Media bias against Kavanaugh is overwhelming

Media bias against Kavanaugh is overwhelming
© Greg Nash

It's hard to remember a time when both sides of the aisle have been this pissed off before on one topic. 

In this case, we're obviously talking about the farcical confirmation process surrounding Brett Kavanaugh, who went from Supreme Court shoo-in to perhaps the most divisive figure in the country outside of anyone named Trump. 

This whole sordid affair is a farce with one goal in mind: Paint the Republican Party as anti-women, anti-sexual assault, anti-"Me Too."


From a general political perspective, it's almost irrelevant if Kavanaugh gets confirmed. The damage is already done when the president and many in his party, including the Lindsey Grahams and Chuck Grassleys of the world, defend Kavanaugh's right to due process while questioning multiple claims made against him from more than 30 years ago that one person has yet to corroborate. 

Most importantly, a horrific precedent is now set for anyone even thinking of serving in government or on a high court: A world where anyone can be accused of anything that occurred decades ago without providing evidence or any corroborating witnesses to support the claim — all while it destroys that person’s career and family as a consequence.

What sane person would ever want to get into public service if these are the new ground rules? 

Oh, but Kavanaugh drank beer in high school, drank in college. That must make him a monster because teens don't party in high school or college in this country.  

In a related story, Kavanaugh went on to graduate cum laude at Yale and went on to have a clean and highly successful career on the bench to the point he's being considered for a job only 113 people in the history of this country have ever held by being on the Supreme Court. 

NBC's Megyn Kelly put it best at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on Tuesday. 

“Brett Kavanaugh is entitled to due process but he’s not necessarily going to get it. [Ford is] not going to be believed by the Republicans, no matter how credible she may seem,” said Kelly, who served as a litigator for years before jumping into broadcast journalism. “So the whole thing is a farce. It was set up to be a farce.”

Kelly went on to note that there is no neutral party but only politicians with specific agendas pushing their desired narrative. As for the FBI investigation, she argues it will satisfy no one on either side of the aisle. 

“It’s going to be utterly unsatisfactory to almost all people,” Kelly added.

From a media perspective, things have gone from the usual bias against one side, to being outright comical if it wasn't so sad. A study from the conservative Media Research Center shows more than 90 percent of coverage of Kavanaugh has been negative.

The New York Times has been particularly hilarious, highlighted by a story that includes Kavanaugh being involved in a bar fight that broke out at Yale that included the nominee throwing ice at another patron 33 years ago. 


Which led to CNN's John Berman putting this question to a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

"Brett Kavanaugh threw ice in someone's face during a bar fight when he was in college. Do you feel that that is in any way disqualifying for someone to sit on the Supreme Court?" asked Berman on "New Day."

“This is why we need an FBI investigation," replied Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Hawaii). 

The Times story was co-written by Emily Bazelon. She wrote on Twitter shortly after Kavanaugh was nominated that she was "strongly" disassociating herself from the nominee because "he's a 5th vote for a hard-right turn on voting rights."

 After Bazelon's tweet was discovered and made the rounds on social media, the Times was forced to admit through a spokesperson that she is "not a news reporter."

Times' spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said Tuesday the Bazelon’s “role in this story was to help colleagues in the newsroom gather public documents in New Haven, where Emily is based. In retrospect, editors should have used a newsroom reporter for that assignment."  

On the retraction front, things were much worse at USA Today last Friday. That's when the paper actually decided to run an op-ed by sports columnist Erik Brady that implied Kavanaugh was a pedophile who should not coach his daughter's basketball team because he couldn't be trusted around young girls. 

"The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around," he wrote. 

"The nation is deeply divided," he added. "Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?"

After considerable blowback, USA Today took down those passages instead of nuking the column altogether, stating:

"Our sports writer wrote an opinion column but didn’t mean to malign the Supreme Court nominee."

According to USA Today, the writer didn't mean to malign Kavanaugh. He just implied that Kavanaugh was a potential pedophile, without a scintilla of evidence, who can't ever go within 50 yards of his own daughters' school again.

There are other examples of media malfeasance from the past two weeks, but you get the point. 

There's a reason the country is so angry right now. 

The left and the right see Kavanaugh as either a sexual predator and alcoholic, or a victim of a corrupt political system and/or an overwhelmingly biased media. 

Those looking for truth, for objectivity, for the story to be presented through a non-partisan lens are mostly left empty-handed. Most quarters of media have taken a side here as noted by staunch Trump critic Joe Scarborough on MSNBC on Wednesday morning. 

“The media coverage of this has been so one-sided, it has been so biased,” Scarborough said on "Morning Joe."  

"[The media's] presumption from the beginning has been that every single allegation made against the judge was true.”  

Once the Kavanaugh confirmation mercifully ends one way or the other, the stench of this rancid affair still will not go away for a very long time when it comes to remotely trusting political institutions or the Fourth Estate. 

Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill and host of "What America's Thinking."

This piece has been updated.