Levin: Kavanaugh-Hating Media Throwing Due Process Out the Window

Disgusted by the liberal media’s unhinged attacks against Brett Kavanaugh, conservative radio star Mark Levin wondered if “basic norms” like due process are being thrown “out the window” by liberals. Talking to Mollie Hemingway and Joe Concha on his Sunday Fox News show, Levin seethed about the media’s attempted hit on Kavanaugh: 

It seems like basic norms, due process, you know, these things that western civilization has created over hundreds and hundreds of years, due process, presumption of innocence, evidence, a standard of proof. All of these different things went out the window.

 

 

Concha, a columnist for The Hill, cited the Media Research Center’s expose of how liberals in the media treated the now-Supreme Court judge: 

Brett Kavanaugh, by many in the media was deemed guilty until proven innocent. You brought up the Media Research Center, 344 minutes dedicated to the accuser's accusations of Kavanaugh.

As MRC Research Director Rich Noyes explained in his September 26 study, “But only a tiny percentage of that coverage — a measly eight percent — has been devoted to Kavanaugh’s denials and the lack of corroboration for his accusers’ accounts.”  

Another study by Noyes, from July, showed that liberals in the media almost always label Republican-appointed Supreme Court judges as “conservative,” but rarely label justices nominated by Democrats as “liberal.” 

Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway marveled at how the media worked with Democrats: “It used to seem that the media were the communications arm of the Democratic Party. In recent years, they had behaved more as the generals who are directing which way the country should go and directly what the Democrats should be doing.” 

Concha excoriated the New York Times’s pathetic attempts to nail Kavanaugh: 

Brett Kavanaugh threw ice during an altercation at Yale in 1985 in a bar. No charges were actually leveled in this situation, but the New York Times goes ahead with it anyway, and by the way, one of the co-writers of that story is an anti-Kavanaugh critic. If you look at her Twitter feed, the paper has to retract, not retract the story, but admit they made a mistake and they said literally, she is not a news reporter, she shouldn't have been assigned to it. Then how the hell did she get there?

For more, see this NewsBusters write-up of the Times's ice-throwing "expose." 

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

Life, Liberty, Levin
10/8718

10:01pm ET 

I'm Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin." We have two great guests. Mollie Hemingway, how are you?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, THE FEDERALIST: Great to be here.

LEVIN: A pleasure. Joe Concha, good to see you.

JOE CONCHA, MEDIA REPORTER/COLUMNIST, THE HILL: Mark Levin, thanks for having me.

LEVIN: And we're going to talk about the media today. I especially want to talk about the recent media and events that have been taking place and how the media has covered them, and no better time to talk about the Kavanaugh nomination than now.

...

HEMINGWAY: I think this has been a really telling couple of weeks as we watched the media cover a very contentious issue and a very complicated issue. You have allegations of assault and you have a man who's denying them and the media coverage, I don't think could have been much worse.

When you saw the standards that were used in stories about -- usually as a journalist, you have ideas what standard must be met before you publish a story. I feel like a lot of publications have not held to those normally high standards. They are publishing allegations that are on their face, farcical and treating them as if they were serious. They are running with stories for which there is no corroboration and they're forgetting that this is a very serious issue. That this is a real man who has been accused of something and has no evidence to support the allegation and yet had his life and name and honor and reputation just dragged through the mud. It's even more important than the Supreme Court nomination, it's about who we are as a people and how we treat people who are accused of crimes.

LEVIN: It seems like basic norms, due process, you know, these things that western civilization has created over hundreds and hundreds of years, due process, presumption of innocence, evidence, a standard of proof. All of these different things went out the window. Did they not, Joe?

CONCHA: Brett Kavanaugh, by many in the media was deemed guilty until proven innocent. You brought up the Media Research Center, 344 minutes dedicated to the accuser's accusations of Kavanaugh; 21 minutes to Kavanaugh's denials. I am not very good at math, but I believe that's more in the 15:1 ratio and I compare it to the 2008 financial crisis, where everything just went off the cliff financially.

For our media everything went off the cliff here because I think some people were holding out hope that because this is a Supreme Court nominee and the hearings that go around that that there would be some semblance perhaps of balance, and that didn't happen here.

I'll give you see stories that really stood out to me. "USA Today," a sports columnist writes an op-ed saying that Brett Kavanaugh should no longer be around young girls and coach his daughter's basketball team because of the way that he's been shown to act around young girls. In other words, he's now a pedophile. That's amazing. They had to retract at least part of that story.

Number two, NBC News puts Julie Swetnick -- that's the third accuser represented by Michael Kardashiani -- I'm sorry, Michael Avenatti, I always conflate those two people -- and they give her a national stage to make the claims against Kavanaugh accusing him of gang rape. And apparently, she has three years out of high school and she went back to high school parties, which in my day, if anybody from college came back to a high school party one year out, you thought that was weird. Two years out, three years out, you are probably calling the police, like what are you doing here? And then, oh by the way, there are gang rapes going on, so why are you going back there?

But then NBC News says, as a disclaimer, before the interview, we cannot corroborate anything that Swetnick is saying. So instead of killing the interview, which do you in those situations, they want to be first instead of accurate and go ahead and give her a national stage anyway.

Number three, "New York Times" story. Brett Kavanaugh threw ice during an altercation at Yale in 1985 in a bar. No charges were actually leveled in this situation, but the "New York Times" goes ahead with it anyway, and by the way, one of the co-writers of that story is an anti-Kavanaugh critic. If you look at her Twitter feed, the paper has to retract, not retract the story, but admit they made a mistake and they said literally, she is not a news reporter, she shouldn't have been assigned to it. Then how the hell did she get there?

So you look at those three example us and you say to yourself, "My goodness, our media is broken," and many, many people in this country will never, ever trust it again.

LEVIN: Mollie, do you think this was a watershed? Do you think the media have exposed themselves in the aggregate as utterly ideologically driven and in one direction? Do the media lead the Democrats or do the Democrats lead the media?

HEMINGWAY: It used to seem that the media were the communications arm of the Democratic Party. In recent years, they had behaved more as the generals who are directing which way the country should go and directly what the Democrats should be doing.

That's a serious problem because the media should be at least trying to attain some standard of objectivity, and I think the media has had a lot of benefit based on this view that they are good people who are trying to report the facts. We've given them a lot of credibility and honor and, yes, this is a watershed moment in that a lot of people are appalled by what they've seen.

I think we just had three really good examples of what is so bad. But, in fact the last few decades have been -- including a lot of these moments. And I think that you can even understand the Trump victory when you talk to people about why they voted for Trump? A lot of people mentioned that they were so frustrated with the media coverage.

Even in apolitical senses, people are frustrated with the way they see the media cover a natural disaster or a celebrity or any number of things. So yes, this was a very important moment. People could not -- people could not see anything other than how biased everybody was being, but it's just actually the latest in a series of problems.

LEVIN: You know, Joe, even Ted Turner, the founder of CNN and Ted Koppel, the other day, he was on a panel, they were critical of CNN. Too political. What would CNN do? What would the ratings be if Donald Trump wasn't around?

CONCHA: Koppel said they would be in the toilet.

LEVIN: They'd be in the toilet. I'm very curious about this, what really is CNN at this point? Is it a news organization? Is it an opinion organization? Is it both? Is it neither? What is it?

CONCHA: Jeff Greenfield who is with CNN, ABC, CBS, he's been in this business for decades, he's pretty well respected. Here's what he told Brian Stelter on "Reliable Sources" last Sunday. Quote, Greenfield to Stelter, "When I look at CNN, hour after hour after hour, I see panels rather than reporting, exchanging opinions. The overwhelming majority of which on this network I regard as quite critical or hostile to Trump." This is a guest and a former employee of the network telling a CNN anchor this is who you are now.

HEMINGWAY: But I actually think ...

CONCHA: And as you said, Ted Turner and then Koppel as well criticized the network all in one week. So you're not just noticing that and we've seen it for a while, and I used to go on the network quite often quite frankly. It's a different network than it even was maybe three years ago, and the difference is because Donald Trump came onto the scene. They used to film him -- they used to film empty podiums during the campaign instead of Hillary Clinton giving a speech because he rated and plus, they thought he would never win.

And then, once he won, now, they've gone overwhelmingly anti-Trump and Harvard came out with a study showing that they are 91% negative towards the President. How do you say you're objective when numbers like that don't support it.

HEMINGWAY: And I think it's worse than if it were just opinions, if it were just panelists giving their analysis where they might have -- it's the news reporting that is a serious problem, too. And one of the examples you gave was of an opinion column, but a lot of what we saw that was so bad with the Kavanaugh stories were done by people who claim to be straight news reporters.

We even take an examples from CNN, when you had the ex-boyfriend of the initial accuser against Kavanaugh say that he saw some stuff that he thought was worth sharing including that the accuser had once coached a friend on how to pass a polygraph, when later she'd given testimony saying that she didn't know anything about polygraphs and a variety of other claims she was making. They didn't report that. They only reported when someone denied that that had been the case.

CONCHA: And that's called bias of omission. And that's what people don't see at home. You can be outwardly biased if you are an anchor and you clearly show you're supporting one side, but when you don't report things, then people at home don't even know what exists. If you watch CNN, you wouldn't know that happened.

I think one other problem that they have is that they label anchors who are not anchors. They are opinion people. Don Lemon is still called an anchor at 10:00 at night. Chris Cuomo is called anchor at night. Anderson Cooper is called an anchor at 8:00. You watch their shows, they are clearly giving opinions, and that conflating the two things I think is what builds to more mistrust, when you are not labeling people as they should be.

And there's nothing wrong, as you said, with being an opinion person. Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson on this network. Mark Levin, you are opinion people. Embrace it. It's fine, but stop pretending that you are anchors when you don't fit the label just asking questions and getting to the facts.

 

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