In yet another stunning display of media bias, NBC now acknowledges that it had information that undermined the credibility of some of the women who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but didn’t report it at the time.
On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department. Swetnick, in a sworn statement, accused Kavanaugh of drinking too much, acting aggressive toward women, spiking the punch at parties and orchestrating teenage gang-rapes. Her claims were ludicrous on their face, but the left-leaning media – eager to torpedo Kavanaugh’s nomination for fear he could be the deciding vote in overturning Roe v. Wade – ran with them anyway.
NBC was the worst offender. The network interviewed Swetnick even though it said up front it couldn’t verify her claims. This is Journalism Malpractice 101; you don’t put out possibly defamatory information you can’t verify. Of course, the media was totally okay with doing this if it meant keeping Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. They didn’t care about the consequences to his family or his reputation.
NBC interviewed Swetnick on October 1. At the time, she backtracked on her key claims regarding Kavanaugh, and undermined her own story. Once her story crumbled, Avenatti released a second sworn statement from an unnamed woman, alleging almost identical claims as Swetnick.
That was on October 3, two days after Swetnick was interviewed by NBC, but three days before Kavanaugh would be confirmed.
NBC says it spoke to this woman two days before Avenatti released her statement, and didn’t seem to find her credible. The outlet said the woman told NBC a different story than what was presented in the affidavit.
“Referring to Kavanaugh spiking the punch, ‘I didn’t ever think it was Brett,’ the woman said to reporters in a phone interview arranged by Avenatti on Sept. 30 after repeated requests to speak with other witnesses who might corroborate Swetnick’s claims,” NBC reported Thursday night. “As soon as the call began, the woman said she never met Swetnick in high school and never saw her at parties and had only become friends with her when they were both in their 30s.”
This alleged corroborating witness then told reporters she never witnessed Kavanaugh act inappropriately toward women, but said everyone at these parties drank heavily.
NBC again contacted this woman on October 3, the day Avenatti tweeted out her statement. At this time, she told the media outlet she only “skimmed” the declaration. The next day – October 4 – she texted NBC, saying: “It is incorrect that I saw Brett spike the punch. I didn’t see anyone spike the punch … I was very clear with Michael Avenatti from day one.”
She also told NBC she would never let anyone abuse women in her presence.
NBC says Avenatti confirmed to them that the woman they spoke to on the phone was the same as the one in the new affidavit, but when confronted with the discrepancies, he said he was “disgusted” with the outlet and added: “How about this, on background, it’s not the same woman. What are you going to do with that?”
NBC says it received more texts from this woman disputing the sworn statement, and again reached out to Avenatti, who said he had the statement and recordings of her backing up that statement. He said the woman must have been confused by NBC’s questions.
“Roughly five minutes later, the woman sent a formally-worded text backing Avenatti,” NBC reported. “‘Please understand that everything in the declaration is true and you should not contact me anymore regarding this issue,’ the text read.”
NBC called the woman again, and again she disputed the affidavit. On October 5, she texted NBC once more, writing: “I will definitely talk to you again and no longer Avenatti. I do not like that he twisted my words.”
Kavanaugh was confirmed the next day, on October 6. It is now the end of October, and we are just now hearing all of this from NBC. The outlet sat on information that one of Kavanaugh’s accusers disputed her sworn statement, presented by Michael Avenatti. This information would have called into question the statement from Swetnick, Avenatti’s other client. This also would have called into question NBC’s decision to air an interview with Swetnick, who changed her story about what she witnessed 30 years ago.
NBC sat on this information, which would have undermined some of Kavanaugh’s accusers, and is only now releasing it after Kavanaugh was confirmed and its interview was mentioned in a referral to the DOJ.