Scarborough: Why Didn't Media Ask Feinstein's Staff About Leaked Ford Letter?

October 9, 2018

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough criticized the media for not investigating how and why Christine Blasey Ford's letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) was leaked. Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were both in high school, outlined her allegations in a confidential letter to Feinstein's office.

"What New York Times reporter, what Washington Post reporter, was assigned a story by their editors to go see what really happened with Dianne Feinstein, and ask Dianne Feinstein and her staff the sort of questions that would have happened if the Republican Party had done the same thing?" Scarborough asked. "Not one."

Scarborough issued a pointed challenge to editors across the country.

"I challenge New York Times reporters this morning -- not reporters, editors -- I challenge Washington Post editors, I challenge Wall Street Journal editors, I challenge editors across America, write that story. What happened with Dr. Ford's agreement with a congresswoman, with Dianne Feinstein? Why did they leak that story? And more importantly, look at yourself and ask yourself the question, why didn't we report on this in real time when you sure as hell would have reported on it if [Sen. Chuck] Grassley (R., Iowa) and his office had done the same thing?"

Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee she contacted her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.), in July, and to her understanding, her letter outlining an assault accusation against Kavanaugh was sent to Feinstein's office on July 30. Ford requested her identity remain confidential. The California senator did not mention the letter in any hearings with Kavanaugh, but sent a vague tweet about having received "information" about Kavanaugh, which she had referred to federal authorities, after his confirmation hearing concluded.

Feinstein has denied that she or her staff released the confidential contents of the letter, which were released by the media without Ford's name on Sept. 13. Ford came forward, revealing her identity and telling the Post her story, a few days later on Sept. 16.

Scarborough repeated his criticism of the press later in the segment.

"The question is why didn't they focus on the allegations before them and why didn't they ask the same tough questions of Dianne Feinstein and her staff that they should have, rightly asked, of Chuck Grassley and his staff. You held the letter for a couple of months, you waited until Kavanaugh's hearing was over and then you released it at the very end," Scarborough said.

"Again, the only question I'm asking today is, why didn't one editor for the New York Times, or one editor for the Washington Post, or one editor for the Wall Street Journal, say, 'you know what that's a story we really need to dig into deep because they're not telling us the truth,'" Scarborough added.