We knew CNSNews.com's coverage of Senate testimony by Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was going to be biased -- after all, CNS' Media Research Center parent refuses to impose the standards it demands the rest of the media follow to its own "news" operation -- but even we were a bit surprised.
The reports on the opening statements set the tone. Susan Jones' article on Kavanaugh's opening statement carried the headline "Kavanaugh's Opening Statement: 'Last Minute Smears'; 'Grotesque and Obvious Character Assassination'" and played up Kavanaugh's denials. By contrast, Jones' article on Ford's opening statementcarried the soft-to-the-point-of-mocking headline "Kavanaugh's Accuser Says a Remodeling Project Triggered the Assault Discussion With Her Therapist" and obsessed over the remodeling incident.
CNS' coverage of Ford's testimony was similarly dismissive of her claims. Here are the headlines on those articles:
- Christine Blasey Ford Said 'Hello' to Mark Judge Just Weeks After Alleged Assault
- Kavanaugh Accuser on ‘Strongest Memory’ of Alleged Attack: ‘Indelible in the Hippocampus Is the Laughter’
- Grassley Corrects Ford: Committee Did Offer to Fly to Her; Ford Won’t Say if Lawyers Relayed Offer to Her
Surprisingly, in the Mark Judge article, Jones offered a rare disclosure that Judge "used to be a writer for CNSNews.com," though she failed to report that Ford's detail about seeing Judge at an area grocery store appears to be corroborated by Judge's book, in which he wrote that he spent part of a summer working at a grocery store.
This was followed the next day by two more attacks on Ford: "No One Has Come Forward to Back Up Ford, Not Even the Person Who Drove Her Home" and "Ford Recounts the 'Laughter' Several Times, the Fear for Her Life Only Once."
By contrast, CNS' coverage of Kavanaugh's testimony pushed his denials that anything took place and the idea that the hearing was taking place at all:
- Kavanaugh: ‘I Never Sexually Assaulted Dr. Ford or Anyone’
- Kavanaugh: ‘I Swear to God’ That None of the Sexual Abuse Allegations Are True
- Lindsey Graham: Kavanaugh Hearing ‘Most Despicable Thing That I Have Seen in Politics’
Surprisingly, CNS did concede in one article -- by the normally biased Susan Jones, of all people -- that Kavanaugh was "defensive" about his youthful drinking and that "some of the weakest moments of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's testimony on Thursday involved his responses to Democrats who pressed him on his drinking and whether he had blackouts or memory lapses as a result."
The MRC would be attacking any media outlet whose Kavanaugh coverage was as biased. But in-house "news" outlets get a pass.