CNN reporter pretended to be on phone call during pro-Kavanaugh gathering, book claims

A new book claims that an unnamed CNN reporter pretended to be on a phone call when a massive gathering of women attempted to lobby swing-vote Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to support Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The reporter feigned the phone call, authors Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino said, as hundreds of female Kavanaugh supporters visited Flake's office at the end of 2018. Flake had been the center of controversy during that time, as he was one of the few Republicans hesitating to support Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Severino and Hemingway made that claim in their book "Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court," which they published after interviewing more than 100 sources.

The book is a scathing indictment of media outlets, which the authors claim not only failed to report on Christine Blasey Ford's background but also irresponsibly presented accusations against then-nominee Kavanaugh.

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The media's bias was so bad, the authors claim, that one of Kavanaugh's female clerks eventually realized that unless she did live interviews, outlets would simply edit out her statements supporting him.

The authors also point to outlets' refusal to cover a group of women visiting Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's, R-Iowa, office.

"The conservative group Concerned Women for America (CWA) brought its Iowa state director to Grassley's office. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty said there was no time to talk to her, even as the cable outlet pulled protester after protester out of the crowd to interview ... One CBS reporter flat out told CWA that he wasn't there to cover pro-Kavanaugh forces," the authors wrote.

"Justice on Trial" also sheds light on the Kavanaugh camp's decision to appear in an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

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"The media, which had sided overwhelmingly with [Kavanaugh's] accusers, were defaming him around the clock. Something had to be done, the confirmation team thought... For the first time in history, a Supreme Court nominee would sit for an interview on television, and his wife would join him."