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It's that time of year.
PragerU put out a video featuring CRTV’s Steven Crowder explaining that Columbus Day is “not about paying homage to America’s original inhabitants” and showing a racist depiction of indigenous people as cannibals wielding salt-and-pepper shakers.
PragerU is an online hub for right-wing propaganda that has made a name for itself by producing short explainer videos that get quickly propelled by YouTube’s virality algorithm. It has an incredibly strong following that leads to its videos raking in millions of views on YouTube and Facebook. On this occasion, PragerU gave its powerful platform to bigoted Crowder -- who recently referred to Christine Blasey Ford as a “lying whore” on his CRTV show -- to characterize initiatives against the erasure of original populations as a “charade” that is an “exercise in hating Western civilization.”
On 4chan, a hub for far-right extremism, users have latched onto right-wing media’s culture war outrage and historical revisionism surrounding Christopher Columbus. 4chan users framed the issue in white supremacist terms by celebrating Columbus because of his role in the genocide of people of color:
This outrage has become an annual tradition. Every year on this date, right-wing media figures rant against calls to celebrate indigenous people rather than Columbus’ bloody legacy, by lashing out with racist depictions of original populations. In 2017, Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire published a cartoon showing Native Americans as cannibalistic savages who should be grateful for colonization, a take so racist even Shapiro had to apologize following the backlash.
Similarly, Mike Huckabee published a wildly racist educational video about Columbus and indigenous people in 2011.
And speaking about Columbus Day in 2005, Lou Dobbs said that he resented “those kinds of holidays” that have “nothing to do with celebrating America.” In the same context, Rush Limbaugh in 2010 linked disease rates among indigenous populations to evolution.
White supremacist darling Tucker Carlson has repeatedly bemoaned celebrations of indigenous people, characterizing them as an “attack on civilization” and claiming Europeans coming to America led to “far less human sacrifice and cannibalism.”
Talia Lavin contributed research to this piece.
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Conservative media personalities are attacking Christine Blasey Ford following President Donald Trump’s attack on her at a political rally. Ford testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
Trump inspired a second wave of attacks from conservatives by mocking her public account of high school sexual assault at his October 2 political rally in Mississippi, as The Washington Post reported:
President Trump mocked the account of a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of assault and told a Mississippi crowd that the #MeToo movement was unfairly hurting men.
Trump, in a riff that has been dreaded by White House and Senate aides, attacked the story of Christine Blasey Ford at length — drawing laughs from the crowd. The remarks were his strongest attacks yet of her testimony.
“ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ‘Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’ ” Trump said of Ford, as he impersonated her on stage.
“I don’t remember,” he said repeatedly, apparently mocking her testimony.
While three Republican senators criticized Trump’s denigration of Ford, other conservatives responded by defending Trump’s attack on her and doubling down with their own.
Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: “BOOM! President Trump Mocks Christine Ford's Flimsy Accusations at Mississippi Rally - CROWD ROARS!”
MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt: Ford’s “story is crumbling, and the president just broke the glass last night. He was not mocking her. He was attacking the credibility of her testimony.”
Other right-wing media figures accused Ford of repeatedly lying in her testimony, drawing on a letter from an ex-boyfriend that said, among other things, that she helped a friend prepare for a polygraph test -- a claim that was soon countered by the friend in question.
Hoft: “SHE’S A FRAUD: Dr. Ford Lied About Flying, Tight Spaces, Closed Quarters, Polygraph Tests.”
Conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson: “Dr. Ford lied. Kavanaugh’s reputation died. All intentional to ruin a good man.”
Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe: “You look at ... what looks like blatant lies” Ford “has told people about flying. … There’s been so many inconsistencies, so many lies.”
And Hoft, along with others, have stated that Ford should be criminally investigated or even locked in prison.
Fox News guest Joe diGenova: Ford “should be investigated and if necessary charged with the crime of submitting a false statement to the Senate.”
Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens: “I would like to be among the first to say that I want Christine Blasey Ford to serve time in PRISON.”
Hoft, citing Owens: “Is It About Time to Lock Up Christine Ford in a Prison Cell With Two Front Doors?”
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Peter Gemma, a white nationalist writer who has been involved in the Holocaust denial movement, has resigned from the Sarasota County Republican Party’s executive committee in Florida.
Political Editor Zac Anderson of the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota reported on October 1 that “Gemma has grudgingly resigned from the Sarasota GOP’s executive committee after the party moved to expel him following revelations he is linked to individuals and groups that have come under scrutiny for alleged racism and other extreme views.”
Media Matters reported on August 23 that Gemma held an event for Tommy Gregory, a Republican who is running for a Florida state House seat. Gemma has a long history of extremism; for instance:
Anderson reported on September 9 that Gemma “joined the Sarasota County Republican Party Executive Committee this year and hosted meet-and-greet events at his house for two GOP candidates.” The Herald-Tribune political editor added:
But Gemma’s increasing immersion in the local political scene became controversial after the left-wing group Media Matters for America published an article highlighting his background.
Now some Sarasota GOP leaders -- though not all -- are distancing themselves from Gemma.
Party Chairman Joe Gruters says he will ask Gemma to resign from the executive committee, even as Gemma denies “any of the crazy stuff they say about me” and one prominent Hispanic Republican is coming to his defense.
Gemma has denied that he’s racist, reportedly “expressed regret about the event with David Irving,” and claimed he doesn’t agree with Holocaust denial.
Media Matters also noted that Kansas Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach cited a made-up anti-immigrant statistic from Gemma for a 2016 Breitbart column, which was also posted on Kobach’s campaign website.
Left or right, political media bubbles are, at best, unproductive; at worst, they can be gateways into alternate realities. Since the 2016 presidential election, there’s been a significant push for people to exit their respective echo chambers and start really listening to one another. For example, BuzzFeed introduced its “Outside Your Bubble” experiment in February 2017, offering readers a range of views from around the internet and across the political spectrum on a single topic. The following month, Amanda Hess at The New York Times gave a rundown of this movement, noting that it is geared less toward trying to convince hardcore Trump supporters to open their minds to the political left, and much more toward convincing liberals to entertain more perspectives from the right.
But just exposing news consumers to wildly different opinions doesn’t do much to bridge the polarization gap -- in fact, it might make people even more entrenched in their partisan views. Earlier this year, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that being presented with different worldviews could actually trigger motivated reasoning and other defense mechanisms among consumers. While the study’s authors cautioned against making too much of its conclusions, it may be worth pumping the brakes a bit on assumptions that we may have about bubble-busting. Perhaps, a place to start would be to seek out milder points of view -- ideologically challenging but not overly partisan -- to add to an idea mix. In other words, a mainstream Democrat might benefit more from reading a relatively thoughtful conservative pundit like David Brooks than party cheerleaders like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh.
One might think that the most obvious place to look for less partisan but still right-leaning figures would be among “Never Trump” Republicans. After all, who better to help bridge the left and the right than people who would have ordinarily voted for the GOP candidate but made the decision not to support Donald Trump?
One person who’s benefited from the push to pop ideological bubbles is conservative commentator Erick Erickson. Erickson, who edits the website The Resurgent, has also had stints as a contributor at both CNN and Fox News in recent years. Like many other “Never Trump” conservatives, such as New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens or The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, Erickson’s profile has arguably risen in the wake of Trump’s election. If you were to base your opinions of him entirely on his appearances in mainstream news outlets, you might even find him reasonable (if perhaps still a little out of your comfort zone).
Perhaps you’ve seen Erickson on Meet the Press, tsk tsk'ing incivility or sharing relatively harmless theories about who could be the author of the mysterious, anonymous White House op-ed. Or maybe you recognize him from sharing a few laughs with Brooke Baldwin on CNN Newsroom, or saying that The Atlantic’s firing of Kevin Williamson was “bad form” on CNN’s Reliable Sources (on The Resurgent, he called The Atlantic’s move “liberal fascism”). Or it could be that you saw him on Real Time with Bill Maher, or read his extremely sensible-sounding New York Times op-ed “How to Find Common Ground.”
But Erickson isn’t moderate. He has argued that gay men should expect to be assaulted in bars if their appearance makes others uncomfortable, defended Roy Moore voters for sticking with their candidate despite “damning” evidence that suggested he preyed on teenage girls, uncritically spread a conspiracy theory about Parkland survivor David Hogg, and later labeled Hogg a “high school bully.”
Since September 17, Erickson has written dozens of stories at The Resurgent about the reports by Christine Blasey Ford and others that Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct. Those blog posts included a number of falsehoods -- such as the debunked claim that The New York Times refused to run one Kavanaugh accuser’s story -- as well as an abundance of hyperbolic claims (“Christine Blasey Ford Demands a Soviet Style Show Trial” reads one headline).
On Twitter, he’s shared conspiracy theories that began as pranks on 4chan (“rumors are flying Michael Avenatti, the creepy porn lawyer, locked his Twitter account because his supposed Kavanaugh victim is a prankster off 4Chan that successfully trolled him,” he wrote, boosting a debunked theory that another Kavanaugh accuser and Avenatti client, Julie Swetnick, didn’t exist). He also helped spread the false rumor that Kavanaugh’s mother foreclosed on Ford’s childhood home (first by saying “a growing body of blogs are posting” the rumor and later by tweeting about it as a fact). He went all-in on conservative commentator Ed Whelan’s elaborate theory that Ford must have confused Kavanaugh with a look-alike (first by couching it in language that simply called the theory a “credible and coherent explanation,” but later by posting a number of tweets presenting the doppelgänger theory as a factual, proven truth). Add to that the fact that he claimed Democrats were “willing to destroy an innocent man so they can keep killing kids” and called the confirmation process “the Left’s PizzaGate,” with MSNBC as “the Left’s Alex Jones.”
Not only are Erickson’s views far from moderate, but his penchant for signal-boosting rumors and conspiracy theories has done much more to confuse the public than to inform it. This isn’t meant as a criticism of his political views, his personal life, or even his bombastic approach to media; it’s a criticism of the sanitized way he’s presented by mainstream outlets that provide him with a platform.
Following Erickson’s attack on Hogg, The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan published a column titled “The sliming of Parkland students shows the spreading stain of media polarization.” The post was critical of Erickson’s “bully” blog post and criticized him for suggesting that Hogg wasn’t at Parkland on the day of the shooting. But even in writing about these vicious and irresponsible actions, Sullivan seemed to hedge.
“Erickson’s actions matter because he’s seen as moderate — someone who gets to offer platitudes about ‘healing’ in the New York Times and whose comments get picked up — not as if they were the ravings of an Alex Jones, but as a legitimate conservative opinion maker,” the column originally read.
On Twitter, I criticized the soft language, to which Sullivan replied, “He’s seen as relatively moderate compared to the likes of Alex Jones or Hannity. He’s apparently seen as relatively moderate by, say, The Hill, which saw fit to write up his post without challenging anything in it. And credible enough to write for NYT.”
The current iteration of Sullivan’s column on the Washington Post website now includes the words “despite his often extreme views” following “Erickson’s action’s matter” and qualifies “relatively” before “moderate.”
Sullivan’s reply suggested that whether someone is a moderate or an extremist is a matter of relativity and the editorial decisions of mainstream news outlets. This idea is as fascinating as it is frustrating -- but I believe it’s correct. The long-term effect of the constant recalibration of what constitutes a moderate position can change perception not only in media, but in politics itself. Sure, what’s moderate in 2018 -- for instance, support for marriage equality -- would have likely be considered extreme in the 1950s. Recalibrations happen over time, but usually as the result of more organic forces, not ratings. This is the Overton window in action, being shifted not by a changing landscape of political views, but by the editorial decisions involved in boosting them. That should worry us.
All of this raises the question: What role do CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post play in establishing and upholding the Erickson-as-moderate mythology? I asked Sullivan.
In an email, she writes, “Although Erickson may be seen by some as moderate or may actually be relatively moderate compared to someone like Alex Jones, he’s not moderate in any real sense. And whenever we refer to him, we should be a lot clearer about that than I was in my column. We owe it to our readers not to reinforce a false idea.”
I agree, and I believe that there’s a responsibility among media outlets to ensure that they’re reflecting public opinion and the realities of modern political discourse rather than putting their thumbs on the scale to create a false balance. Whether it’s in the form of a moderate makeover for someone like Erickson or Shapiro, or ubiquitous “both sides” horse race coverage, it’s time for decision-makers at media organizations to really take into consideration the lasting effects that their work and their choices will have beyond the industry for years to come. It’s for that reason that “left, right, and center” can’t be replaced by “left, Never Trump, and pro-Trump.”
Harkey recently removed an endorsement on her website from a separate group that promoted white nationalist propaganda
Republican congressional candidate Diane Harkey is touting an endorsement from San Diego Patriots (SDP), a group that has trafficked in bigotry against Latinos and Muslims and said that the Parkland mass shooting “just reeks of a false flag” attack.
Harkey previously promoted an endorsement from San Diegans for Secure Borders, which shares white nationalist propaganda and attacks Latino and Muslim immigrants as foreign invaders. The endorsement was removed shortly after Media Matters reported on it.
San Diego Patriots is a fringe group that's led by conservative activist Amy Sutton and claims that its mission is to “secure our nation and our communities from foreign and criminal threats, and to protect our Constitutional Rights, Liberties, and Freedoms.”
SDP has organized recent events with San Diegans for Secure Borders and its leader, anti-immigrant writer and former San Diego Minutemen head Jeff Schwilk. In 2009, a jury ordered Schwilk to pay $135,000 for defaming an Asian-American immigration activist with racist and derogatory remarks.
On its Facebook page, San Diego Patriots has trafficked in conspiratorial and bigoted rhetoric that echoes fringe right-wing media. The group has cast doubt on the legitimacy of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL; attacked political candidates because they’re Muslim; and portrayed Latino and Muslim immigrants as hostile invaders.
On March 18, SDP wrote that the Parkland shooting “just reeks of a false flag.” As The Guardian wrote, a false flag attack refers to “the idea that powerful forces routinely arrange massacres or terrorist atrocities, and make it appear as if some other individual or group did them, in order to achieve their sinister political goals”; Alex Jones is a frequent promoter of "false flag" conspiracy theories, including about the Florida shooting.In February, SDP shared viral but fake information to assert that shooter Nikolas Cruz was a registered Democrat. Prior to being shared by SDP, the false claim was pushed by the disreputable conservative site The Gateway Pundit
SDP has also picked up the fringe conspiracy theory -- promoted in conservative media -- that Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg wasn’t actually a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The group wrote on April 1: “David Hogg involved with an incident in California last year! Is he really from here? What’s the truth about this guy?”
On April 4, one day after a shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, CA, SDP posted the following image of Hogg and another Parkland survivor, Emma Gonzalez. Both Hogg and Gonzalez have been smeared with conspiracy theories.
The Harkey-endorsing group has also trafficked in bigotry against Latinos and Muslims.
On August 24, SDP told followers to “please read” an American Thinker piece criticizing the existence of Muslim political candidates. The American Thinker commentary piece concluded that “enough questions and doubts exist to compel close scrutiny of all Muslim candidates who are seeking to break through as American political ‘firsts.’ Without a close examination, our political process and systems could be infiltrated with increasing numbers of Muslim candidates of questionable background and motivation who will follow the insidious civilizational jihad according to plan and at a dizzying pace.”
On April 24, 2017, SDP responded to an NBC News profile of Democratic congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar -- headlined “A Young Latino Arab American Throws His Hat in Congressional Ring” -- by writing: “Watch out for this snake running for Congress in the 50th District against Duncan Hunter. He's a left wing, open border Arab/Latino. Worked directly for Obama.” The group added: “He's half Palestinian (and lived there) and half Mexican, but he converted from Islam to Christianity (or so he says) after 9/11. But he's against vetting unknown Muslim refugees and potential terrorists, like the San Bernardino shooter. Hmmmm. He's also 100% open borders, of course.”
On May 6, 2017, SDP encouraged people to listen to a radio interview with San Diegans for Secure Borders founder Jeff Schwilk “about the invasion in San Diego of unvetted Muslim refugees and of course foreign criminals (aka illegal aliens) from Mexico.” The group also shared a post from San Diegans against Islamic Sharia Law which stated: “Best news in years! Muslim refugee arrivals down 96% in San Diego County in FY18! Sanity is returning to our immigration system under Pres. Trump. AMERICA FIRST!”
On April 4, SDP shared a post from the Facebook group SoCal Patriots which called California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) a “Mexican enemy insurgent within our state government. … #LockHimUp.” SoCal Patriots linked to a Freedom Outpost piece claiming that Becerra “is working to destroy the United States and turn the Southwestern states into a Mexican nation. … We, as citizens, and not the illegal criminal aliens, should never accept what people like Xavier Becerra layout before us because they do not have the United States in their heart or blood.”
On March 16, 2013, SDP wrote that the “La Raza rebels are on the rise again. They want their amnesty and ‘rights’ for millions of illegal Mexican citizens occupying the U.S., or as they call it ‘Aztlan’ (Mexican territory). Shocking video exposes what ‘illegal immigration’ is really about -- the overthrow of the United States by our hostile neighbor to the south.”
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UPDATE: After the publication of this post, Diane Harkey removed the San Diegans for Secure Borders' endorsement from her website.
Republican congressional candidate Diane Harkey touts an endorsement on her website from San Diegans for Secure Borders (SDSB), an anti-immigrant group that promotes white nationalist propaganda and attacks Latino and Muslim immigrants as foreign invaders.
Anti-immigrant writer Jeff Schwilk heads SDSB. He previously led the San Diego Minutemen, which, according to a 2007 Southern Poverty Law Center report, physically intimidated migrants and called them racist slurs. In 2009, a jury ordered Schwilk to pay $135,000 for defaming an Asian-American immigration activist with racist and derogatory remarks; Schwilk reportedly said of the activist, among other comments: "She is Korean. She looks anorexic, and she dresses and looks like a slut."
San Diegans for Secure Borders also regularly traffics in bigotry. A Media Matters review of its Facebook page found that the Harkey-backing group:
VDare is a white nationalist site run by Peter Brimelow that’s dedicated to smearing immigrants. It has published numerous prominent racists, including anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald, white nationalist Jared Taylor, and Charlottesville, VA, white nationalist rally leader Jason Kessler.
White House economics adviser Larry Kudlow recently had to distance himself from Brimelow after The Washington Post reported that the VDare head attended “a birthday bash for Kudlow, one day after a White House speechwriter was dismissed in the wake of revelations that he had spoken alongside Brimelow on a 2016 panel.”
SDSB’s Facebook page has promoted content from VDare on at least 14 occasions (1/7/13; 2/25/13; 2/26/13; 3/23/13; 6/13/15; 11/21/15; 5/14/16; 5/26/16; 2/14/17; 2/27/17; 5/22/17; 11/20/17; 11/27/17; 8/13/18).
VDare itself has promoted SDSB’s efforts, writing in March 2013: “There's a new coalition in California, fighting for immigration enforcement and against amnesty. It's called the ‘San Diegans for Secure Borders Coalition.’ … You might check the coalition out, especially if you reside in the San Diego area.” SDSB responded by writing: “Nice little plug from VDARE. And we're just getting started.”
The SDSB-promoted VDare articles unsurprisingly feature white nationalist tropes. For instance:
SDSB has repeatedly attacked undocumented immigrants from Mexico as foreign invaders. Here are several examples:
Schwilk has attacked Democratic politician Kevin de León as a “lawless illegal alien powerful politician” who is a “dangerous foreign agent.” The group also called de León “an anchor baby illegal alien” who “works with and for the Mexican Government to help them make California a Mexican state again (La Reconquista)”:
De Leon is an anchor baby illegal alien from Los Angeles / Tijuana / Barrio Logan, San Diego (home of Chicano Park) and works with and for the Mexican Government to help them make California a Mexican state again (La Reconquista). Mexico briefly controlled California in the early 1800’s for 27 years. They want to control it again through mass occupation, and they are. Latinos (mostly Mexicans) are now the dominant “race” in California.
In response to a commenter who said that “for the most part it's true if you vote for a Latino they will protect Illegals before they protect citizens,” the group wrote: “Most but not all. SgtMaj [and California Republican congressional candidate] Juan Hidalgo is a true American patriot.”
SBSB frequently attacks Muslims. The group has claimed that there’s a supposed “muslim and illegal alien invasion in San Diego and California.”
In 2016, it complained of President Barack Obama’s purported “massive unvetted Muslim refugee dumping in San Diego.” In February, the group shared a post from the Facebook page San Diegans against Islamic Sharia Law that began: “Best news in years! Muslim refugee arrivals down 96% in San Diego County in FY18!”
The group has also attacked political candidates because they're Muslim. The group wrote, “In case [Republican congressional candidate] Omar Qudrat or any of the other 3 Muslim candidates running for office in San Diego make it past the Primary on Tuesday. Hold them accountable!” and then linked to an article by anti-Muslim writer Bill Warner stating that people should ask Muslim political candidates “well crafted questions about Sharia.”
SBSB also posted a link to a HuffPost article reporting that “a handful of candidates running for office in 2018 could soon become the first Muslim woman (or women) to ever serve in U.S. Congress,” commenting: “How do you feel about Sharia Law in our Congress?”
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Conservative media figures reacted to a New Yorker story that a second woman reported Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for sexual misconduct by digging in on their support for him and demanding that Republicans hurry up and confirm him.
The New Yorker reported on Sunday evening that Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, said that according to her recollection, “Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away”:
Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)
A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
Ramirez acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening, and that, if she ever presents her story to the F.B.I. or members of the Senate, she will inevitably be pressed on her motivation for coming forward after so many years, and questioned about her memory, given her drinking at the party.
And yet, after several days of considering the matter carefully, she said, “I’m confident about the pants coming up, and I’m confident about Brett being there.” Ramirez said that what has stayed with her most forcefully is the memory of laughter at her expense from Kavanaugh and the other students. “It was kind of a joke,” she recalled. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”
Another classmate told The New Yorker that he heard about the incident at the time and that he was told Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself to Ramirez.
The new reporting follows a week of right-wing media attacks on Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were in high school. Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this coming Thursday, but after this new allegation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has called for that hearing to be delayed.
At least one right-wing pundit, Ann Coulter, became unhinged on Twitter following the publication of Ramirez’s story:
Other conservatives called Ramirez’s accusation fake, criticized the timing of her going public, demanded Republicans stand by Kavanaugh anyway, and painted Kavanaugh as the true victim of these alleged sexual assaults.
Fox & Friends co-host Anna Kooiman: “Is this a drip, drip, drip … by the Democrats trying to delay everything until the midterm elections and really fire up their base saying Republicans are bullies?”
Conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson: “It seems more and more likely that the Blasey Ford delays were not to let her drive across country, but were to allow the Ramirez hit to get out. This is all coordinated and none of it is credible.”
Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel: “The left made a mistake with this Ramirez story. … It strongly suggests the Ford delay demands were about cooking this up. Destroys credibility all around.”
Fox Business anchor Dagen McDowell: “I think that this -- the timing is suspect and people have [a] right to question this second accuser coming forward.”
Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh: “Democrats were stalling last week to give themselves more of an opportunity to conjure up another accuser against Brett Kavanaugh,” and “they whipped together another accusation.”
Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk: “Senate Republicans: DO NOT CAVE! If you were up for this nomination I bet many of you would have plenty of these fake accusations come up. Stand by our guy. Do not waver.”
NRATV’s Dan Bongino: “Hill Democrats are consumed by raw hatred. Their capacity for evil knows no limits anymore. Correspondingly, the Hill Republicans shamefully showed weakness & cowed to their demands. … Hill Republicans let us down again.”
The Rebel’s Amanda Head: If Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Republicans “don’t fight these allegations and #ConfirmKavanaghNow we will lose midterms, we will lose 2020, and what’s worse, we will lose any chance at seeing a conservative majority SCOTUS in our lifetime.”
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis: “Senate Republicans have a simple choice: stand up to a coordinated Democrat smear campaign and confirm Kavanaugh, which will energize GOP voters and preserve House/Senate majorities, or buckle under Democrat lies and give up congressional GOP majorities for a decade or more.”
CRTV’s Michelle Malkin: If Senate Republicans “refuse to man up & stop coordinated Dem smear campaign once & for all, the consequences reach far beyond the electoral landscape.”
Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson: “#ConfirmBrettKavanaughNow.”
One America News Network host Jack Posobiec: “Raise your hand if you think the GOP should stop playing games and hold the Kavanaugh vote Monday.”
Fox News host Laura Ingraham: Accusations against Kavanaugh are “a left-wing cabal, a left-wing conspiracy all coming together, swarming together.”
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum: “‘Sickening’ was the word I heard most often this weekend to describe what is happening. Innocent until proven guilty is how we do this in America.”
Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe: “What is happening to #JudgeKavanaugh is wrong and terrifying.”
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly: “Republicans are becoming terrified of the Kavanaugh situation because they know the media will embrace every lurid accusation without scrutiny, and no one will be held accountable for ignoring due process.”
Independent Women Forum’s Julie Gunlock: “What Ms. Ramirez and her enablers have done is odious. She’s destroying the life of a good man based on her own hazy memory of an event that happened decades ago when she was admittedly drunk.”
Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk: “These are POLITICAL HIT JOBS against a sterling person.”
American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp: “This Kavanaugh confirmation has transformed into a disgrace. How is it when Dems win their SC noms get an easy time, but ours get mauled.”
Daily Caller’s Amber Athey: “I have no words for how sickened I am by how the left and the establishment media are weaponizing non-credible sexual assault claims to destroy a human being.”