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Media partying like it’s 2006!

duke lacrosseBrett Kavanaugh may soon rival President Trump in the amount of batshit insanity he generates from the left.  In their zeal to provide plausible cover for the flimsy accusations of a woman who claims Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her 36 years ago, the mainstream media today did what they do best.  As if on cue, stories appeared in several outlets that—while not directly impugning Kavanaugh—suggested that he COULD have done something bad.   For news veterans like me, it was an unasked-for trip down memory lane.


The Associated Press bravely reported, “In the yearbook for his elite private prep school, Brett Kavanaugh declared himself treasurer of the “Keg City Club.”


Another writer dug up this ditty from the period, offering up the prospect of ex post facto “Guilt by Association.”  To wit: “During Brett Kavanaugh’s time as an undergrad at Yale, his fraternity, DKE, marched across campus waving a flag woven from women’s underwear.”


The worst example came from the Washington Post.  Basically, they talked to one of their reporters who attended a nearby high school at a different time than did Kavanaugh.  They used this crucial information to cast aspersions on all middle-aged men who went to private academies.  “Perspective: In the ’80, boys’ prep schools like Kavanaugh’s could be bastions of misogyny.”


If the flavor of these stories taste familiar, there’s a reason.  It means you can remember way back to 2006 and the Duke Lacrosse case.


As News Director of a radio station whose regional coverage area included Virginia and North Carolina, there were few other stories that dominated the headlines like this one.  I won’t re-hash the details, other than the point out that the prosecutorial misconduct shown by the filthy Mike Nifong is the stuff of legend.  Indeed, his name will (rightfully) live in infamy at every law school in the US.


But he was not the only bad actor.  The mainstream media knocked each other over in sensationalizing the case.  It was a witches brew of tropes and stereotypes that they simply could not ignore.  Three whites from upper middle class New Jersey attending blueblood institution, allegedly taking advantage of a young African-American woman who was working as a stripper to support her child while attending a cross-town university that is mostly black.  Spike Lee is kicking himself for not writing this screenplay beforehand.


With all the dignity of a starving dog attacking a day-old pork chop, the mainstream media sprang into action.  Soon, stories appeared in the Durham Herald-Sun about the “culture” of the lacrosse team.  Of course that means they were mostly rich white boys.  The Raleigh News and Observer even sent reporters to the Jersey suburb where two of the accused lived—taking special care to point out that the average home in the area sold for nearly a million dollars.  They featured pictures of the subdivision, lest anyone think they were making it up.


None of these stories were meant to bring about truth, perspective or facts.  They were meant to add to the myriad of things that already divide us.  They injected high-octane fuel into an already-combustible mixture of angst and desperation. The media wanted chaos to fuel sales.  And they wanted most of all to outrage people who’ve learned little else other than outrage.


Today’s spree of stories about Kavanaugh is no different. In the absence of actual evidence, the media is playing the same guilt-by-association gambit.  They are pushing the tired tropes of drunken, rich white boys preying on victims.  And they are hoping that is what people think about when they see Kavanaugh.  Facts?  A tertiary concern…at best.


You would think the media had learned their lesson.  But maintaining The Narrative® doesn’t allow for introspection or correction.  It’s only concern is in advancement.  Collateral damage be damned.

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