I guess that The New York Times didn’t get the memo. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court last fall. He is sitting there (officially, I mean) right now, as I write. Despite the most disgusting, ad hominem, evidence-free effort at character assassination of a Supreme Court nominee in history, the combined forces of The New York Times and other cesspool media organs like The New Yorker, bottom-feeding Senate Democrats, feminazis of various stripes, and other woke constituencies on the left, Kavanaugh made it. One of the most ostentatiously qualified candidates for the Supreme Court in recent memory managed — just barely — to slip through the gauntlet of baseless accusation, wild fantasy, and prurient hysteria and ascend to the country’s highest court. Hurrah.
But in today’s Sunday Review, the country’s fishwrap of record publishes an excerpt from The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by two Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.
The excerpt is written in the Times’s high emetic style: every phrase infused with the new status anxiety of universal accusation and class-sex-and-race-based innuendo. The star of the article is Deborah ‘significant gaps in my memory’ Ramirez. Have the dramamine at hand?
‘Ms Ramirez grew up in a split-level ranch house [Oh, too bad] in working-class Shelton, Conn., perhaps best known for producing the Wiffle ball, and didn’t drink before college. [Got it: working class, straitlaced] Her father, who is Puerto Rican [Check]…
‘Before coming to Yale [Baaad Yale], Ms Ramirez took pride in her parents’ work ethic and enjoyed simple pleasures like swimming in their aboveground pool [above ground: noted. Definitely not part of the Cabana set]…she and her parents took out loans to pay for Yale [So?], and she got work-study jobs on campus, serving food in the dining halls and cleaning dorm rooms before class reunions. [Unlike snobs like Brett Kavanaugh, you see.]
‘She tried to adapt to Yale socially, joining the cheerleading squad her freshman year, sometimes positioned at the pinnacle of the pyramid. But Ms Ramirez learned quickly that although cheerleading was cool in high school, it didn’t carry the same cachet at Yale. People called her Debbie Cheerleader or Debbie Dining Hall or would start to say ‘Debbie does … ‘ playing on the 1978 porn movie Debbie Does Dallas. But Ms Ramirez didn’t understand the reference. [But your humble reporters do, nod, nod.]’
And on and on in seemingly interminable pointlessness. Or, rather, it does have a point: to establish Ramirez as a suitable victim for the depredations of Yale in general and Brett Kavanaugh in particular.
The allegation in question was first published by that slick saffron journal, The New Yorker, in September 2018 just as the Kavanaugh hearing was reaching the apogee of hysterical denunciation. The piece was by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, deans of muckraking character assassination. It was, as National Review’s Charles Cooke noted at the time, the least responsible piece of journalistic reporting in a major (well, formerly major) media outlet he could remember. Even The New York Times looked askance at it (that was then). Breathlessly recounted was a party at Yale some 35 years ago when Brett Kavanaugh, then 18, was a freshman. This is old news, of course, part of the mephitic backwash of rotting gossip that trailed along the garbage trawl that was Christine Blasey Ford’s exploded melodrama. Pogrebin and Kelly offer this summary:
‘During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled [Ramirez] deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.’
Of course, nothing so outrageous has ever happened in the annals of American college life, and thank goodness no sitting member of Congress or other Important Person ever participated in anything so disreputable while he was in college. But the point here is that Brett Kavanaugh categorically denied the allegations — and at this point they were coming fast and furious, with Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti lining up a stable of girls he said had been abused by Brett Kavanaugh. The trouble was, poor Debbie was a bit fuzzy on the details. It was so long ago. She had been unhappy at Yale. And she had been drinking ‘heavily.’
Nor were there any eyewitnesses, only hearsay — ‘sources’. It was at this juncture, in fact, as Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino note in their masterly, indeed, definitive, account of the Kavanaugh hearing Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court, that Kavanaugh’s legal team ‘suspected the anti-Kavanaugh forces had finally overplayed their hand. The tide was turning.’
As indeed they had, and it was. We still had the spectacle of the malignant buffoon Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse attempting to parse some slang in Kavanaugh’s high school year book to savor, but the baselessness not only of Ramirez’s claim but the surreal extrapolations sprouting up like rhetorical toadstools around it, helped tip the balance in Kavanaugh’s favor.
So what’s the point of this latest ‘bombshell’ in The New York Times (not to mention the book from which it is taken)? Haven’t we been here, done that?
Well, yes. But wait. As the Drudge Report screams in a headline today, there is a ‘Fresh Allegation’. It is this: another Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, to wit, one Max Stier, claims that he ‘saw Mr Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.’ This claim, as the Times notes darkly ‘echoes’ what Deborah Ramirez had said. You don’t need an urban dictionary of rhetorically helpful, if intellectually dishonest, enthymemes to see that what the Times wants you to ring out of ‘echoes’ is ‘confirms’.
But now watch this:
‘Mr Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the FBI about this account, but the FBI did not investigate and Mr Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr Stier.)’
1. Stier runs a ‘non-profit’: a brownie point for him. 2. Stier ‘notified senators and the FBI’ but they declined to investigate. The implication is that they were too biased for Kavanaugh to do so, but the truth is that the allegation was too flimsy to merit investigation. 3. Stier won’t confirm the story publicly but 4. eager beavers Pogrebin and Kelly ‘corroborated the story with two officials’ [Oh, ‘officials’, eh? Impressive] who have ‘communicated’ with Stier.
What are we to make of this dog’s breakfast of a non-story promulgated solely to do ideological (along with some collateral personal) damage?
Not much, I’d say, or rather, we should take it as a warning of just how bankrupt the so-called progressive media has become. And here are a couple of little bijoux to be getting on with. First, Mollie Hemingway, who deserves some sort of medal for reading an advance copy of the Pogrebin-Kelly tome, notes on Twitter that the book includes a detail omitted in the Times’s ‘bombshell’. ‘The book notes, quietly, that the woman Max Stier named as having been supposedly victimized by Kavanaugh and friends denies any memory of the alleged event. Seems, I don’t know, significant.’ You think?
Then there is Max ‘Fresh Allegation’ Stier. Could he, asks The Federalist’s Sean Davis, be ‘the same Max Stier who was one of Clinton’s defense attorneys? Yes, yes it is.’
Really, wonders will never cease?
Since we’re walking down memory lane by looking back at the disgusting effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, it is worth reminding ourselves about what was at stake in that perverted effort to weaponize the nomination process for partisan ends. Kavanaugh himself summarized it eloquently. Dismissing as groundless ‘smears’ the cornucopia of allegations that had been fabricated like little ju ju dolls to destroy him, he went on to note that such evidence-free allegations not only ‘debase our public discourse,’
‘they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination — if allowed to succeed — will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service. As I told the committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.’
God bless Brett Kavanaugh. And shame, shame on The New York Times and its sweaty minions for abetting the revival of this grotesque calumny.