ABC, NBC Fearful of GOP Men Asking Questions to Kavanaugh Accuser

With a week to go until the scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to interview Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, the liberal media were frantically trying to paint the proceedings as misogynistic Republican men beating up on an innocent victim. Both ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News spent a whole segment during their Tuesday broadcasts stoking those fears.

To kick off ABC's segment, sensationalist anchor David Muir hyped the pressure ahead of the hearing and seemed to warn Republican Senators that their seats may be on the line if they don’t treat Ford as they see fit:

[T]he stakes are enormous here, for the nominee, for the President, and for Senators from both parties who know constituents back home are watching this very closely, with opinions on both sides. How will this accuser be treated if she does testify?

If that wasn’t enough to set ABC’s tone against Republicans, congressional correspondent Mary Bruce hyped the “moment of reckoning” by touting Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono lashing out at all American men. “I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change,” the Senator shouted at a press conference.

Bruce seemed to scoff at the idea that “Republican leaders insist they're giving Christine Blasey Ford an opportunity to be heard in public before the Judiciary Committee next Monday.” There was noticeable disdain in her voice when she reported the composition of the Judicial Committee: “If Ford does agree to testify, she and Judge Kavanaugh would be the only witnesses, fielding questions from 10 Democrats and 11 Republicans. All of the Republicans, men.”

 

 

There was also the obligatory comparison to Anita Hill’s smears of Justice Clarence Thomas. “Those Senators keenly aware of the excruciating questions Anita Hill faced during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings more than 25 years ago, when she accused him of sexual harassment,” Bruce said. “And three of those Senators who questioned Anita Hill so many years ago are still on this committee.”

NBC congressional correspondent Kasie Hunt also tried to make hay out of the composition of the committee. “A hearing that will be incredibly fraught for the Republican men expected to question Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” she warned. “It recalls the troubling memory of what Anita Hill went through in 1991, when she was questioned by some of the same men who would question Dr. Ford.”

Of course, despite their soundbites of Republicans from 1991, neither Bruce nor Hunt cared to accurately inform their viewers that it was the Democrats who were in charge back then. But they did fret about Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who had sided with Kavanaugh. There was no such chiding for Democrats just looking to smear Kavanaugh.

But Hunt was excited to possibly see radical California Senator Kamala Harris (D) in action against Kavanaugh and committee Republicans. “For Dr. Ford, who also wrestled with what it would mean to come forward, there is one critical difference from Anita Hill's experience: Senator Kamala Harris is one of four Democratic women now on the committee,” she hailed.

The CBS Evening News provided a stark contrast as chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford noted Democratic control in 1991 and objectively raised questions about how on Earth “truth” could be found in this case. “How do you assess whether this is true? I mean, here it's a serious allegation, it’s 36 years later. So, what if she remembered it wrong? What if it's mistaken identity? How does the process deal with that?”

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

ABC's World News Tonight
September 18, 2018
6:35 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And as you know, Jon [Karl], the stakes are enormous here, for the nominee, for the President, and for Senators from both parties who know constituents back home are watching this very closely, with opinions on both sides. How will this accuser be treated if she does testify? Mary Bruce back on the Hill tonight asking Senators, how should this should go.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, Senator Mazie Hirono, one of only four women on the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls this a moment of reckoning.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO: I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.

BRUCE: Republican leaders insist they're giving Christine Blasey Ford an opportunity to be heard in public before the Judiciary Committee next Monday.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN: This is mainly an opportunity to accommodate her and we look forward to giving her a chance to tell her story.

BRUCE: Do you think her allegations credible? Does she sound credible to you, sir?

CORNYN: I don't know how you judge that until you have the hearing.

BRUCE: Republican Lisa Murkowski, whose vote is critical, suggests there are alternatives.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI: If she doesn't want to appear public-- in public before the committee, she can do it privately before the committee. She would be under oath.

BRUCE: If Ford does agree to testify, she and Judge Kavanaugh would be the only witnesses, fielding questions from 10 Democrats and 11 Republicans. All of the Republicans, men.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE: Obviously, the optics of 11, you know, men there on the Republican side, its what is. That's the committee right now. And so, we'll just have to do our best.

BRUCE: Those Senators keenly aware of the excruciating questions Anita Hill faced during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings more than 25 years ago, when she accused him of sexual harassment.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTOR: You testified this morning that the most embarrassing question involved, this is not too bad, women's large breasts, that's a word we use all the time.

BRUCE: Today, Anita Hill writing in The New York Times, "There is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do better.” Saying, the job of the committee is "to serve as fact-finders, to better serve the American public, and the weight of the government should not be used to destroy the lives of witnesses who are called to testify.”

But the big question tonight remains, will Christine Blasey Ford appear at all? What if Professor Ford doesn't show up?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: We need to plan this around her schedule. If there is any belief that this is a woman who has endured a sexual assault, has put herself out there, is prepared to come and testify before the American public about one of the most powerful—potentially-- people in the United States government, you would think there would be some level of sensitivity.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Mary Bruce back with us live tonight from Capitol Hill. And Mary, so many pointing to the very personal questioning of Anita hill so many years ago. You showed just a moment of it there, about her allegations against then-nominee Clarence Thomas. But many Senators know this is a much different time, a much different era now, and many of these Senators are up for re-election. The stakes leading into the midterms and this potential public hearing are enormous.

BRUCE: Exactly David. The political pressure here is tremendous. And three of those Senators who questioned Anita Hill so many years ago are still on this committee. One of them, Republican Orrin Hatch is already siding with Kavanaugh. He says he believes Kavanaugh's denial, and that he thinks Ford is mistaken.

NBC Nightly News
September 18, 2018
7:04 p.m. Eastern

KASIE HUNT: This is Kasie Hunt on Capitol Hill tonight, as the Senate is barreling towards another dramatic he said, she said credibility battle. A hearing that will be incredibly fraught for the Republican men expected to question Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

SEN. BOB CORKER: Yes, we have 11 men on the committee, there's nothing that can be done about that.

HUNT: It recalls the troubling memory of what Anita Hill went through in 1991, when she was questioned by some of the same men who would question Dr. Ford.

CLARENCE THOMAS: I think this whole affair is sick.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: I think it's sick, too.

HUNT: Senator Orrin Hatch still sits on the committee and is already raising doubts about Dr. Ford's credibility.

HATCH: I think this woman, whoever she is, is mixed up.

HUNT: Judge Kavanaugh's fate depends on who they believe.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE: If these allegations are proven to be true or people believe that they are, then that changes the equation.

HUNT: For Dr. Ford, who also wrestled with what it would mean to come forward, there is one critical difference from Anita Hill's experience: Senator Kamala Harris is one of four Democratic women now on the committee.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: I'm going to charge and expect that every member, regardless of their gender, will be aware of and in tune with the issues that are at play.

HUNT: But in the era of #MeToo, their patience is running out.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO: I just want to say to the men of this country, just shut up and step up! Do the right thing, for a change.

[Cuts back to live]

HUNT: Republicans are privately very worried that all of their questions are going to come from men, and they're still trying to work out how and who will ask questions at the hearing, if it goes forward. Dr. Ford still hasn't acknowledged the invitation, and both sides say it won't go on without her.

NB Daily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Double Standards Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce David Muir Kasie Hunt Brett Kavanaugh Anita Hill Orrin Hatch Kamala Harris Christine Blasey Ford

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