The Washington Post is being mocked for a “pathetic” report that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh racked up credit card debt on Washington Nationals baseball tickets -- even though he paid off the bill.
The Associated Press ran a similar story that focused on Kavanaugh not being particularly wealthy and mentioned the baseball tickets without painting it as a national scandal. The Post, on the other hand, homed in on Kavanaugh incurring “tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade” and waited until the fourth paragraph to mention that he paid the bill.
Post investigative reporter Amy Brittain’s piece was headlined, “Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says.” The report vilifies the common practice of one individual laying out the funds needed to secure baseball tickets for a group of friends who want to be seated next to each other.
Media watchdogs and Kavanaugh defenders quickly took notice.
Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that “the left and their handmaidens in the mainstream media can’t even settle on a narrative,” which is evident by the Post’s coverage.
"Stories like this only reinforce how pathetically they are grasping at straws to come up with anything to make him look bad.”
“The same day the Post runs a story talking about the ‘elite’ lifestyle of Judge Kavanaugh, they run a piece on his credit card debt that points out he would be one of the least wealthy Supreme Court justices,” Barron said. “This much is clear -- there is absolutely no reason, outside of pure partisan politics, not to confirm him. Stories like this only reinforce how pathetically they are grasping at straws to come up with anything to make him look bad.”
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that the reaction the story has received on Twitter was proof it backfired.
“If anything, made him more relatable to people outside the Beltway,” Houck said.
“If anything, made him more relatable to people outside the Beltway."
Fox News host Laura Ingraham called the report “pathetic,” and former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren asked, “Why is this a story?”
“Thanks to some class-A truth-seeking at The Washington Post, the unsuspecting public now knows the great scandal that President Trump has heaped upon them with his SCOTUS pick: Judge Kavanaugh once had credit card debt. But wait, there's more (and this is truly egregious), he then had the audacity to pay it off,” Daily Wire reporter Paul Bois wrote.
SiriusXM’s chief Washington correspondent Olivier Knox captioned the article, “So Brett Kavanaugh’s American citizenship is beyond dispute is the point here right?”
Pundit Jerl Bier added, “Brett Kavanaugh is just like many average Americans. HOW DARE WE PUT HIM ON THE SUPREME COURT?!"
“So Kavanaugh footed the bill for baseball tickets and then got reimbursed so that his debts are either now paid off or below the reporting requirement. Yawn,” CRTV’s Nate Madden wrote.
New York Post columnist John Podhoretz tweeted in all caps, “THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY?”
Digital media guru Shoshana Weissmann wrote, “Honestly, I could come up with a better Kavanaugh oppo campaign than any of the groups whining about him being frat boy or having credit card debt. It's seriously like they're not even trying.”
CNN’s Chris Cillizza tweeted a link to the Post’s story and was scolded by his followers. Cillizza’s tweet received more than 2,500 comments and less than 400 likes, which is what the kids call “getting ratioed.” The CNN star was hit with an onslaught of negative reactions such as “evacuate your account,” “This is CNN” and “This is all you got?”