Another day, another battle in the propaganda war against Donald Trump. I hadn't really been following the Senate Judiciary hearing for the Supreme Court very closely but I was aware there was an allegation of assault made against Trump's nominee and I caught a bit of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony on the news. Then, of course, there was the usual run of opinion on Facebook. I got into a disagreement with someone I know about it because she was adamant that from what she had heard and seen, he was guilty. I said, I didn't like trial by media and pointed out that the man hadn't been charged or convicted of any crime so at this point, and in the eyes of the law, there is supposed to be a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. But it was like talking to a wall, laws didn't matter, she just knew he was guilty.
So, I made it my business over the weekend to watch both testimonies and both rounds of questioning as much as time allowed (which turned out to be several hours of my Sunday, in between trying to watch the Grand Prix!).
As someone who, unfortunately, knows only too well the consequences of assault and its aftermath, I have to say from what I watched, Brett Kavanaugh is innocent and Christine Ford's performance, and not a very good performance at that, was insipid, cringe-inducing but more importantly, false. I thought that when I first saw the snippet on the news before I knew any of the details and now after everything I've read and seen, I'm even more convinced.
The alleged assault took place 36 years ago when she was 15, and Brett Kavanaugh was 17, but these details may not be true and in earlier reports she alleged it happened in her late teens. No one among her friends from her teen years could corroborate her memory of a party attended by Mr Kavanaugh. She couldn't remember the house, and couldn't remember how she got to the party or how she got home afterwards. The memory of the assault was from a recovered memory (which have been shown to be notoriously unreliable) from 2012 when she was in therapy although, no mention was made of Kavanaugh in her therapy notes, notes too which her lawyers refuse to allow the Supreme Court judiciary to see. As assaults go, on a scale of 1 - 10, I would class it as a one. She was, allegedly, groped by a drunken teenage boy, but made it sound like she was about to be gang-raped and/or murdered. These were just some of the holes in her allegations.
If I hadn't watched the testimonies for myself and had only judged this on media reports, I would have been led to believe that Brett Kavanaugh was a bully and an uncontrollable drunken lout, not a man with years of experience as a lawyer and, as far as I know, an unblemished record as a sitting judge. While Christine Ford has been portrayed as a paragon of virtue, truth and righteousness.
I would have described myself as a feminist. But it seems that within the feminist community now, there is an expectation that any woman making any allegation of assault, sexual or otherwise, should be believed on her word only and without any corroborating evidence. There was a rape trial here in NI earlier this year involving two NI rugby players. In that instance, I believed the girl because her testimony rang true with what I know of assault and related behaviours. Nothing about Christine Ford's testimony rang true for me.
I'm also a leftie and Brett Kavanaugh is as far from me politically, as you could possibly get so I certainly couldn't be accused of bias in that respect. I believe he is innocent and I haven't seen or heard anything to contradict that belief at this stage, and is not guilty of anything other than being a Republican.
The bias in the media against Kavanaugh, like his questioning by Democrats, is more to do with the ongoing campaign to unseat Donald Trump from the Whitehouse than any great search for truth or justice. On the whole, nothing these days is about real truth or justice, it's all a propaganda war to get into power and to use any piece of dirt you can get your hands on, no matter how low you have to go, to try and discredit your opponents. I feel the Democrats have shot themselves in the foot with this one. It'll be interesting to see what happens in November's mid terms.