Following New Yorker’s piece on latest sexual assault report against Brett Kavanaugh, conservatives attack the wrong Deborah Ramirez

Following New Yorker’s piece on latest sexual assault report against Brett Kavanaugh, conservatives attack the wrong Deborah Ramirez

A false attack quickly moved from Quin Hillyer to John Fund to Bret Baier

Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

John Fund, a columnist for the conservative National Review known for his false claims about the prevalence of voter fraud, attacked New Yorker’s reporting on a sexual assault report made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by claiming that the outlet “leaves out [a] tie to George Soros.”

Citing conservaitve columnist Quin Hillyer, Fund wrote that Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and put his penis on her face when they were both students at Yale University, “got [a] 2003 Soros Justice Fellowship to strengthen understanding between law enforcement and Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities.”

The recipient who received the fellowship is Deborah A. Ramirez, a professor at Northeastern University, not the woman who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Fund later issued a “correction” with “sincere apologies” for misidentifying Ramirez. Hillyer apologized on Twitter, writing, "I am told it might be a different Deborah Ramirez. If so, I apologize."

Conservative media figures amplified Fund’s false claim, including Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier who retweeted Fund's tweet:

Baier later quietly unretweeted Fund’s claim, without acknowledging that he promoted false information.

Tom Fitton, the president of conservative group Judicial Watch, also promoted the falsehood:

The sloppy attack on Ramirez and The New Yorker echoes attacks made against Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. Among the numerous smears spread about Ford, one posited that she was not credible because of negative reviews left at RateMyProfessors.com for a different Christine Ford.

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