Nolte: NBC’s Kate Snow Says Info Clearing Kavanaugh Wasn’t ‘Newsworthy’ Before Confirmation

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty, Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty, NBC

NBC’s Kate Snow offers only falsehoods and double talk to explain why she and her employer hid crucial facts that would have cleared then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of gang rape allegations.

On Friday, Breitbart News reported that, although NBC had the information a full week prior to his October 6 confirmation, NBC covered up news that would have cleared Kavanaugh when it mattered most — during those intense final days of the confirmation process.

During that week, here is the information NBC News hid from the public and those senators deciding on whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh:

  1. On September 30, the woman who signed a sworn statement corroborating Julie Swetnick’s gang rape allegations against Kavanaugh (the statement was publicly released by attorney Michael Avenatti on October 2), not only told NBC she had never witnessed Kavanaugh spike punch or rape anyone, she also became something of a character witness for Kavanaugh when she told NBC she had never once seen him behave inappropriately.
  2. This second witness then told NBC on October 3 (three days prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation) that Avenatti had fabricated her sworn statement.
  3. During this crucial time, Avenatti was playing games with NBC to conceal all of this — what NBC itself describes as “an apparent effort to thwart the reporting process[.]”

Nothing was stopping NBC from reporting the above facts as they came in. There was no valid reason for NBC to withhold this relevant and crucial information, either from the public or from those senators still deciding Kavanaugh’s fate.

What’s more, had NBC released this story as it broke, NBC would have owned a major scoop, a story of national consequence. Instead, NBC chose not to reveal the truth until October 26, more than three weeks after it mattered.

The only plausible explanation for this is partisanship. NBC did not want Kavanaugh confirmed, so the truth was withheld and the public misled, even as — and this is important — NBC chose to spread a number of uncorroborated smears and hoaxes against Kavanaugh (which I will detail below).

Here is Snow’s explanation in full, a collection of her tweets, which I have numbered for clarity:

  1. Important context to my and @annaschecter’s story regarding a second woman Michael Avenatti put forward to corroborate Julie Swetnick’s claims about Brett Kavanaugh
  2. My interview with Ms. Swetnick aired on October 1. She was making serious claims, so we took care to provide viewers the full context around her allegations and our reporting with a 13+ min piece
  3. We also made clear – in the interest of full transparency – that NBC News had not been able to independently verify her claims.
  4. After repeated requests to Avenatti for corroboration of Swetnick’s story, he had conferenced us in to a call with a woman. The day after our Swetnick intvw aired, Mr. Avenatti tweeted out a sworn statement from that other woman. It was inconsistent with what she had told us.

Let’s stop here…

There is no ethical or editorial standard that stopped NBC from telling the public what it knew up until then. Avenatti “conferenced” NBC with a woman who was “inconsistent” with her sworn statement. That, right there, is a massive and valid story, and…

NBC covered up this explosive story, and there is no explanation other than a partisan desire to protect Avenatti and Swetnick and their campaign to destroy Kavanaugh.

Snow’s next tweet is inexplicably dishonest:

  1. By the time we were able to find the woman independently from Mr. Avenatti, who declined to give us her full legal name and phone number, and fully report and vet her story, the Kavanaugh confirmation process was over and the news value was limited

In the above tweet, Snow wants us to believe that by the time she spoke to this second witness on October 3, the “confirmation process was over” and therefore the fact that this second witness had not only recanted her sworn statement but also claimed that Avenatti had fabricated it, had “limited news value.”

What a farce.

To begin with, the confirmation process was not “over” on October 3. Kavanaugh was not confirmed until October 6. If you want to be oily about it, you can argue the “official” confirmation process was over — the hearings and such — but that is just being oily.

In the days between October 3 and October 6, the confirmation process was still very much in process, not only in the court of public opinion, but in the backrooms and minds of undecided senators.

This was the biggest story in the world.

  1. To be clear – we did NOT have enough reporting to publish the second woman’s account until after Justice Kavanaugh secured enough votes for confirmation

Another lie, which I will explain in detail below.

  1. When Senator Grassley cited my interview with Swetnick this week when making a criminal referral, the second woman’s story became newsworthy again, so we published right away.

So, not only is NBC claiming it was not newsworthy to inform the public of all this at the height of the Kavanaugh drama, NBC is also claiming it was not newsworthy for the three additional weeks that followed. Snow wants us to swallow this…

Even though Avenatti is a mainstay in the news cycle as a potential 2020 presidential candidate; even though MSNBC had him on the air on October 20, and even though NBC and MSNBC found Avenatti’s attacks on Trump plenty “newsworthy” on October 16.

  1. We always want to be clear and fully transparent around our reporting, and that’s what we’re doing here.

To fully grasp just how deceptive and dishonest Snow and NBC are, here is the most important thing to keep in mind…

None of the so-called editorial standards — that Snow falsely claims kept her from airing the facts that would have cleared Kavanaugh — stopped NBC from publishing and airing uncorroborated gang rape allegations against Kavanaugh.

NBC admits it could not corroborate Swetnick’s gang rape story. Nevertheless, NBC still ran with it and did so relentlessly (a search of NBC News came up with nearly 100 “Julie Swetnick” hits prior to October 6).

NBC fully embraced a gang rape story it could not verify or corroborate, even to the point where Swetnick and her unverified and uncorroborated smears enjoyed a big, splashy primetime interview on MSNBC — an interview granted even after NBC News knew Swetnick’s corroborating witness was anything but.

Somehow, it actually gets worse…

Swetnick’s gang rape claim was not the only uncorroborated allegation NBC ran against Kavanaugh.

On September 26, NBC violated every editorial standard known to man to run with this disgusting smear — that was later exposed as a hoax.

In other words…

While Kavanaugh was fighting for his life, NBC was happy to violate editorial standards as a means to pile on with one uncorroborated allegation after another — all too happy to try and personally destroy him.

But when it came to legitimate news, legitimate evidence that would have cleared him, NBC covered that information up and is now hiding behind lies to pretend that was the moral thing to do.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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