Propaganda in Action: the tarring of Christine Blasey Ford

If you want to see an example of propaganda in action, you couldn’t do much better than to see the accusations currently being made against Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her back in 1982, when he was 17 and she was 15.[1] The right wing propaganda machine immediately went into overdrive, and began leveling accusations against Professor Ford.[2]

In a September 19, 2018 article in the New York Times, Kevin Roose (a columnist for Business Day and writer-at-large for the NY Times Magazine) went about debunking the 5 viral rumors about Professor Ford. It’s a great piece, worthy of a complete read, and it really demonstrates how propagandists on the right go about their work.

The Five Rumors about Professor Ford

  1. Professor Ford’s students left negative reviews on her profile, calling her “unprofessional” and citing her “dark” personality.
  2. Judge Kavanaugh’s mother (also a judge) once ruled against Prof. Ford’s parents in a foreclosure case.
  3. Ford made similar sexual assault accusations against Justice Neil Gorsuch during his nomination process.
  4. Ford is a major Democratic donor with a long history of left-wing activism.
  5. Ford’s brother (Ralph Blasey) worked at a law firm with ties to the Russia investigation.[3]

The Five Responses about Professor Ford

  1. The RateMyProfessor reviews were about Christine A. Ford, a professor of human services at California State University Fullerton, and not Christine Blasey Ford.
  2. There was, in fact, a 1996 foreclosure case involving Judge Martha Kavanaugh and Prof. Ford’s parents. But the Blaseys settled with their bank, and Judge Martha Kavanaugh dismissed the case.[4]
  3. There is no known letter sent by Prof. Ford about Justice Gorsuch, or any other Supreme Court justice or nominee other than Kavanaugh. This one is an outright lie.
  4. It is no secret that Prof. Ford is a registered Democrat who has given money to progressive organizations and campaigns[5]. However, according to data from the Federal Election Commission, her donations to Democratic committees and campaigns from 2013 to 2017 total less than $100. That is far from a “major Democratic” donor.
  5. While it is true that Baker-Hostetler hired Fusion GPS as part of a Russian money-laundering investigation (and that Fusion GPS later worked with Mr. Steele on the Russia dossier) Ralph Blasey left the firm in 2004, more than a decade before any investigation into Russian collusion began.

So there it is, my friends, a good and tidy example or right wing propaganda in action.  While there are kernels of truth in all the accusations against Prof. Ford, they have neatly and quickly been distorted beyond recognition. Once again, the Republicans are proving to be the Party of Hypocrisy.

[1] For those of you doing the math, yes, that means that these allegations are 36 years old.

[2] Christine Blasey Ford, born in 1966, is an American psychologist and professor of statistics at Palo Alto University. During her academic career, Professor Ford has worked as a research psychologist for Stanford University‘s Department of Psychiatry and a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine Collaborative Clinical Psychology Program.

[3] Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group, said that Prof. Ford was an unreliable accuser because her brother had ties to the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The argument goes that Baker-Hostetler, the law firm where Prof. Ford’s brother worked, had once hired a consulting firm called Fusion GPS as part of a Russian money-laundering investigation. Several years later, Fusion GPS subcontracted with British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, to produce the infamous Russia dossier. Therefore, they implied, Prof. Ford’s brother was connected to the Russia investigation.

[4] Citing court records, Snopes noted that Judge Kavanaugh’s ruling actually allowed the Blaseys to keep their home.

[5] These facts were reported by the Washington Post in the original story naming Prof. Ford as Kavanaugh’s accuser.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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