Stephanie Ruhle, like most women in this country, is having a hard time finding the words. It hits us all differently, in different times, in different ways, but as her co-host, Ali Velshi, read the opening segment of the deep dive into their examination of who Mark Judge was, Ruhle was thunderstruck.
VELSHI: But judge's own writings recount hazy drunken partying including a bachelor party featuring a music teacher, students chugging beer, and all of them being, quote, entertained by the stripper. His other book, entitled wasted tales of a genx drunk, talk about a Bart O'Kavanaugh getting drunk and vomiting in the back seat of a car, leading to speculation that the passage uses a pseudonym for Brett Kavanaugh. And Judge's high school yearbook quote appears to endorse violence against women, and at least one other caption in the yearbook seems to make light of the issue, all things Judge would have had control over as the yearbook's caption editor. Later in life according to Judge, he found the error of his ways getting sober, getting back into religion and briefly teaching at Georgetown University, but he also advocated for a quote, ambiguous middle ground when it comes to consent and what he called, quote, the wonderful beauty of uncontrollable male passion. It's the discrepancy in judge's defense of Kavanaugh that they were good Catholic private school boys just playing sports and doing school work against his other writings about the same time where Judge says he drank heavily, quote, lusted after girls, and his views on how men should treat women. All of this could make things like this quote Kavanaugh made in 2015 reflecting on a saying that he and his classmates had take on new meaning.
After Velshi read Judge's quote about the "wonderful beauty of uncontrollable male passion," you can hear Ruhle in the background saying quietly, "Oh, my god." (1:44 in the video) They play that damning 2015 video of Kavanaugh joking to alum that what happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep, When the camera comes back to Velshi and Ruhle, she is still recovering.
↓ Story continues below ↓
VELSHI: That's what he said.
RUHLE: I'm just taken. One more time. The wonderful beauty of uncontrollable male passion.
VELSHI: Of uncontrollable male passion. Yeah.
When they bring in the reporter from The Washington Post, Avi Selk, who wrote the profile on Mark Judge, they ask him for the cliff notes version of his view on women. It's Selk who first characterizes Judge as the Men's Rights Activist type. Ruhle has gathered herself to begin going on the offensive in her analysis of Judge.
SELK: The cliff notes is he's never used the words, but the type of person that are sometimes referred to disparagingly as men's rights activists. He writes about his notion of femininity and masculinity, whereas masculinity is a man being a man, that quote about unbridled male passion, he's a fan of, you know, movie scenes of guys, you know, violently taking women and doing things to them.
VELSHI: All right.
RUHLE: Maybe all that self-loathing is why he got blackout drunk so often.
Stephanie Ruhle wasn't done. The three of them discussed the absurd discrepancies between Judge's own written and verbal descriptions of his high school and college days, and whether or not he attended the party and in the room where Ford alleges Kavanaugh assaulted her. Ruhle zeros in on his official public reticence.
RUHLE: And so we understand, Mark Judge is saying that this didn't happen, but he's not willing to testify, is that the case?
SELK: That's correct. Mark Judge is not willing to testify. He's given a very short statement, a couple to reporters, a couple to the Senate saying, "I have no recollection of this," and "respect my privacy."
RUHLE: Respect my privacy except he came out and made a statement, so which one is it, Mark?
Selk then talked about the difficulty of getting through to Mark Judge to get more information from him.
SELK: I don't think that he's talking to reporters much anymore. I think he's written his letter to the Senate, and you know, in the Senate Republicans' words, he said what he's going to say, and the Republicans don't think there's any need to bring him out and put him under oath.
RUHLE: Well, he said what he said, but not under oath.
Ruhle, along with every other woman on earth except, perhaps, Mika Brzezinski and Danielle Pletka knows Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh are both full of sh*t. She makes the point at the end, why would Professor Ford name Mark Judge as the other person in the room, "knowing he wasn't her ally, he wasn't on her team?" Ali Velshi agreed, saying, "So, why would she name him if she knows that he's going to be Brett Kavanaugh's ally?" What possible motive would she have to lie about this?
At the end of the segment, though, Ruhle still came back to the unbelievable misogyny of Judge's MRA-ish sensibilities. "I am so tongue tied over what this man has said. His uncontrollable male passion. It's unbelievable. And it should be celebrated."
It's tough to come to grips with the deep hatred so many men in power feel towards women. It left a seasoned television journalist stuttering on her show today. It left a 15-year-old girl silent about her assault for 36 years.