Julie Swetnick is the woman who said, through a sworn statement delivered to the public via Michael Avenatti, that Brett Kavanaugh and his buddies regularly harassed women at parties she attended in the early 1980s. Not only that, Kavanaugh had spiked the punch at these parties to loosen women up for the “gang rape” sessions that would later take place upstairs. Swetnick said that she herself was raped in such a fashion, though she stopped short of accusing Kavanaugh of actually participating in that one.
It did not take long for Swetnick’s story to start coming unraveled…thanks to Swetnick herself. In an interview with NBC, she equivocated about her sworn claims, insisted that she’d never actually SEEN Kavanaugh spike the punch or gang rape a woman, but assuring Kate Snow that she HAD seen him standing outside bedrooms and near the punch bowl. Damning accusations, if ever there were any.
NBC took a lot of rightful heat at the time for even airing this interview. It is not the responsibility of the news media to put any crackpot on television to hurl wild accusations at public figures. In fact, their responsibility is quite the opposite. They owe it to viewers to do their homework and fact-check their guests, especially when said guest is making accusations of this magnitude. Swetnick came off as a certified Crazy Person.
But that was not the extent of NBC’s malfeasance.
After NBC aired the interview, Avenatti – knowing he needed to do some damage control – released another sworn statement from an anonymous woman who backed up Swetnick’s basic claims. NBC followed up on this woman and found that she did not exactly stand by the accusations in her statement.
“I didn’t ever think it was Brett,” she said about people spiking the punch.
She told NBC that she’d never met Swetnick in high school and never attended any parties with her. She also said that she never saw Kavanaugh behaving inappropriately towards women at any of the parties they attended together. Far from confirming Swetnick’s story, this woman was basically a character witness for Brett Kavanaugh.
And NBC never reported any of this until LAST WEEK.
Someone at NBC News needs to explain why they opted to sit on this explosive story for a month, not running it until long after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. And if you don’t think it’s a big deal, imagine for a moment how this would appear had Kavanaugh NOT been confirmed. Do you think NBC would have ever run the story, in that case?
We have a sinking feeling that we know the answer to that question.