“I could imagine him putting his hand over someone’s mouth.”
Several members of the media criticized the emotional testimony of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him made by several women and most prominently by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
While conservatives — who, again, largely expressed the view that Ford’s testimony was compelling — found Kavanaugh’s indignant testimony to be credible and powerful, the majority of left-leaning and left-of-center pundits did not agree.
This guy is melting down before our very eyes. pic.twitter.com/BRqtde6TKl
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) September 27, 2018
In fact, many interpreted Kavanaugh’s uncharacteristic show of emotion not as a display of indignation, but rather as evidence of his guilt.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin had a particularly loaded take:
with him screaming and interrupting senators I could imagine him putting his hand over someone’s mouth.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) September 28, 2018
Former NBC News journalist Luke Russert tweeted that Kavanaugh went “full angry belittled marginalized white man.”
Oh boy-Kavanaugh is going full angry belittled marginalized white man. Tough sell for today.
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) September 27, 2018
CNN brought former Colorado House Rep. Patricia Schroeder onto “New Day” to say that Kavanaugh’s “aggressive” testimony made it “believable that if he was drinking, heaven only knows how aggressive he could become.”
Fmr. Rep. Patricia Schroeder: “Part of (Ford’s) testimony was how (Kavanaugh) was drinking a lot and got very aggressive … When you saw him sober and that aggressive … it became very believable that if he was drinking, heaven only knows how aggressive he could become” pic.twitter.com/eVv4xRYjsI
— New Day (@NewDay) September 28, 2018
It’s possible Kavanaugh is guilty. But the anger he displayed while testifying Thursday is in line with how a falsely accused man might react.
To speculate that his anger is evidence of his guilt is not just uncharitable, but clouds what should be a focus on the most solid evidence possible — an admittedly difficult task in the murky waters of figuring out whether a sexual assault carried out 35 years ago occurred.
Media outlets and pundits who air out rank conjecture, such as CNN and Rubin, only serve to further amplify a deeply fraught political climate. Everything about the current moment is just sad.