The results of a 10-month investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly was published on Saturday.
But attention was taken away from the powerful reporting after the Twitter account of The Times opinion page posted a shocking message.
Kavanaugh has been accused by a fellow Yale student of having “thrust his penis” into her face. She claimed he “caused her to touch it without her consent.”
The investigation found another, similar allegation that the FBI knew about but reportedly did not investigate.
“During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been ‘the talk of campus.’ Our reporting suggests that it was,” The Times reported. “At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.”
“We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly,” the newspaper reported.
People were shocked by the tweet, especially in light of the powerful new reporting.
Here’s some of what people were saying:
What's a better way to phrase the idea that shoving your dick into a woman's face at a party is fun and normal?
— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) September 15, 2019
Poorly phrased is ambiguous or a typo.
There was no second meaning here or confusion about what was said. There need to be consequences
— Spooky Ghosts 👻 for Mayor Pete (@Echo_VIII) September 15, 2019
No. It was repulsive. Who wrote it?
— Melanie Jean (@princessmom122) September 15, 2019
“Poorly phrased” is a helluva way to say “promoted rape culture.”
— Tyler King (@TylerAKing) September 15, 2019
It was not poorly phrased. It was evidence demonstrating your failure to hire people who would understand that having a penis thrust in your face is never "harmless." The "best" ignorant people. You seem to have quite a few of them on staff. @nytimes @nytopinion
— Carol Quirke (@carolradq) September 15, 2019
Poorly phrased? It was dismissive of Kavanaugh’s disgusting behavior. I ask again, what’s wrong with you that it was tweeted at all?
— 🔵 Mr. Blue 🔵 (@OneKindOfBlue) September 15, 2019
Poorly phrased my butt.
I dunno who the f*ck made the decision to publish that headline, but its clear you have an issue with rape culture in your office if it was considered acceptable.
— Nonofyur Darnbusines (@ladyasrai) September 15, 2019
this, uh, seems to be a pattern with you guys
— shauna (@goldengateblond) September 15, 2019
Get off Twitter. Ban yourselves.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) September 15, 2019
Let me try: "Supreme Court Justice lied under oath and the Government failed to investigate a claim that has been substantiated."
— Jeff Hysen (@jeffhysen) September 15, 2019
“Poorly phrased”? (Thanks for at least getting the spelling right)
Who wrote that tweet, and do they think that all sexual assault is harmless fun, or just some of it if it’s by their bros?
— Laura Packard (@lpackard) September 15, 2019
uhhhhh harmless fun for who
— A Flock of Seagals (@ASegals) September 15, 2019
What do you think would be the proper phrasing
— Randbrick (@HitherToFore) September 15, 2019
Someone at your organization thinks having a penis thrust into ones face is "harmless fun" and not criminal sexual assault.
Maybe they shouldn't work there anymore. 🤔
— I'm Suzi Poppins, y'all! (@SoozleMcDoozle) September 15, 2019
Yes, you should have said “into your face,” not “in your face.”
— Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer) September 15, 2019
it wasn’t really an issue of style so much as substance. there’s no great way to phrase one’s endorsement of sexual assault.
— molly 🐶 (@socialistdogmom) September 15, 2019
Sweet Jesus it’s not like powerful people laughing off sexual harassment and assault wasn’t THE ENTIRE FUCKING PROBLEM or anything.
— Seth Masket (@smotus) September 15, 2019
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) September 14, 2019
Having people in positions of power and influence who think it’s “harmless fun” for a guy to stick his dick in a woman’s face is how we got Brett Kavanaugh in the first place
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) September 15, 2019
YOU CALLED HAVING A PENIS THRUST IN YOUR FACE HARMLESS FUN.
We’re gonna need a lot more than this bullshit, New York Times. https://t.co/SnIQinK6Eh
— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) September 15, 2019
It wasn't "poorly-phrased," you feckless thimblewits. It was a spectacularly offensive *sentiment;* it wouldn't have been better had you changed "thrust" to "waved" or "fun" to "gag." https://t.co/zqW2Cl73l9
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) September 15, 2019
Poorly phrased? How about repulsive or vile or so odious that we instantly fired the hacks who wrote it and approved it? How about not treating this latest outrage as a one-off when it is part of a recent pattern of disturbing errors of judgment & journalistic failures? https://t.co/VKqtzFoAEL
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 15, 2019
I don't know who needs to hear this (other than, apparently, the New York Times), but the thrusting of a penis in someone's face without their consent is not, and does not seem like, harmless fun.
And it's not a "phrasing" issue. It's a rape culture issue. What's with you folks? https://t.co/R3KXnW7ecC
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) September 15, 2019
“Poorly phrased.” It wasn’t the phrasing that was poor; it was the substance. Thanks for exemplifying how sexual assault isn’t taken seriously. https://t.co/mCcQlDmRGs
— Jaime Santos (@Jaime_ASantos) September 15, 2019
This apology is poorly phrased https://t.co/wyT15SBdfN
— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) September 15, 2019
— ᴀɪꜱʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ꜱᴋʏᴇ⌛ (@Pamacious) September 15, 2019