The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are all calling out dubious attacks on Brett Kavanaugh from Democrats and liberal activists.
After Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of July, Democrats and the media immediately started digging for dirt.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, and Richard Painter, a Democratic Senate primary candidate in Minnesota, both claimed that Kennedy coordinated his retirement with President Trump. The pair, bolstered by reporting by the NYT, suggested a conspiracy involving Kennedy’s son, Trump, and a billion dollar loan.
The Washington Post handed out four pinocchios on Thursday — the maximum amount — for the “thinly sourced” claims.
“Scratching below the surface, there’s no evidence to justify these theories. The New York Times article doesn’t supply it,” The Washington Post fact checker explained. “Standing alone, the tweets from Painter and Tanden are incendiary and worthy of Four Pinocchios.”
The fact checker also slapped Democrats with two pinocchios for misrepresenting Kavanaugh’s position on presidents being immune from criminal charges.
Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and Democratic New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Trump picked Kavanaugh because the D.C. judge “believes that a president cannot be indicted.”
“Kavanaugh’s stated views on this question don’t go as far as Fallon, Maloney and Ocasio-Cortez claimed,” WaPo asserted on Wednesday. “Their tweets merit Two Pinocchios, although we considered giving Three. To say Kavanaugh is Trump’s “get-out-of-jail-free card” is an extreme distortion of what he’s written.”
The New York Times inserted themselves into the fact-checking fray by investigating claims from Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren that Kavanaugh is “hostile” to the Affordable Care Act.
NYT called the claims “exaggerated,” noting that Kavanaugh wrote two dissenting opinions to legal challenges to the ACA and avoided “making broad pronouncements about the constitutionality” of the law.
Finally, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board slammed the left for trying to tie Kavanaugh to the #MeToo movement.
The attack centered on Kavanaugh’s clerkship for Judge Alex Kozinski nearly three decades ago. Kozinski resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by several women, and left-wing activist organization Ultraviolet demanded investigations into whether or not Kavanaugh knew about Kozinski’s behavior.
“It used to be that the press required at least some evidence to report a story, but now a politically motivated group can write a memo without incriminating facts and get it reported as news,” WSJ complained. “Fair-minded Americans should treat it as the drive-by innuendo it is.”
The series of fact-checks delivered a blow to Democrats and left-wing activists trying to discredit Trump’s pick to SCOTUS.