We’ve all seen the breaking news about the formerly anonymous woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 years old. Allahpundit had the full coverage yesterday, so if you somehow missed it, go back and catch the details. This has led to the immediate and predictable series of calls, one after another, for Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be delayed while an “investigation” takes place.
Perhaps. If nothing else, the committee could invite Christine Blasey Ford to come down early this week and testify. And then they could have the judge stop back by to get his take on it, though from what he’s said thus far he won’t have much to add. (Aside from repeating that he has no idea who this woman is or what she’s talking about.) But as this latest drama unfolds, it occurred to me last night that perhaps we should take a moment to examine Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Blasey Ford in contrast to another #MeToo tale we covered here. That would be the story of comedian and television host Chris Hardwick and his former girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra. The parallels between these pairs might surprise you in their similarity.
For a quick overview, Harwick is not just a comic and founder of the “Nerdist” online empire, but the host of multiple “Talking” shows on AMC. He’s also the host of a prime-time game show, The Wall, which airs on NBC. And there was already talk of expanding his network role before his turn in the #MeToo barrel came along in July of this year. Dykstra published a lengthy essay (covered at the previous link) accusing the comic of all manner of sexual harassment and physical/mental abuse. (She didn’t call him out by name but it immediately became obvious Hardwick was the only person she could be talking about.) Hardwick denied all of the allegations vigorously, but the networks suspended his contracts and some high profile convention appearances he was scheduled to host were canceled while an investigation was launched.
Not long afterward, AMC concluded their investigation and found there was insufficient basis to believe Hardwick was guilty of anything. He was not only returned to his previous TV gigs but awarded a coveted slot as a judge on the show America’s Got Talent. At that time, I was also convinced Dykstra’s story sounded weak at best and I asked if Chris Hardwick was now the poster-boy for wrongly accused of the Me Too moment.
But then the story took a strange twist. Rather than having the support of those who knew him best, several women who worked on Hardwick’s shows quit and walked off, likely trashing their careers, when his forgiveness and return was announced. And they weren’t just random observers. One was believed to be his executive producer, Jen Patton, who had been working with him on all of his projects for years, pretty much joined at the hip to the rising star. That left me wondering if everyone had gotten the story wrong all along. Still, Hardwick is back in the saddle professionally.
Now let’s do a side by side comparison between that situation and the current brouhaha over Brett Kavanaugh and see who might be judged more harshly.
Hardwick: Wants to be a judge on America’s Got Talent.
Kavanaugh: Wants to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Hardwick: Accused by a former, live-in girlfriend of numerous offenses in the recent past.
Kavanaugh: Accused by someone he claims not to know of a single offense thirty years ago when they were in different high schools.
Hardwick: Admits he used to live with the accuser but denies her version of events.
Kavanaugh: Categorically denies the event and states he doesn’t know who the woman is.
Hardwick: Numerous other people weigh in, both positive and negative, regarding their stormy relationship. Everyone in the community knew they were together.
Kavanaugh: Accuser can’t provide an address or even an exact date. Nobody else seems to know if the two had ever encountered each other.
Hardwick: Women who work closely with him quit their jobs in protest at his return to grace in the industry.
Kavanaugh: 65 women who knew Kavanaugh as a young man sign a letter testifying to his good character.
Hardwick: Is now a judge on America’s Got Talent.
So where do we go from here? That’s the question David French asked last night and I think his take on the situation is worth a look. Christine Blasey Ford has made a claim and has a story to tell, asserting that her conscience compels her to bring this information into the confirmation process. To deny the suspicious nature of the timing and the obvious questions it raises would be dishonest, but that’s how Me Too works. Even though a group of Senators are debating the situation, make no mistake about what’s going on. The committee in question is not a court of law and they can take no legal action on Blasey Ford’s complaint. This trial is still being held in the Court of Public Opinion, though that court now has a group of Senators making the call for the rest of us.
So let’s give Ms. Blasey Ford her day in front of the committee and hear her out. But it should be done immediately. If she doesn’t want to speak up or the Democrats want to use her as an excuse to delay this process past the midterms even if no further evidence comes to light, we’ll know what their real motivations are.