On Sunday night, hours after The New Yorker published a bombshell report detailing the story of Deborah Ramirez, a woman who alleges that Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while the two were attending Yale University, John Oliver dove into the Kavanaugh mess on the latest edition of his HBO series Last Week Tonight.
And though the satirist wasn’t able to tackle the Ramirez claim, given that the news broke after taping, he did have plenty to say about the Republican campaign(s) to discredit Kavanaugh’s initial accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
“A woman named Christine Blasey Ford alleged that at a party in high school, Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her, attempted to pull off her bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it, and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream,” Oliver explained. “And I know that that is graphic, but the details of these terrible allegations are really important, and they cast a chilling life on past comments [Kavanaugh] has made about his time in high school.”
Indeed, during a 2015 speech at the Columbus School of Law, Kavanaugh told the audience, “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep. That’s been a good thing for all of us.”
Oliver, of course, argued that the aforementioned Vegas motto “makes anything sound awful and creepy by default,” and went on to describe how Kavanaugh, a man who he says has “resting lacrosse face,” has vehemently denied the allegations and produced a letter of support signed by 65 women who knew him in high school (this was collected before Dr. Ford came forward and told her story to The Washington Post).
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, who has been lobbying for a position within the Trump administration for ages, took it upon herself to attack Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for abiding by Ford’s wishes and keeping the allegation against Kavanaugh under wraps.
“And Dianne: Why would you wait to even send it to the FBI? Is it because nothing in you and your path of demon-rats—that’s what I said, demon-rats—Democrats’ bag of tricks was working against Kavanaugh?”
This confused Oliver, who then threw to another clip of Pirro describing the Democrats as “demon-rats.”
“Jeanine: Stop trying to make demon-rats happen,” joked Oliver.
In addition to Fox News, CNN aired an incredibly irresponsible segment featuring Republican women in Florida—several of whom turned out to be GOP operatives—defending Kavanaugh with arguments like, “Tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high school?”
“What the fuck are you talking about!” exclaimed Oliver. “That is a terrible thing for any high school girl to hear—and perhaps an even worse thing for a high school boy to hear, because she’s acting like assault is a natural consequence of puberty.”
The award for Most Ridiculous Kavanaugh Defense, however, went to Ed Whelan. Whelan is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank in Washington, and is not only pals with Kavanaugh but has been closely advising him during the Supreme Court nomination process. In a 26-tweet thread, Whelan used his imagination, Google, and Zillow to argue that Dr. Ford may have indeed been assaulted, but not by Kavanaugh—rather, by a friend of Kavanaugh’s who looked like him.
“In doing so, he baselessly accused a private citizen of a sex crime, which is a terrible thing to do, and using Zillow is just a bizarre way to do it,” said Oliver. “It would be like sending a death threat using Etsy.”
And, last but not least, President Trump came to Kavanaugh’s defense, unleashing a rambling, victim-blaming tweet:
“So the president cast doubt on someone who says she was sexually assaulted, while also sort of implying that her parents don’t love her. To borrow a phrase, that’s one of the most shit-headed things I’ve seen from the standpoint of shit-headedness,” said a fired-up Oliver.
“To be very clear: There are many reasons why victims don’t file charges with the police, including fear, humiliation, and the suspicion that no one will believe them,” he added. “This is a conversation that we’ve been having for decades, and some people still seem to be struggling to understand this.”