Laura Ingraham on Monday pitted sexual assault victims against each other in a desperate attempt to discredit Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when she was a high school student.
During the Monday installment of her Fox News show, Ingraham played a string of calls from rape victims who say they don’t Blasey Ford’s assault allegation against Kavanaugh and believe she’s part of a Democratic conspiracy.
The first call Ingraham featured misrepresented Blasey Ford’s allegation.
“When I was 19, I was sexually abused,” one caller said. “I know that I have never forgotten the situation, and I cannot believe that this woman suddenly remembered now.”
But “forgetting” is not at all what happened in Blasey Ford’s situation. As is often the case for victims of sexual violence, Blasey Ford didn’t speak out publicly about the alleged assault, which happened in the early 1980s when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, until much later. She did describe the incident during therapy sessions with her husband in 2012, however.
Without correcting the record, Ingraham moved on to another call from a woman who said, “I was raped 40 years ago, and I’m absolutely furious, and I know that this is a last-minute ploy again by the left.” The caller didn’t cite any evidence to back up this conspiracy theory.
A third caller said, “Having background myself of being a rape victim, you do not go about this the way this is coming out. This is for attention. And that does a horrible service to people that have actually had everything taken from them. I used to be a Democrat — I will never vote Democratic again.”
Ironically, Ingraham’s segment embodies one of the primary reasons people who say they were victims of violence at the hands of powerful men are discouraged from coming forward — their names are dragged through the mud by those who want to protect the accused.
When it comes to Blasey Ford specifically, Monday’s segment is just one example of how Republican supporters of Kavanaugh have moved quickly to smear and discredit her after she revealed her identity on Sunday in an interview with the Washington Post.
Right-wing media outlets and pundits even tried to use RateMyProfessors.com reviews to smear Blasey Ford as a bad professor, only for the effort to embarrassingly backfire when it turned out that they were citing reviews of a different professor named Christine Ford.
Earlier in the day, Blasey Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, told CNN that her client understood she would be the target of abuse, but decided to come forward anyway.
“She’s now going to have to live with the tremendous efforts by people to discredit her,” Katz said. “She’s telling the truth. She took a polygraph and mentioned this in her therapy sessions in 2012, and she came forward before this nominee was nominated.”