For heaven's sake, the New Yorker has the thinnest MeToo story yet, but its the talk of the town.
Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer hit the talk shows this morning to defend the piece but it clearly is a break from their usual pattern of multiple victims and multiple allegations, and the contemporaneous corrobaration is very light. To be fair, they also run all manner of strong denials. The real impetus here seems to be that someone contacted the Senate Democratic staffers with this story, rumors were swirling, staffers and other media were investigation, and the confirmation clock was ticking.
Two details that jumped out at me but may get less attention:
An ex-roomie of Kavanaugh's can not confirm this story but has some harsh words about Kavanaugh (my emphasis):
Several other classmates said that they believed Ramirez to be credible and honest, and vouched for her integrity. James Roche was roommates with Kavanaugh at the time of the alleged incident and is now the C.E.O. of a software company in San Francisco. “Debbie and I became close friends shortly after we both arrived at Yale,” he said. “She stood out as being exceptionally honest and gentle. I cannot imagine her making this up.” He said that he never witnessed Kavanaugh engage in any sexual misconduct, but did recall him being “frequently, incoherently drunk.”
And on that hard-drinking theme, we are treated to several examples of the deplorable treatment of drunken young women by drunken young men, centered around Mark Judge specifically of Georgetown Prep boys generally. Left unremarked - of all the alleged incidents on the table, only one involves a sober woman - that would be Dr. Ford.
Obviously, if she had been drinking that does not give anyone the right to assault her. However, Dr. Ford told the WaPo she had just one beer the night of her trauma and hazy memory. PTSD is one explanation of her poor memory, but alcohol is another. Beyond that, guessing at her alcohol use gives us a guess about her credibility.
Well. It's obviously open season on Kavanaugh's drinking habits as a young man. Dr. Ford will remain off limits to the journalists of the MeToo era for obvious reasons. Are likely to learn more this week as this circus passes by? I have learned one thing - two weeks ago I was embarrassed for America by the Senate hearing antics of Cory "I m Spartacus" Booker and Kamala "Guess the name of the lawyer I'm thinking of" Harris. Now, those are the good old days.
MORE: The Times was digging and came up empty. Since these are the folks who ran the LONG front-page McCain piece which TOTALLY WAS NOT alleging an improper affair with a female lobbyist, the dirt here must have been scarce indeed.
Judge Kavanaugh’s prospects were further clouded on Sunday when The New Yorker reported on a new allegation of sexual impropriety: A woman who went to Yale with Judge Kavanaugh said that, during a drunken dormitory party their freshman year, he exposed himself to her, thrust his penis into her face and caused her to touch it without her consent.
In a statement, Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegation from the woman, Deborah Ramirez, and called it “a smear, plain and simple.” The New Yorker did not confirm with other eyewitnesses that Judge Kavanaugh was at the party.
The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.