WaPo White House Bureau Chief Tweets Story Smearing Kavanaugh As Sexist Frat Bro

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Jon Brown Associate Editor
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The White House bureau chief for the Washington Post took flak on Twitter Thursday for tweeting a Yale Daily News story which attempted to smear Kavanaugh as sexist because of his college fraternity.

Philip Rucker linked to the article in a tweet that read, “During Brett Kavanaugh’s time as an undergrad at Yale, his fraternity, DKE, marched across campus waving a flag woven from women’s underwear, according to this @yaledailynews report.”

“In an Aug. 30 letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, female college classmates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ’87 LAW ’90 testified to the judge’s respect for women, praising his character and his support for female athletics at Yale,” the student newspaper begins. “But in his first year of college, Kavanaugh joined an organization notorious for disrespecting women: the campus chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.”

Claiming to have uncovered a Jan. 18, 1985, photograph of two DKE fraternity brothers waving a makeshift flag of women’s underwear, the story attempts to imply that such behavior from his peers might raise questions regarding the character of Kavanaugh himself.

“Kavanaugh does not appear in the photograph,” the article admits. “But the portrait it paints of casual disrespect for women seems noteworthy in light of the explosive allegation by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a high school party almost 40 years ago.”

As of the writing of this article, the response by Twitter users to Rucker’s dissemination of the story was overwhelmingly negative. One user mocked, “Kavanaugh wasn’t the one waving the flag, but I’m going to implicate him anyway by including him in something that must be bad involving women’s underwear. Not actual women, just their underwear.” Another wrote, “Plant the flag. Journalism has officially died with this tweet.”

Eleven minutes after his initial tweet, Rucker clarified by tweeting, “In case it isn’t clear in my tweet, Kavanaugh is not in the flag-waving photo, as explained in this story, which is about the culture of his frat.”