MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough issued a challenge to the media in the wake of the spectacle that was supposed to be the civil confirmation of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
The “Morning Joe” host questioned how the press did not do its job in properly pursuing how Christine Blasey Ford’s confidential letter about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh came to be leaked, noting that the “unsubstantiated allegations” would “most likely not have made print” five or 10 years ago.
“What New York Times reporter, what Washington Post reporter was assigned a story by their editors to go see what really happened with Dianne Feinstein, and ask Dianne Feinstein and her staff the sort of questions that would have happened if the Republican Party had done the same thing. Not one.” Scarborough said Tuesday.
“I challenge New York Times – not reporters, editors – I challenge Washington Post editors, I challenged Wall Street Journal editors. I challenge editors across America, write that story. What happened with Dr. Ford’s agreement with a congresswoman, with Dianne Feinstein? Why did they leak that story? More importantly, look at yourself and ask yourself the question, ‘Why didn’t we report on this in real-time when we sure as hell would have reported on it if [Senator] Grassley and his office had done the same thing?’”
Though he claimed Senate Judiciary Republicans “acted shamefully” in handling Ford’s accusation, Scarborough argued that Democrats did so too as well as news outlets that did not do enough to pursue the details in the unfolding story.
“Journalists in America have a lot to answer for. Why couldn’t they play this down the middle?” Scarborough asked.
Ford had requested her identity remain confidential when the letter she first sent to her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party more than three decades ago, was forwarded to Feinstein in July.
Though the California Democrat did not mention the letter throughout hours of testimony and questioning of Kavanaugh, she referred it to federal authorities once the confirmation hearing concluded. The letter made it into the hands of the media which released the allegations without naming Ford, though Feinstein has denied she is the one who leaked the letter to the press.
“The question is why didn’t they focus on the allegations before them and why didn’t they ask the same tough questions of Dianne Feinstein and her staff that they should have, rightly asked, of Chuck Grassley and his staff. You held the letter for a couple of months, you waited until Kavanaugh’s hearing was over and then you released it at the very end,” Scarborough said.
“Again, the only question I’m asking today is, why didn’t one editor for the New York Times, or one editor for the Washington Post, or one editor for the Wall Street Journal, say, ‘you know what that’s a story we really need to dig into deep because they’re not telling us the truth,'” he added.