Things You Hear on NPR: Kavanaugh Guilty until Proven Innocent

September 25, 2018

Morning Edition

Well, this is just embarrassing.  NPR this morning had Kavanaugh supporter Sara Fagen on, but the “interviewer” was quick to respond to everything the guest said with “Although,” followed by various tendentious arguments for the Democrats’ narrative.  This isn’t an interview; it’s a debate.

Penultimately, the NPR interviewer made this brazen argument:

“. . . it’s not a criminal proceeding . . . the burden of proof isn’t on Christine Blasey Ford, to prove this happened; it’s on Kavanaugh, to prove that he’s a good nominee and there are no red flags against him.”

If the burden of proof—in some sense other than how we all usually understand the term—was ever on Kavanaugh, it was months ago, at the beginning of his confirmation-hearing process.  As to late-breaking accusations of rape, of course the burden of proof is on the accuser; otherwise anyone could derail any nomination at any time with a totally baseless accusation.

Lastly, the NPR interviewer said she was out of time, but she still managed to fit in one more hasty guilt-by-association propaganda trick:

FAGEN: . . . it’s also possible that there are people with political agendas. You know, Ronan Farrow, who wrote the article in the New Yorker, came out and said, the Democratic Party was looking for this person.

NPR: We’re going to have to leave it there. You’re saying you believe that there are some political overtones to this, which is what President Trump has said explicitly. Sara Fagen, friend, former colleague of Brett Kavanaugh. Thank you for your time.

FAGEN: Thank you.

Again, pretty embarrassing.


(Note that NPR does not have a transcript or article version of this interview up on the site as of this writing; you can listen to the interview at NPR’s Web site.  Quotations above are my own transcription from that audio.)

Update (September 25th, 2018):  Worse and worse.  NPR has since added a “transcript” for this interview—but omits the exchange last quoted above, in which Fagen points out the devastating revelation from Ronan Farrow that the second accuser came out at all only after Senate Democrats actively recruited her.  Did NPR censor its own transcript because Farrow’s revelation is just too damaging to the Democrats’ narrative? or because even NPR was belatedly embarrassed by the interviewer’s ham-handed attempt to put a bow on the whole interview by implying that Fagen can’t be right about this stuff because Trump might agree with her?


NPR 'transcript'

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