Thousands of social media users slammed the article’s insinuation.
With tensions over the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh reaching a boiling point, a USA Today article actually suggested that Kavanaugh should not continue coaching his daughters girls’ basketball team, discussing in the article the recent child sex abuse scandals in US sports as if to suggest that Kevanaugh was a child molester.
The USA Today story proclaimed that “the nation is newly vigilant on who coaches and trains its children given recent scandals in gymnastics and other sports,” but notes that Kavanaugh is free to continue coaching in the Catholic Youth Organization and his daughters’ private school in Washington because he passed all background checks.
Michael Brown, a former undersecretary of Homeland Security, said the outlet uses allegations from more than 30 years ago, “in essence to call someone a pedophile.”
“Let me get this straight @USATODAY… you believe uncorroborated allegations from 30+ years ago allow in essence to call someone a pedophile? Kavanaugh claims the media will continue to attack him and you just proved his point. Despicable,” he wrote.
Let me get this straight @USATODAY…you believe uncorroborated allegations from 30+ years ago allow in essence to call someone a pedophile? #Kavanaugh claims the media will continue to attack him and you just proved his point. Despicable. https://t.co/r22iTIqBfS
— Michael Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) September 29, 2018
The article by USA Today’s Erik Brandy has triggered a major backlash among conservatives on social media, and rightly so.
How much more damage could waiting one more week cause to Kavanaugh you ask?
Well, these sickos will try to destroy everything he loves & holds dear, including insinuating that he’s a pedophile…just to keep him off the Supreme Court.
Disgusting and horrifying. https://t.co/2B7uUs64yH
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) September 29, 2018
The FBI is now investigating the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh assaulted her 36 years ago, after both gave emotional testimonies at the Senate Judiciary Committee that decided to move the Supreme Court nominee vote to the full Senate.
Kavanaugh denies he is the culprit in the attack on Ford and accuses Democrats of orchestrating the scandal that he says ruined his life. Brandy focuses his vitriolic piece on Kavanugh’s remark during the hearing that he might not be able to coach his daughter’s basketball team again – something that he said he loved more than anything he has done in his life.
The article’s headline “Is Brett Kavanaugh right that he can no longer coach girls basketball?” remains rhetorical throughout and leads to the conclusion that “accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation.”
Brandy brings in references to the case of Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics team coach who was found guilty of multiple sexual assaults, and after setting this background for the readers expresses his surprise that Kavanaugh can still coach for the Catholic Youth Organization and his daughters’ private school in Washington.
“He has no record and has no criminal background. He’s gone through the (training) process. He can coach,” Edward McFadden, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington is quoted.
Yet Brandy goes on to wonder if he should and brings in the US Center for SafeSport, set up in 2017, to probe sexual misconduct claims while admitting that it has essentially no relation to the issue, as it does not cover youth sports.
The organization’s spokesperson, Dan Hill, says that a credible allegation of sexual misconduct may spark an investigation even with the lack of formal charges. Again, Hill did not refer to Kavanaugh, speaking in general, Brandy concedes, but his remark fits the narrative anyway.
As soon as the US Today article came out, conservative Twitter responded with indignation and outrage.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 29, 2018
Some saw the piece as a reflection of partisan brinkmanship, that is getting uglier as the congressional elections inch closer.
Now he’s a pedophile? You’re handing us the midterms. https://t.co/IGw0MGydUU
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 29, 2018
I have a 10 year old niece, @cvcardillo’s daughter, who I see as my own.
I’d be honored to have #BrettKavanaugh coach her.
Anyone disparaging this man and the good he’s done for kids is beyond reprehensible.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) September 29, 2018
The conservative commentators did not mince words, calling the op-ed “disgusting,” “horrifying”, “reprehensible” and “stupid”.
— Kathie 🦇🧟♀️ツ (@MustangGirl3) September 29, 2018
You have awoken a sleeping beast….congrats! See you Nov 6th! https://t.co/WpMSlYwnXh
— ❌ yvonne burton (@_YvonneBurton) September 29, 2018
You people spreading crap like this is why Trump won https://t.co/a4jytj4dx1
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 29, 2018
Have the Left have reached the bottom yet? – Mike Cernovich, right-wing political activist and writer asked.
The question will probably also have to remain rhetorical, though.