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WaPo Committed The Worst Media Malfeasance During The Brett Kavanaugh Smear Campaign

Apparently suppressing exculpatory facts in a high-profile confirmation hearing is not considered malpractice by current journalistic standards.


This is an excerpt of “The Devil’s Triangle: Mark Judge vs. the New American Stasi,” by Mark Judge, out on Nov. 14 from Post Hill Press.

At various times in the fall of 2018, the Stasi media told the public that I had been Brett Kavanaugh’s wingman at a series of wild bacchanalian parties, bought and sold cocaine, and presided over no fewer than ten gang rapes.

As time went on the worst of these lies and distortions were exposed by conservative reporters doing the job that liberal editors at major publications should have done. Gradually the shabby methods of the Stasi media were exposed for all to see.

The most shocking instance of journalistic malfeasance is the failure of the [Washington] Post’s Emma Brown to include any reference to Leland Keyser in her initial story about the Ford memo. This was noticed right away thanks to the watchful eye of Kimberley Strassel. It should have been enough to get her fired, but apparently suppressing exculpatory facts in a high-profile confirmation hearing is not considered malpractice by current journalistic standards.

In a similar act of ideological fact suppression—also detailed above—NBC’s Kate Snow withheld damaging information about Michael Avenatti when to publish it would have undermined the claims of Julie Swetnick.

In February 2019, months after Brett was confirmed, Vanity Fair published a lengthy hit piece on Georgetown Prep [high school] by Evgenia Peretz detailing all kinds of bad behavior by the jock elite, including me and Brett, and the supposed “code of silence” that concealed our abuses until they were at last brought to light by the courageous Ford. Heavily sourced from my own candid confessional writings, the piece describes me thus: 

Judge took the cake. He was the loudest, edgiest, baddest ass. He was also the heartthrob. In Breakfast Club terms, you might say he had the dangerous allure of Judd Nelson’s Bender combined with the popularity of Emilio Estevez’s Andrew Clark. His body couldn’t contain his energy. He would leap onto people’s backs to start games of chicken. He could place his hands on a banister and jettison his body over an entire stairwell.

As one of my friends quipped, “Wow, part Mel Gibson, part Tom Cruise, part ape.”

More than an attack on Brett, the Vanity Fair piece is framed as an indictment of the entire white, male, upper-class American elite. The Prep boys are described as mainly the sons of wealthy, conservative families from the Maryland “horse country.” There were few middle-class kids, few “students of color,” and, of course, being a school run by Jesuits, few women: The original article read, “Any female presence consisted of the librarian, the secretary in the president’s office, and perhaps two teachers.” Peretz also alleges strong whiffs of homophobia and anti-Semitism.

Like so much mainstream reporting these days, Peretz’s article reflects the rage of the resentful people who never lost their hatred of what she called “the kings of the school”—swaggering, entitled bullies who liked to stuff underclassmen into garbage cans.

Kavanaugh, according to some former classmates, was not the central showman, but rather an eager sidekick. An alum who knew Kavanaugh well recalls, ‘He had the attitude of ‘I’m the man, I’m a badass, and everybody else is kind of a loser. I do what I want. I get what I want.’ He was more of a dick, for lack of a better word.’ 

The piece goes on to detail the notorious weekend party scene at which people passed out in driveways and got run over by cars.

As Judge put it, ‘if you could breathe and walk at the same time, you could hook up with someone.’ But hooking up wasn’t always about mutual pleasure. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, countless women from his private-school scene have been sharing experiences they had that mirror the one Blasey Ford described. 

According to Peretz, these girls were only there because they wanted to be liked by these popular boys and were seeking “affirmation.”

Prep pushed back and Vanity Fair was immediately forced to correct a number of errors. Daily Wire writer Ashe Schow noted three corrections within days of publication:

The original article claimed [an] alumnus…was the school’s quarterback, but he was actually the tight end. It also claimed source Evie Shapiro ‘attended Potomac High School and went to Catholic University with [Mark] Judge.’ Shapiro actually went to Churchill High School in Potomac, as there is no Potomac High School. She also attended the University of Maryland, not Catholic University.

Finally, the original article claimed “[a]ny female presence consisted of the librarian, the secretary in the president’s office, and perhaps two teachers.”…There were actually 16 women serving on the staff during the 1982-1983 academic year, four of whom were faculty members.

According to a spokesman from Prep, no effort was made by Peretz or her editors to check her assertions: “The magazine’s editors did zero fact checking with us. We could have straightened all those errors out and we had asked for the chance to respond but it seems like she just didn’t care. And if she can’t even get basic facts right like that or own up to the mistakes, then why should readers take anything she says seriously?”

How indeed? The Daily Wire found a lot more mistakes and omissions, including many that appear to be deliberate distortions intended to bolster the article’s narrative. These include the fact that many prominent Democrats also attended the school, not just rich Republicans, and that the student body president in 1983 was black; using an illegally recorded speech by Prep’s headmaster and cherry-picking his remarks to fit the story’s narrative; failing to respond to multiple emails from the school; and making numerous misrepresentations concerning the school’s handling of a sexual abuse scandal dating long after the 1980s.

These kinds of shabby, corner-cutting methods are enough to undermine any claim to serious journalism. But it is par for the course for the new American Stasi.

The piece also contains this astonishing passage: “To many Americans, Kavanaugh didn’t seem like a sexual predator—but that wasn’t the point. The point was that he couldn’t give an inch of possible culpability. He couldn’t say, ‘I’m sorry for what I might have done.’”

To anyone who has escaped a Communist country, that aside is deeply chilling. Why should a man apologize for something he insists he didn’t do? But it no longer matters if one is innocent or not. We are living in the age of the show trial and the forced apology. All that matters is that we submit to our liberal betters.

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