NRO’s Jonah Goldberg Confronts Liberal Media’s Rush to Convict Kavanaugh With Nothing

Since the allegations of an attempted sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh first surfaced, very few on the right had been able to get onto the liberal media’s airwaves and give them the proper reality check they needed. During a Sunday appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg burst their bubble by explaining how “the preponderance of the evidence that we have… is in Judge Kavanaugh's favor.

A theme of moderator Chuck Todd’s questioning for conservative guests regarding the matter included grilling them on how much evidence they needed to show Kavanaugh’s guilt or to kill his nomination. “How are we going to resolve whether who is believed here,” was his question to Goldberg.

I'm not sure that we are. I do think the preponderance of the evidence that we have, which is almost entirely circumstantial, witness testimony and the like, is in Judge Kavanaugh's favor,” he explained. Noting that Kavanaugh’s accuser named four other people who were allegedly at the party where the assault was said to have happened, Goldberg added, “They don't know about the party. One person who is a friend of Ford's doesn't even say she knows Kavanaugh.

Todd cut his guest off to remind him that the woman, though she denied being at the party, “[s]he did say she believes Ford, for what it’s worth.” Which is a truly bizarre concept: The woman says she believed the person who claims she was at a party she denied being at. Huh?

Goldberg was greatly concerned with “the long-term precedent that we may be setting” with the rush to believe accusations with no actual evidence at all. “You can issue a not under oath allegation with no other corroboration for it and destroy a man's or a candidate, a nominee's character and reputation to destroy a nomination, that is a problem for both parties and for this country,” he decried.

 

 

Following Goldberg was the rambling mess that’s Chris Matthews. He didn’t mince words in sharing how he felt about the allegations. “I believe it did happen from her recollection,” he proclaimed as he argued it was her duty as a U.S. citizen to smear Kavanaugh. “Imagine if she'd had this experience and this memory and never told anybody about it and this guy became Supreme Court justice, was that a responsible citizen? No! I think she did the right thing so far.”

“[I]f she hadn't brought that to the public, I think that would have been a failure of her citizenship,” he added. I wonder if he believes the sexual harassment allegations that were made against him by an MSNBC colleague. The allegations were exposed by our friend Amber Athey at the Daily Caller in December of last year and Matthews still has yet to address them publically.

New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper seemed to agree with Matthews and argued that the Senate owed his accuser a hearing. “I think, the presumption of innocence or at least to assume that they're telling the truth. They're not making this up,” she declared with no evidence. Adding, “which means that it is the Senate's obligation to take this seriously and to do a lot better job than they did with Anita Hill hearing.”

Goldberg could not disagree more and wasted no time in shooting it down. He did say that women who have been assaulted “deserve to be heard” and “deserve to be taken seriously”. But he had great misgivings about blanket presumptions of truth. He pointed to an analogy by Senator Patty Murray (D) from earlier in the show where she argued that we believe people who claim their car was stolen.

“That was a really clever line and it misses the point entirely,” Goldberg shot back. “We give the presumption innocence to people -- If I say, ‘Chuck Todd stole my car,’ you have to prove that.” And when it came to just believing accusations because of the sex of the person who made them, Goldberg chided Democrats for not believing the accuser of Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. “But second of all, that means we are throwing out over a thousand years of really important law that says we presume the innocence of the accused,” he emphatically concluded.

None of them had any sort of rebuttal to his expertly crafted points.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CHUCK TODD: How are we going to resolve whether who is believed here, Jonah?

JONAH GOLDBERG: I'm not sure that we are. I do think the preponderance of the evidence that we have which is almost entirely circumstantial, witness testimony and the like is in Judge Kavanaugh's favor. The four people, as you brought up—The four people who were alleged to be there all say they not only did not know about the attack, which is understandable because it was allegedly done in secret. They don't know about the party. One person who is a friend of Ford's doesn't even say she knows Kavanaugh.

TODD: She did say she believes Ford, for what it’s worth. But yes, you're right, she did.

GOLDBERG: One thing that's difficult on the right and left to get their heads around is even if what Dr. Ford is saying is true, at least as far as she sees it, the long-term precedent that we may be setting, that says: you can issue a not under oath allegation with no other corroboration for it and destroy a man's or a candidate, a nominee's character and reputation to destroy a nomination, that is a problem for both parties and for this country. And everyone on the left is saying that the blocking of Merrick Garland justifies anything that the Democrats do. Well, if they do this to Brett Kavanaugh, you’re going to have Republicans for a generation saying the destruction of Brett Kavanaugh justifies whatever they do and everything will get worse.

TODD: Chris?

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, let's start with the basics. Dr. Ford has a right to petition Congress. It's in the Constitution. You have a right -- she had a right to bring her complaint and bring her information. Number two, didn't she also have a responsibility? If she has this recollection and she told her husband when they were getting married. It was a marital problem for them. She went to couples therapy about that. There was that earlier establishment of her recollection among other people.

If it happened -- and I believe it did happen from her recollection -- shouldn't she have brought it forward? Imagine if she'd had this experience and this memory and never told anybody about it and this guy became Supreme Court justice, was that a responsible citizen? No! I think she did the right thing so far.

This is going to be tough, two people in a room. But it’s very hard to accept, I think, Kavanaugh’s description of not having been at that party, without having to say which party it was, is a total denial. I mean, it's a good lawyer position, “I've never done anything like that, been near that person. I’ve never been there.” And she says let me tell you what happened: “These two guys rammed me into a room, locked – closed the door behind us” – I assume that’s a part of it, “corralled me” was the term—“Threw me on the bed. When I tried to cry for help, covered my mouth.”

This does sound like assault. This isn't romancing or a little drunken whatever romancing, it's just assault, and if she hadn't brought that to the public, I think that would have been a failure of her citizenship.

HELENE COOPER: I -- The very nature of this sort of thing always ends up being he said or she said. That's why it's so hard, but it also is -- it also is so incredibly difficult for a woman to come forward and say that “I have been sexually assaulted” for the very reasons that we see what Dr. Ford are go -- is going through right now.

That, I sort of do agree with Senator [Patty] Murray that you -- you owe these women, I think, the presumption of innocence or at least to assume that they're telling the truth. They're not making this up, which means that it is the Senate's obligation to take this seriously and to do a lot better job than they did with Anita Hill hearing.

I mean, I went back -- I think a lot of us this past week went back and looked at the Anita Hill hearing and I was reminded again of why I was so angry. Which is why I think that -- when President Trump came out and said “why didn't they call the police? Why didn't she report this to her loving parents? Why didn't they report this?” It is so appalling.

GOLDBERG: I completely disagree with that, I'm sorry, in terms of the crucial point.

Women who come forward and make these accusations, they deserve to be heard. They deserve to be taken seriously. The idea -- And Senator Murray says, “we never doubt anybody when anyone says my car was stolen.” That was a really clever line and it misses the point entirely. We give the presumption innocence to people-- If I say, “Chuck Todd stole my car.” You have to prove that. And if we're going say that as women as a class are always believed no matter what… Well, first of all, I want to see how Democrats deal with Keith Ellison. But second of all, that means we are throwing out over a thousand years of really important law that says we presume the innocence of the accused.

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