You have to wonder if someone at Fox News is sending a message to Fan In Chief Donald Trump with the dismal headline for the findings of its latest poll or if there was just no way of sugarcoating.
The FoxNews.com report on its poll finding is titled, “Fox News Poll: Record number of voters oppose Kavanaugh nomination.” It begins:
Voter support for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court is down in the wake of Christine Ford’s assault allegations, as more believe her than him.
Currently, 40 percent of voters would confirm Kavanaugh, while 50 percent oppose him, according to a Fox News poll. Last month, views split 45-46 percent (August 19-21).
Fox has previously found ways to creatively present its poll results so as to paint a rosier picture for Trump. So one suspects the network could have found a way to do so here, had it wanted to.
Regardless, Trump and the GOP seem to see the falling support and the rising number of accusations as reasons to push through Kavanaugh’s confirmation even faster. Yesterday, The New Yorker reported details of a second Kavanaugh accuser, attorney Michael Avenatti claims to be representing a third and there is possibly a fourth. Yet, The New Yorker also noted that Republicans reacted to news of the second allegation, which they acknowledged could be damaging to the nominee, by trying to accelerate the confirmation:
Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote.
As Crooks and Liars noted, “[The Fox poll found] 59% support delaying the Kavanaugh vote and holding hearings because of the sexual assault claims. Just 31% say they shouldn’t delay. That does not bode well for them, but perhaps [Republicans] just don’t care.”
Indeed, Republicans seem not to care. Kavanaugh vowed he will not be “intimidated” into withdrawing his nomination today. He called the allegations “smears, pure and simple” and a “coordinated effort to destroy my good name.” The New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “is expected to deliver an “unequivocal defense” of Kavanaugh today and lay out “why he will make an exceptional justice.” Senator Orrin Hatch “called for the panel to vote on Judge Kavanaugh after a hearing [with accuser Christine Blasey Ford] set for Thursday. Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, agreed.” According to The Times, Trump told reporters today he will support Kavanaugh “all the way.”
As for Fox News, Media Matters reports that the network conveniently ignored the part of The New Yorker story that found Republican senators pushed for a faster Kavanaugh confirmation after learning of the second accusation last week. Instead, network reports parroted the GOP claim that they had found out about the second accuser from yesterday's New Yorker report:
But during the September 24 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that while “four Dems” knew about the new report, the “chairman of the [Senate] Judiciary Committee didn’t even know about it until yesterday,” when the article broke. Later in the show, he noted that Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) claimed that the committee’s Republican staff were unaware of the new allegation. Kilmeade reiterated that Democrats knew before publication, but omitted any mention that the next sentence of the article states that Republican staffers were also aware. And during America’s Newsroom, Fox’s Peter Doocy reported on Grassley’s assertion that the Judiciary Committee’s Republican staffers did not know of the report until September 23. He also did not mention The New Yorker’s reporting that some Republican staffers were aware before publication.
Watch supposedly objective reporter Peter Doocy serve as an echo chamber for Republican messaging below, from the September 24, 2018 America’s Newsroom, via Media Matters.