BOZELL And GRAHAM: Keep An Eye Out For Last Minute Barrett Smears

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A vote is scheduled for Monday on the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Conservatives might rest easy that this process is all over but the party-line voting. But no one should ever forget that the left has played the dirtiest of dirty pool on Supreme Court nominations, even when it seemed like the fight was over. The politics of character assassination can explode with a fever pitch.

In 1987, Democrats and the media smeared Robert Bork as a racist and a sexist, and he was denied a seat on the court despite his sterling credentials. Ted Kennedy made an atrocious speech on the Senate floor about “Robert Bork’s America” being a place where we’d return to “back-alley abortions,” and “segregated lunch counters,” and schools would be banned from teaching evolution. People for the American Way put out a vicious ad starring actor Gregory Peck making the claim that Bork favored punishing blacks with poll taxes and literacy tests and segregation. It was all lies.

In 1991, just when it seemed like Clarence Thomas was in the clear, the same leftist mudslinging squad brought on Anita Hill to make sexual harassment charges that remain unproven to this day. When Thomas forcefully fought back and conservatives (including me) came to his defense, it was treated as an outbreak of racism and sexism.

Maureen Dowd whined on the front page of The New York Times that “Republicans battered the other side by going ugly early with nasty personal attacks.” That’s completely backwards. What were the Democrats and Anita Hill doing? Thomas didn’t face “nasty personal attacks?” During the week of the Hill-Thomas hearings and the aftermath, ABC, CBS and NBC blamed Republicans for resorting to dirty politics 30 times. The Democrats were only blamed twice. It was more common that reporters complained Thomas wasn’t questioned hard enough. Then Anita Hill began a long career of being celebrated as some kind of Rosa Parks of sexual harassment.

In 2018, they almost destroyed Brett Kavanaugh with sexual-assault smears, in front of his own family, including his two young girls. Judge Kavanaugh’s primary accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could never nail down a time or a place where she might have ever met Kavanaugh. The Washington Post could only report that Ford alleged that she was “corralled” by Kavanaugh into a bedroom “one summer in the early 1980s … at a house in Montgomery County.” An allegation this vague and unconfirmed should have never been published in the first place. But like Anita Hill, Blasey Ford was treated as a heroine.

Then came an even more unserious accusation from Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez in The New Yorker. She claimed Kavanaugh exposed his penis to her at a college party and then laughed at her anguish. The paper printed this and even noted that this tawdry tale emerged only after Ramirez spent six days checking with other people to see if she could convince herself this really happened. She had no witnesses to back her up.

And then, the lowest of the low points: NBC News aired an “exclusive interview” with Julie Swetnick, who was promoted by disgraced anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti. Swetnick claimed she was gang-raped at a party that may have been organized by Kavanaugh. Oh, they noted “NBC News was unable to independently corroborate Swetnick’s claims and has not spoken with anyone who says they saw Swetnick at parties with Brett Kavanaugh.” And they put her on national TV anyway.

Kavanaugh, like Thomas, denounced these claims as “ridiculous” and “from the Twilight Zone.” It’s been demonstrated, time and time again, that these radicals don’t care about the truth. Lies will do if it achieves their purpose. They will try and defeat you with accusations from the Twilight Zone if that’s what it takes.

None of this has happened to Barrett … yet. The networks skipped over radical Sen. Mazie Hirono preposterously asking Barrett if she’s “ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors” or committed sexual assault. They’ve expressed disgust that devoutly Catholic Barrett belonged to a group that used the word “handmaid” as a positive term. So far, these insults and bigoted statements are all for naught. But let’s not be comfortable until the Senate votes to confirm.

L. Brent Bozell III is founder and president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is the Director of Media Analysis for the Media Research Center.