The New York Times vs. Kavanaugh is Groundhog Day    

  By: Katie Petrick
   Published : September 20, 2019

Phil Connors (Bill Murray) may have lived Groundhog Day more than 25 years ago, but Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the rest of America is living it today.

After having to listen to media pundits and politicians gripe about the unproven sexual assault allegations in September 2018 involving Kavanaugh, the same old song is being played this month, exactly one year later.

Groundhog Day reset itself on Sunday, Sept. 15, when The New York Times  published a piece called “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.” Written by Times reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin, the authors of a forthcoming book on Kavanaugh titled The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation , the Sunday article was featured as a “news analysis” piece, not news, because in fact, there is nothing new to report. The Times  is stirring the pot and trying to help its reporters hock more books.

In the article, which is also a featured component of the book, Kelly and Pogrebin focus on alleged victim Deborah Ramirez, whose allegation against Kavanaugh remains that at a freshman dormitory party where much alcohol was consumed, Kavanaugh exposed his penis to Ramirez, and she touched it whilst in an attempt to swat it away from herself.

The essay discusses how she was a good girl before attending Yale University, and that Kavanaugh and his friends took her innocence away. This is despite the clear wording that Ramirez had gotten drunk herself and was freely attending a party that may have included penis waving. This does not downplay any sexual assault, but calls into question the legitimacy of the claim after more than 35 years.

At the original hearing one year ago, an article in The New Yorker  discussed the lack of corroboration, witness testimony, and complete knowledge of any facts. Buried within the story was the acknowledgment that Ramirez was not sure Kavanaugh was the man whose penis was exposed. But then six days after initial assertion, her memories came to light.

“After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” the article in The New Yorker stated.

No corroborating evidence or witnesses to this account were ever found. And in present day, the authors of the article still have no corroboration, yet they are pushing the narrative. And this is where The New York Times  got itself in a lot of hot water. The newspaper issued a tweet to promote the story and then had to apologize because it was offensive as they downplayed sexual assault. The tweet began: “Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like ‘harmless fun.’”

Next came the editor’s note added to the end of the Sunday story that included acknowledgement that the authors did not actually get a witness account of the incident.

“The female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article,” the editor’s note read.

Almost immediately, and continuing throughout the week, Kelly and Pogrebin went on the defensive as to what happened with the wording of their article and the omission that there was no corroboration.

“During the editing process, there was an oversight, and this key detail, about the fact that the woman herself has told friends she doesn’t remember it, and has not wanted to talk about it, got cut,” Kelly explained on The View  on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The attacks on the piece were almost instantaneous, as on Monday, Sept. 16, the Times , had to issue answers to readers’ questions about the article published just one day earlier because it was clearly not well-received as a factual and well-sourced piece.

But that did not stop many of the Democratic candidates running for president from jumping on the opportunity to call for the impeachment of Kavanaugh. Before some people even had their Sunday morning coffee, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was busily tweeting her experience of sitting through the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and demanding for his impeachment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at least waited until lunch time to tweet “the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him.” And then she added, “Kavanaugh should be impeached.”

And while they were on the topic of impeachment, President Trump’s name was put into the mix since he was the one to have put forth Kavanaugh’s nomination. In this day and age all it takes is for someone to mention the name of Trump, and it is somehow his fault.

But it was President Trump who provided the correct assertion about all of this when he attended a rally in New Mexico on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

“I just put out a statement on social media that said—I don’t think they’ll do it, but they should for the good of the nation—I call for the resignation of everybody at The New York Times  involved in the Kavanaugh smear story,” Trump said to a roar of applause.

Will that happen? You bet it will not. And so, this time next September, just in time for the 2020 election, all of America will probably live another Kavanaugh Groundhog Day. You can mark it on the calendar.

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