In all the drama and froth of Thursday’s U.S. Senate hearings into sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, there was one vast element missing; not a single, but a whole herd of elephants in the room. Christine Blasey Ford’s 36-year-old charge was, even in the absence of all corroboration and despite its cloudiness (no place, time, or witness), a serious business. However, just the day before, one Julie Swetnick unfolded a story via distinguished pornstar lawyer and future presidential candidate, Michael Avenatti, with an affidavit that read as if torn from the lurid pages of Helter Skelter.
Kavanaugh, she charged, organized full-scale “rape parties,” engaged in “abusive and physically aggressive behaviour toward girls,” which “included the fondling and groping of girls without their consent” and “spiked the drinks of girls at house parties (she) attended with grain alcohol and/or drugs so as to cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No’ … so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.”
The previous day when this broke, the news channels, the newspapers and, ineluctably, the millstones of Twitter went to full grind. Ms. Ford’s accusation, if true, painted Kavanaugh as at least a loathsome creep. But the Swetnick/Avenatti indictment presented the young Kavanaugh as a full, raging psychopath monster —somewhere approaching the border of someday being fit company for Paul Bernado and the lowlifes of full perdition that unspeakably ended poor, sweet Tori Stafford
Swetnick was specific. She was at 10 of this Caligulan rape parties. She was gang-raped herself. She witnessed others. She swore on it in an affidavit.
Yet just 24 hours later, amid the Senate hearings into Kavanaugh’s high school past, where was this enormity? What had become of this — forgive the callous, necessary pun — train-stopper of all allegations? Twenty-four hours later it had casually slipped into some vague media limbo, barely glanced at by the fervent evening television panels, a disposable footnote to the contest of the hearings. It had been chewed over, raged at, screamed from the cable studios and headlines, electrifying Twitter just 24 hours earlier, and then, presto, going, going, gone.
Why and how?