In a ridiculous news conference on Wednesday, President Trump stressed the priority of watching Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that features testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault in 1982. The proceedings even had him considering a change of schedule, as he was due to meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. “I may call Rod tonight or tomorrow and ask for a little bit of a delay to the meeting, because I don’t want to do anything that gets in the way of this very important Supreme Court pick. So I don’t want it competing and hurting the decision. … Again, I want to hear what she has to say.”
Well: If President Trump is taking in the hearing on his favorite cable-news outlet, he’s hearing not just what Ford has to say. He’s also hearing what Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has to say.
“This was extremely emotional, extremely raw and extremely credibly and nobody could listen to her deliver those words and talk about the assault and the impact it had on her life — and not have your heart go out to her,” said Wallace.
Republicans have ceded their questioning time to Rachel Mitchell, a sex-crimes prosecutor who has proceeded with a slow-drip interrogation process that has spread out over five-minute periods interrupted by questioning from Democratic senators. The format didn’t impress Wallace: “This is a disaster for the Republicans,” said Wallace. Meanwhile, said Wallace, the Democrats are landing “haymakers,” including the time Ford was asked what she remembers best about the incident; the laughter of Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge as they abused their victim, Ford replied. All of that may be enough to sway a pliable Trump: “They’re giving the women a major chance to speak. Now, it’s possible I’ll hear that, and I’ll say, hey, I’m changing my mind. That is possible. We want to give them a chance to speak.”
Martha MacCallum, who interviewed Kavanaugh earlier in the week, commented, “You have to believe that the Republican senators right now are asking themselves whether or not this was a good idea — whether or not they have robbed themselves of their opportunity to ask pointed questions in a way that perhaps might be more compelling.”
Before the hearing, by the way, Wallace put a personal touch on the news of the week: “I think it’s important that we distinguish between what’s legitimate and serious and what clearly seems less so. Over the course of this week, I think a lot of American families, my family — a lot of it on email, has been discussing this and disagreeing and arguing about it and two of my daughters have told me stories that I have never heard before about things that happened to them in high school and hadn’t told their parents,” said Wallace. “I don’t know if they told their friends, certainly they never reported it to police. They weren’t as serious as the allegations against Kavanaugh but the point is that there are teenage girls who don’t tell stories to a lot of people and then it comes up and I don’t think we can disregard that. I don’t think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this. I think that would be a big mistake.”
All this reasoned and logical commentary might force the president to reevaluate his cable habits. Or at least pray for night to come fast: Please, give me some “Hannity”!