MSNBC, CNN Fixate on 'White Men' Questioning Kavanaugh Accuser

September 18, 2018

MSNBC and CNN anchors and reporters are fixating on the optics of Republican "white men" on the the Senate Judiciary Committee publicly questioning a woman who has accused Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Harkening back to the questioning of Anita Hill, a black woman, in 1991 by white male senators during Clarence Thomas' explosive confirmation fight—Hill accused him of sexual harassment—the press has curiously wondered if it will look good for "white men" to question Christine Blasey Ford. Ford, a white woman, has alleged Kavanaugh tried to drunkenly rape her when they were teenagers in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh and Ford have both been invited to testify publicly in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Republican senators announced Tuesday they also extended the option for a private hearing to Ford.

"Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee questioning both Judge Kavanaugh and Doctor Ford," CNN anchor Poppy Harlow said.

"It is a lineup of white guys over the age of 50," MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle exclaimed while discussing the upcoming testimony.

MSNBC guest and former Hillary Clinton campaign official Adrienne Elrod asked, "Are these Republican white men essentially going to ask her if she's telling the truth? Are they going to question her credibility?"

CNN anchor John Berman repeatedly noted it was "11 white men" on the Republican side of the committee who would conduct the questioning. CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash said she has covered "lots of these white men" and the "white men" on the Republican side of the committee was unchanged from the Hill hearings.

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" anchor Joe Scarborough made note of "all the white men" on the committee, as did contributor Irin Carmon. Scarborough also called it a "worst-case scenario for a bunch of white men on the Senate Judiciary Committee cross-examining Doctor Ford."

"At the end of the day, if they have a bunch of white men once again defending another white man," it would be rough optics for the GOP, Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei said.

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota attempted to be diplomatic on "New Day," however, while also noting the race of the Republicans on the committee.

"I have faith in white men," she said. "I believe they can ask fair questions."