A SUNNY MORNING FROM MY GRAY SOFA — Has the press picked a side?
More poignantly, has CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter picked a side?
“Who do you believe? What do you trust?” he asked in his best Carrie Bradshaw voice that she used when she wrote her columns.
“Viewers are glued to Kavanaugh coverage,” screams the CNN chyron.
Brian suddenly turns himself into a martian. This fight, the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is happening in “two different universes,” he said.
The host has a lot of questions. “Are we able to listen to each other anymore?” he asked. (More Carrie Bradshaw…)
The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser, a CNN global affairs analyst, is on the first panel.
She’s a pessimist. She’s also thankfully subtle with her jewelry. No large chunks of TV power jewels for her. Just a simple necklace with what looks to be a white rock.
“The hearing the other day was not about truth,” Glasser said. “It’s murky whether we will have a real investigation or understand exactly what went on.”
CNN Political Analyst Jeff Greenfield is also here. He looks freshly shorn and alert.
Brian is skeptical about the FBI investigation. He wants to know if Greenfield is, too.
“Look I’m skeptical about almost everything I’ve heard,” he said. “When I look at CNN hour after hour after hour I see pows rather than reporting.”
Greenfield said there is incredible criticism toward the administration.
“Has CNN taken a side?” Brian asked curiously. (So cute that he pretends he doesn’t know.)
Greenfield replied, “Yes. ..There is an overwhelming perception that CNN has taken a stand about this president and this nomination. “
Brian, who has dumped on President Trump for months and repeatedly questioned his mental health, disagreed. He said journalists are trying to be fair and careful.
Glasser put in a plug for her own magazine: “If not for rigorous, independent investigation reporting by The Washington Post , The New Yorker and other organizations, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.”
Hmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmm. (This is what Brian is saying during this.)
Glasser said the press is so vital right now. “To me this underscores the critical importance of the fourth estate when our politics is broken,” she said. “…That’s how we do it, without fear or favor.”
(She’s right. But pleasing David Remnick. Check.)
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp is the pro-Kavanaugh guest on the program. He’s pals with the judge. We already know how this interview is going to go.
“In full disclosure, Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh are good friends of ours,” he said, nauseatingly. Still, he gets points for the admission. “This is not consistent with the man I know.”
Brian should’ve asked Schlapp if he ever drank brewskis with Kavanaugh. But Brian is more interested in letting him talk and not challenging Schlapp on much of anything.
Schlapp is incensed by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, whom he says are willing to do “almost anything” to smear Kavanaugh.
“I do believe there is a presumption of innocence for anybody who makes these charges and a presumption of guilt for anybody who is smeared by false charges,” he said.
Then he bitched about the media.
“Most of you live in either New York or Washington. Most of your neighbors would agree that Kavanaugh should not sit on the Supreme Court,” he said, explaining that most everywhere else there is a drastically different impression.
Brian looks just sick.
“So we are where we are. It is what it is,” said Schlapp, who also, ahem, lives in the DMV with his wife, Mercedes, who works in the White House at Director of Strategic Communications.
Schlapp said we can’t really trust the FBI or the Democratic staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Brian says a lot of reporters have determined that Kavanaugh lied at the hearing.
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT. YOU CAN’T DO THAT.” Schlapp is now yelling.
Schlapp explained that the only person who can determine if Judge “I like beer” Kavanaugh really ever blacked out is Judge “I like beer, do you like beer?” Kavanaugh. He said no one can get into the “inner parts” of Bret Kavanaugh’s soul and know if he ever blacked out while drinking.
(I’m not sure you need a soul to know if you’ve ever blacked out. But whatever.)
Schlapp said he doesn’t understand what Devil’s Triangle is. Fine. We’ll educate him since he can’t seem to Google past his bias about Kavanaugh.
It’s an event when two men fuck the same woman or two women fuck the same man. But because he hobnobs with the Kavanaughs, there’s no reason for him to be interested in the judge’s blatant untruths.
Schlapp has been dogged for a photo he retweeted of Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Florida). Lefties have accused him of racism.
“I never thought about race when I saw that photo,” Schlapp said.
“Two of those people are running for president,” he continued. “I can’t help what race and gender and everything else they are. …I don’t care what her religion is or her gender is…I think the activities of Feinstein and her staff are repugnant.”
Jessica Valenti, a columnist for Medium, is here.
She wants less pundits like Brian, and more experts on TV.
Brian cheered her up by playing a snippet from SNL — Matt Damon‘s impersonation of Kavanaugh.
“It was the only moment I’ve laughed in the last few days,” she said.
Next up: Katie Couric, co-host of “The Katie Couric Podcast.”
“Lindsey Graham’s full throated defense was disturbing,” she said. “Jeff Flake obviously had a crisis of conscience.”
Couric talked about her 10-year-old infamous interview with ex-Veep hopeful Sarah Palin. “People saw that she was out of her depth and she could not answer policy questions in a satisfactory ways,” she said.
Brian wants to know about the perverts Couric worked with over the years — namely Matt Lauer at NBC and the men over at CBS.
“Matt was a terrific professional partner,” said Couric, which is what she has always said about this delicate subject. “I was unaware of any of this predatory behavior.”
She wasn’t so kind to CBS: “I think it’s clear they have a real culture problem there. Obsequious subservience was a requirement to work there.”
It’s time for former presidential adviser David Gergen to gurgle out thoughts. The longtime TV pundit is a senior political analyst at CNN.
“I think overall the coverage has been remarkably responsible,” he said. “Too often we’ve been accused of being hysterical.”
But Gergen had a warning.
“Alarm bells ought to be going off much louder in the press about these apparent limitations on the background investigation,” he said. “Are we really limited to four witnesses by the FBI and have to go back and check with the White House on anything more? That’s not an impartial investigation.”
Gergen said there is no question that the mainstream press leans left: “I do think in this age of tribalism that the press has been seen as a member of the liberal camp. We have to be very very careful in how we report and not to get hysterical.”
Brian concluded the program by announcing that there hasn’t been too much coverage of Trump “falling in love” with North Korean President Kim Jong Un.
This, despite the fact that CNN has been playing the clip on repeat all fucking afternoon.
“The real surprise is how little attention it’s getting,” Brian said with an air of idiocy.