The mainstream media, in the wake of the new FBI probe ordered into sex assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has abruptly moved to change the conversation -- from the misconduct allegations to the question of whether Kavanaugh drank too much or even lied about it before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kavanaugh famously said he liked beer when answering questions regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that he sexually assaulted her during an alcohol-fueled party when the nominee was in high school. Democrats are determined to get to the bottom of how much beer Kavanaugh consumed and the mainstream media is following their lead.
Many liberal journalists have complained that the FBI investigation into the allegations won’t focus enough on Kavanaugh’s drinking habits in high school and college. Others have simply declared he lied under oath by denying he ever blacked out from alcohol.
A Boston Globe editorial headlined, “The lies that senators must tell themselves to support Brett Kavanaugh,” which starts off by proclaiming, “Brett Kavanaugh’s a liar.” The Globe’s opinion piece accuses Kavanaugh of lying under oath about a variety of things in addition to his drinking, such as whether or not “boof” is a term used to describe flatulence.
"This hallmark of this entire process has been the non-stop goalpost moving by the liberal media and Democratic partisans,” conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News.
Barron said that the left initially “couldn't make the case that he wasn't qualified so they tried to paint him as a judicial extremist,” but that was only the beginning of the media’s attempt to alter the playing field.
“Once it became clear those efforts were failing, they moved on to baseless allegations of sexual assault. Unable to prove those allegations, they are now trying to make it about Kavanaugh's drinking,” Barron said. “This entire spectacle has been nothing short of embarrassing."
HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” were all-in on the crusade to paint Kavanaugh as a beer-guzzling drunk. ‘SNL” enlisted Hollywood star Matt Damon to mock Kavanaugh, while Oliver dedicated his entire episode to attacking the nominee. Oliver focused on Kavanaugh’s reaction when he was asked about beer during the now-infamous hearing.
“That surly tone was emblematic of Kavanaugh’s demeanor throughout the hearing -- not the tone of a man who hopes to one day have the honor of serving on the Supreme Court, but the tone of someone who feels entitled to be on it,” Oliver said.
Five Thirty Eight boss Nate Silver said Kavanaugh has “been extremely sketchy when describing his drinking habits,” and a Think Progress top editor has even questioned the logistics of a drinking game that the nominee claims he played in high school.
Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York wrote a piece detailing the shift in narrative.
“The Ford case is quite hard to make. And that is where, for Democrats, Kavanaugh's supposed blackouts come in. With no contemporaneous evidence that the Ford attack happened, Democrats are trying to make the case that it could have happened,” York wrote. “What if Kavanaugh got drunk, attacked Ford, and later didn't remember that he did it? That is the theory behind some Democratic senators' questioning of Kavanaugh last week. The idea was to get Kavanaugh to admit alcohol-induced memory loss and thus undermine his firm contention that he did not do what Ford alleged. How could he really know?”
CNN host Chris Cuomo spent Thursday and Friday nights chatting with a former classmate of Kavanaugh about his alcohol intake in the 1980s. The mainstream media has searched far and wide for former classmates of Kavanaugh to speak about his drinking, resulting in a plethora of headlines such as one from the Associated Press: “Yale Classmate Recalls Kavanaugh as Frequent, Heavy Drinker.”
Chad Ludington, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh, claims the Supreme Court nominee was "a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker" in a statement to The New York Times.
“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer,” Ludington said.
Monday on “Morning Joe,” MSNBC analyst Jon Heilemann declared that Kavanaugh committed perjury before outspoken Trump critic Joe Scarborough asked him to list examples of times that Kavanaugh lied under oath.
“The question on his drinking, for instance,” Heilemann responded. “He made some pretty strong claims there that have been contradicted.”
When pressed by the “Morning Joe” namesake, Heilemann failed to come up with another example of Kavanaugh lying under oath. CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter – which is required reading for the coastal media elite – asked, “Was Kavanaugh telling the truth?”
“Many Kavanaugh opponents have already concluded that he lied about his yearbook entries, his drinking, etc.,” newsletter author Brian Stelter wrote.
CNBC’s John Harwood argued on Twitter, “his drinking relates directly to a) sexual misconduct he’s accused of from his high school/college days, and b) the truthfulness of his sworn testimony last week.”
Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra told Fox News that the majority of mainstream media is aligned with the Democratic Party and therefore “committed to doing everything that they can to stop Kavanaugh from being confirmed” to the Supreme Court.
“The same people who are outraged that Kavanaugh allegedly drank while in his youth had no problem with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who respectively admitted to using cocaine and marijuana,” Saavedra said.
Former FBI Director James Comey penned an opinion piece in the Times declaring that FBI agents know “little lies point to bigger lies” and that “obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper.”
Trump was asked on Monday whether or not Kavanaugh would be disqualified from the Supreme Court if it’s proven he lied about his drinking – and the president continued to stand by his nominee.
“I was surprised about how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer,” Trump said. “This is not a man that said alcohol was absent… that he was perfect with respect to alcohol.”
“Fraud and Fiction” author Eddie Scary noticed a pattern, as the media seems to find something new to harp on whenever necessary.
"We know the havoc the media brought to Kavanaugh when his committee vote was delayed by one week. Ronan Farrow found a woman -- again with no corroborating witnesses -- to say that Kavanaugh flashed his penis at her during a freshman year party at Yale; [attorney Michael] Avenatti got someone to imply that Kavanaugh was in a rape gang; the New York Times parsed the sophomoric language in one of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbooks; and the climax was the Washington Post's investigation into whether Kavanaugh as a teenager ever got blackout drunk,” Scarry said. “Let's see what the media can do with another delay.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.