ST. LOUIS -- The uproar surrounding allegations made against the nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court is much different than another recent allegation made against another high-profile political player. The differences in the coverage of both sets of allegation are glaring, and do little to help the national media fight back against claims of political bias and favoritism.
After the public hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ranking Committee Member Senator Dianne Feinstein revealed that she had in her possession a letter of significance concerning Kavanaugh that she had sent to the FBI.
The letter would turn out to be an accusation that Kavanaugh assaulted Christine Blasey at a house party when both were teenagers. At first, Blasey, who is now Palo Alto Professor of Psychology Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, told Feinstein and California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (to whom she also gave the letter) that she wished to remain anonymous.
After receiving the letter, the FBI took note of the allegation and then forwarded it to the White House to add to its file containing Kavanaugh's latest (of six) FBI background checks. The FBI has said it would not investigate the matter, as it is not under the bureau's jurisdiction.
The allegation says that when she was 15 years old, she was attacked in a room by an allegedly drunk 17 year-old Kavanaugh who was with a friend. She says that he threw her onto a bed and groped her over the clothes, tried to kiss her, and covered her mouth. Dr. Basely Ford says she does not remember exactly when it happened, she thinks it was most likely near the end of the Summer of 1982. She also does remember exactly where the party was located.
Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the accusation. He says he does not remember being at the party, nor does he remember Basely. Two others who Blasey alleges were at the party, when contacted, also said they don't remember any party or incident like the one Basely alleges.
As details started to emerge, and Dr. Basely Ford eventually went public, there has been a media uproar over the allegation.
At the core is a debate over how America handles sexual assault. There is a second political debate between Democrats and Republicans over Kavanaugh. There is even a third debate over whether we are to believe any accusation of sexual assault made by a woman vs. taking all allegations seriously and still maintaining due process to determine guilt or innocence.
This third debate brings up another accusation of sexual assault against a major political player on the national stage, one that has received limited media attention, especially in contrast with the coverage of the accusation against Kavanaugh. The accuser says that she has been ignored and even threatened for making the allegations.
In the case of Karen Monahan, the ex-girlfriend of the current Co-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, says that she has medical records, 911 calls, and has talked to investigators about the alleged abuse.
There are definitely questions surrounding Monahan's allegations, including a video that she claims that she made of Ellison, abusing her which she now says has been lost or "hacked".
However, Monahan's allegations are the second made against Ellison, who is currently running for Attorney General in Minnesota.
A police report from 2005 involves an allegation of assault against Ellison:
One month ago, the New York Times and CBS News each did detailed stories on the allegations. CNN mentioned Monahan shortly after he won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. Ellison has acknowledged the relationship, and his daughter posted a public Facebook account criticizing Monahan, saying her account is untrue.
NBC News mentioned the allegations at the same time these other stories were published, ABC News appears to have not covered Monahan's allegations at all.
The reports in August surrounding Monahan's allegations were conducted fairly used a great deal of restraint in handling the delicate situation. On the other hand, media coverage of the accusation against Kavanaugh, which would many say carries much less weight than those made against Ellison has been a circus.
The NYT story quotes Democratic-Labor Party Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges:
“I want to make sure that women are believed,” said Betsy Hodges, a former mayor of Minneapolis who identifies as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and who used to see Mr. Ellison, 55, and Ms. Monahan, 44, together at political events. “I also want to make sure that we follow a process when we evaluate. A bad breakup is not the same thing as abuse.”
This language seems to match what we are currently being told repeatedly that we cannot under any circumstances say about Dr. Basely Ford, or face vicious public retribution.
Since Dr. Basely Ford's name and story were released, many reporters, even more commentators, and many more activists were fast to immediately call her "credible". Many prominent people in media and politics blatantly pushed an assertion that we must all believe her and not question her accusation at all.
Democrats and Progressive activists quickly took aim at Republicans, saying that Dr. Blasey Ford does not have to talk to the Judiciary Committee because Republicans on the committee are all white men. Many also claimed that Republicans and Conservatives would attack Dr. Blasey Ford more than Kavanaugh.
When John McCormack, senior writer with the Weekly Standard tweeted that Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins told the New York Times that she questioned the timing of the release of Dr. Basely Ford's accusatory letter, long-time Clinton Advisor and Democratic Activist Peter Daou tweeted: "Make no mistake: #ChristineBlaseyFord will be attacked, smeared, and demonized. She will sustain more venom and vilification than #Kavanaugh. That's how this works. BELIEVE WOMEN."
The tweet prompted another Twitter user called @rosiebudpisces to ask Monahan, "Democrats say believe women, do they believe you...."
Monahan then tweeted her response: "No, they don't. I've been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party. I provided medical records from 2017, stating on two different Dr. Visits, I told them about the abuse and who did it. My therapist released records stating I have been dealing and healing from the abuse"
Monahan has yet to release text messages and other evidence to back up her accusation, but she says she has talked to investigators.
Monahan posted a medical record tied to the alleged assaults to Twitter claiming that, "it gets deleted every time". The tweet has not been deleted.
Is there blatant political bias in how the media chooses to cover subjects which are the same, or very similar? (The allegations against Ellison are far worse, but relevant)
We've seen a notable difference between the measured reporting in August of the allegations against Ellison, contrasted by the media circus surrounding Kavanaugh.
We've seen a notable difference between the allegations themselves as well. Both allegations have problems and lack quality details in a purely legal sense.
We've seen a notable difference in how we're told to feel about the accusations too. We're told to "BELIEVE ALL WOMEN" in reference to Dr. Basely Ford, and in the case of Karen Monahan, we're told to, "follow a process when we evaluate." Mayor Hodges, to her credit, began that statement with the need to believe all women before September 16, but she added the caveat of due process. Due process is what we are now told to ignore.
What about the numbers?
Let's leave it there.
A Google News search of "Christine Blasey Ford" yields 1,360,000 results. A Google News search of "Karen Monahan" yields 8,640 results.