By NICOLAS IPARRAGUIRRE
This past week, the already contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process of nominee Brett Kavanaugh has become embroiled in controversy since allegations of sexual misconduct were revealed. The accuser, Dr. Christine Ford, wrote to her local representative and senator in July regarding an incident that occurred when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.
Since the allegations have been made public, much of the news media on both sides have failed to examine all of the facts in the case in favor of repeating talking points from politicians on each side.
For conservatives, many commentators have stuck to the talking point that until there is more information, nothing can be done. While usually delivering a message that does err on the side of caution, news media commentators on the right have failed to acknowledge that since it is unlikely facts can be discovered within the next week.
Waiting for more information would lead to a vote on Kavanaugh before the credibility of the allegations can be confirmed. In a tweet after the allegations surfaced, Ben Shapiro, founder of the Daily Wire tweeted, “The point here isn’t that we should DISBELIEVE all women. We should give women the presumption of truth — but then we should ask for supporting details and evidence if we actually give a good damn about due process or truth itself.”
This carefully crafted message ignores the issue that additional information will be difficult to ascertain, and that this line of thinking will lead to Kavanaugh’s confirmation prior to the discovery of any corroborating evidence for the allegations.
For the left, many news media commentators have repeated the Democratic talking points that ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley should halt the nomination process and institute an FBI investigation. The only issue with this idea is that the Senate does not actually have the authority to order an investigation from the FBI, as it exists as an executive branch agency.
One member of the news media who has been an example of simply reporting the facts has been Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, famous for his investigative work exposing allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Farrow’s reporting on the subject featured a detailed account of the allegations against Kavanaugh, along with reporting that the allegations have been known to senator Dianne Feinstein since July.
With information difficult to come across for extremely serious allegations regarding a Supreme Court nominee, Farrow has simply informed the public without inserting his own opinion and allowing the facts to inform the public as to where the situation stands.