of those testimonials and say, “I don’t believe it was him.”

STEPHANIE GOSK: But Megyn, Susan Collins wants it both ways. I am not by any means saying that a vote for Kavanaugh was a sexist vote. But this idea that you can vote for Kavanaugh and come up with this explanation that quite frankly sounds like it was drummed up by some PR expert in a back room, that, “I believe them both. They both are telling the truth. They both are right.” This woman has specific details in her mind. You either believe she’s credible or she’s not.

KELLY: I don’t think that’s true.

GOSK: The idea that she would remember all of these things and not remember the face really just defies belief. And basically you have a senator who wants the women just to be happy about her because she still believes her but yet she – stand up and say, “I’m voting for Kavanaugh. I don’t think it was proven in any solid way.”

KELLY: That’s where she started.

GOSK: I’m just not buying that excuse.

KELLY: That is where she started, by saying that. And then she got pressed and she said, “Alright, you know, I actually...

GOSK: “I believe them both.”

KELLY: ...I believe that it wasn’t him.” Listen, it could have been a case of mistaken identity. I do believe that’s possible. And you could look at Dr. Ford and say, “She just didn’t convince me, there were too many holes in her story, I didn’t find her credible.” Or you could believe something did happen between them and Christine Ford is remembering more than actually happened in the moment because she was – you know, you could see Rachel Mitchell in the cross-examination was trying to prove that Dr. Ford was a little anxiety-ridden and that she was sort of what we call in the law, an eggshell plaintiff. So maybe something happened, but it wasn’t quite as bad as she remembers and it was so minimal that Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t even remember it. My point is that there can be a way of voting for him without saying, “I’m voting for a sexual assaulter.” Okay?  

KEIR SIMMONS: I was just so disappointed to see – to watch Brett Kavanaugh and have these questions in my mind. You know? Still have all of these questions running through my mind.

(...)

KELLY: My own feeling is this whole process has been very bad for the #MeToo movement. That some people will look at this at the moment, as the moment where the #MeToo movement jumped the shark. Because it was weaponized in the political context, not so much even by Dr. Ford, who is the least controversial of the women who came forward, but by women like Julie Swetnick, whose claims fell apart on national television. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who never missed an opportunity to tease his alleged gang rape accusation which fell apart. And others.  

GOSK: This has been the problem from the beginning. The danger for the #MeToo movement was, first, “Let’s listen to the women, let them come forward, let’s listen to them,” became, “Let’s believe them all,”or, “You have to believe them all.” That is really dangerous territory. Because as I’ve said here many times, human beings, they lie. Men lie. Women lie. We have to factor that into the calculus.

JACOB SOBOROFF: But I will say that I think what has been accomplished here is a massive shift in consciousness thanks in large part to Dr. Blasey Ford getting up there and sharing her story in front of so many people. The idea that we live in a society dominated by men, that people like me, people like you [pointing to Keir Simmons] will never understand what it’s like to be a woman living in the United States of America. I think a lot more people understand that today.

KELLY: I mean, with all due respect to Dr. Ford, I think the women who came out against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, his male and other accusers, had a lot to do with it, too. I mean, to pretend that the #MeToo movement was started by Dr. Ford is to ignore reality.

SOBOROFF: No, but I said this to you the other day, the idea that on any given day the phone calls into rape and sexual assault hotline can spike up, you know, an extraordinary amount just because one woman gets up there and shares their story. I mean, it’s just something we all should be grateful for.

SIMMONS: And you know, it’s – public life can be messy. It’s never gonna be necessarily smooth. Controversies are like this often and, you know, I think for all of us, for our daughters, if this changes things for our daughters, even a little bit, then that is something so worth it, so important.

KELLY: I mean, I do think offering your testimonial is important. But I will say, I don’t know that it’s something that everyone is happy about, Dr. Ford coming forward in the way that she did. It must be noted that she came forward before Brett Kavanaugh was chosen. That is an important piece of her story. So it undermines accusations of political bias on her point. You know, she heard his name was on the short list and she said, “Hold on.” She tried to stop them from choosing her – she did’'t want the White House to choose him.

However, I think one of her biggest mistakes was hooking up with those partisan operative lawyers who completely manipulated her to political gain to serve their own purposes. They were Democratic activists. There’s nothing wrong with being a Democratic activist whatsoever, but that’s not the ideal choice to represent you in a Supreme Court hearing which is gonna be politicized. She should have gone with independent lawyers who had no axe to grind in the politics world and not played fast and loose with, “Well, we’ll show you these notes and we won’t show you those notes and the FBI has to speak to me. No, it can be a senator. No, I can’t.” It could have been handled so much better to her benefit.

(...)

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