By Nicholas Fondacaro
In Thursday’s installment of The Hill’s “Rising,” chief Washington correspondent Saagar Enjeti lit up New York Times reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin for their smear campaign against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and grilled them on their obfuscation of exculpatory facts.
After Kelly got done delivering a rosy description of how their Kavanaugh book sought to look at both he and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as telling the truth, Enjeti picked up on her omission of a key fact:
But one of the things you didn’t mention there is that Leland Keyser, in your book, who was supposedly the one who drove her home says that she doesn’t think that it happened, and that there was a smear and pressure campaign against her; and by her own friends in order to corroborate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation.
“That’s right and I’m so glad you brought that up, because I think that’s one of the big revelations of our book,” Kelly said as she proceeded to elaborate. Kelly touted it as this great find, yet that was not what they chose to have excerpted for the infamous Times hit piece.
Enjeti followed up by calling out how their book “caused a massive controversy in this country. It’s caused Democrats to literally call for impeachment. There’s, of course, the handling of the story by your own outlet over at The New York Times.” He then drew attention to a perplexing tweet Pogrebin sent out on Wednesday blaming Fox News as having “twisted the Kavanaugh scandal.”
“You sent a tweet recently blaming Fox News for some of the – for distorting some of the errors in your reporting. Why are you blaming Fox News for this failure,” Enjeti pressed. Pogrebin insisted she wasn’t blaming Fox News and falsely said she “retweeted” Vox.
Acting as though they had nothing to do with what their paper wrote about their book, Pogrebin whined: “These paragraphs that have been pulled out and seized upon are two paragraphs in that book. So, we haven’t highlighted them, they’re not the focus of this.” Enjeti immediately saw the inconsistency:
ENJETI: But your paper did.
POGREBIN: But our paper—No. At our paper we did this Deborah Ramirez excerpt, which that was also one paragraph. Unfortunately, that line was removed. And it was out back and corrected.
Once the public discovered that the person leveling the accusation (Max Stier) against Kavanaugh was a Clinton flack, it became even clearer that the claims were dubious. To Stier’s affiliations, Enjeti got Pogrebin to extraordinarily admit that they willing kept them out of their book:
ENJETI: I do want to talk about that, because the person who allegedly saw this incident, Mr. Max Stier. As I understand it, he was on the opposing team from Kavanaugh during the Clinton impeachment and his wife was denied a federal judgeship by the GOP. Did you include that information in your book? I mean, that’s seems like pretty clear evidence of a vendetta against Brett Kavanaugh.
POGREBIN: You know, we didn’t include it in the book but we do talk about what he’s been doing for most of his career, which is non-partisan
ENJETI: Don’t you think germane? I mean, for somebody to accuse somebody like this and the victim does not recognize – does not even remember this incident, you don’t think that is germane detail?
POGREBIN: Do you think it’s germane that Brett Kavanaugh wrote the Starr Report?
ENJETI: Yes, absolutely! And he was grilled for that during his [confirmation] hearing.
“[A]nd if he had an agenda, why didn’t he do it during the hearings when he could have blown it up,” Pogrebin bitterly demanded to know. “Well, he did do it during the hearings when he sent to these investigators,” Enjeti corrected her.
Pogrebin went on to argue the Stier “had no interest in going to the press.” That also appeared to be misleading because it had been reported that the accusation had been shopped around to multiple news outlets, who passed on it because of how shady the accusation was.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.