"He made representations about who he was as a young man, which don't prove whether he was never blackout drunk, he said he was mostly volunteering and going to church," Irin Carmon said.
September 25, 2018

More talk about the Eddie Haskell of the D.C. circuit this morning on CNN, as John Berman and Alisyn Camerota welcomed John Avlon and Irin Carmon to discuss Brett Cavanaugh's cringeworthy interview on Fox News.

"Do you think this was designed to make people uncomfortable so that they would say, you know, a Supreme Court nominee shouldn't have to talk about when the first time he had sex was. look how far we've devolved here. this whole process stinks, which is an argument we've heard from the Republicans in the Senate," Berman said.

"John, I think it was a risky strategy honestly from a PR perspective. Yes, you have his unequivocal denial, he was answering uncomfortable questions, but I also think he provided an entire arsenal for Democrats," Carmon said.

"He previewed what he's going to say on Thursday and I think two really important things emerged from this interview and one is that Martha McCallum asked, "if you did not do this, why don't you talk with the FBI?' He didn't engage with why he didn't ask the FBI to interview everyone. He made representations about who he was as a young man which don't prove whether he was never blackout drunk, he said he was mostly volunteering and going to church. There are a lot of people who know him back then and his yearbook is of references to heavy drinking, Mark Judge wrote multiple memoirs about this. I think it calls into question his honesty and candor to represent a person that is totally different from what has been heard before and that gives Democrats in Thursday's hearing if it takes place, an opportunity to go in on the attack."

"This yearbook is damning. I mean, it's damning," Camerota said.

"I'm sure all of our high school yearbooks are damning, okay, but his talks about heavy drinking and it talks about, you know, there's this reference to this person or word named Renate and it turns out that there are 14 references in this Georgetown Prep yearbook to Renate Schroder. She was one of the 65 women who sent a letter of support and now it turns out that these are references, it appears, to having had some sort of sexual contact with this woman at a different school. Now she says that she's appalled by the idea that there was this gross group of guys who were all claiming this in their high school yearbook. Again, it's high school, okay, so I understand that people do silly things, but there is still that strain of misogynistic fervor."

"It's relevant because it's during the time in which he was accused," Carmon said.

"The gap between what he presented last night in the interview and the evidence, not only in Professor Ford's testimony, but the yearbook is stark. He is trying to present a vision of high school as a Jesuit Mayberry and what we're confronting is evidence of an Animal House culture and the two probably collide and the question is how you remediate that. High school can be ugly. High school can be petty, it can be where mistakes were made, but he's holding himself up as a paragon of virtue in high school and there is contradictory evidence baked in the cake in his yearbook,"John Avlon said.

"He says repeatedly to Martha McCallum, 'I've always treated women with dignity.' The fact is, just that yearbook alone is not treating this woman with dignity," Berman said. "That doesn't prove or disprove the sexual assault allegation, but it does disprove the notion that he always treated women with dignity."

"I could be wrong, but if we go back to his yearbook there is not a lot of references to going to church on Sunday but there are a lot of references to drinking in excess at 100 kegs and all that stuff. I understand that it's high school but it is just a very -- this captures it in real time. This book is in real time," Camerota added.

"It's an indelible snapshot. It also could have very little to do with the man he is," Avlon said. He's standing by his wife and the allegations and even probably some evidence in the yearbook does not seem to be reflective of the man she knows, how he has lived his life professionally and part of the question we are going to have to confront as a country in these hearings as they go forward is how much do you weight someone's adolescent id, I don't see any potential beyond that."

(Gee, John, how about his insistence on reopening the Vince Foster investigation for political points? I don't think that was in high school...)

"It's not just weighing his adolescent, you know, indiscretions or allegations of sexual assault, because we're weighing his honesty now," Carmon said.

"This is somebody who is being elevated to the Supreme Court potentially and so it's not really about what he did then."

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