September 25, 2018

Bill Shine is how head of the White House comms team, and is very experienced at protecting sexual predators as a past Fox News President. So putting Brett Kavanaugh on Fox with carefully scripted talking points was his strategy. It failed.

Kavanaugh appeared as a trained seal. Thanks to the producers at "Last Word" for putting together the three talking points drilled into Kavanaugh's brain in Bill Shine's training sessions.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: If Republicans were actually confident, they would not be sending Brett Kavanaugh to do an interview on Fox news. Supreme court nominees never do interviews during the confirmation press, ever. It was a desperate move by desperate people. I what we saw was Brett Kavanaugh at his most mechanical, in a thoroughly rehearsed performance with none of the relaxed extemporaneous speaking that he did at his confirmation hearing when he was being questioned by friendly Republicans. It was a very different Brett Kavanaugh we saw tonight. He did about a 15-minute interview in which he only said a few things, very few things. But he said them over and over again.

Lawrence then shows Kavanaugh repeating the Bill Shine-drilled talking points:

"I've never sexually assaulted anyone." - Six times.

"I'm looking for a fair process." - Twelve times.

"65 women signed a letter." - Three times.

O'DONNELL: He was never actually asked if he wanted a fair process. That was just the language that he kept pumping in instead of answering some of the questions. And when Brett Kavanaugh was asked why the process didn't include an investigation, he simply reasked the question and replayed his talking points.

Okay, so much for the talking points. Now, here -- here's the most important in the Fox News interview of Brett Kavanaugh and his wife. It was when his wife, Ashley, was asked a question that the Kavanaugh talking points did not anticipate. The questions were directed quite reasonably directly to Brett Kavanaugh's wife. And Brett Kavanaugh would not allow Ashley Kavanaugh to answer that question.


MARTHA MCCALLUM: Do you believe there should be an FBI investigation into these allegations and that a pause should happen, and you know, sort it all out? If there's nothing to worry about and nothing to hide, why not have that process, Ashley, and then I'll ask Brett.

BRETT KAVANAUGH (interrupting) I've said that all along and Ashley, too. I want to be heard. I want a fair process where I clear my name as quickly as I can in whatever forum the Senate deems appropriate.


LAWRENCE O'DONNELL I really wanted to hear Ashley Kavanaugh's answer to that question. I'm sure I'm not the only one. But Brett Kavanaugh was not going to let that happen.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.