MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle On the Kavanaugh Nomination — and Where We Go From Here

Stephanie Ruhle
Photo: Getty Images

I think the media’s responsibility is to get to the bottom of things — to get to the truth. Telling the right stories has never been more important, and journalists' impact has never been greater. We have to be responsible, and we have to be respectful of the journalistic standards of our respective news organizations. I worry that instead of approaching this mission with the utmost care, some are rushing to come out with the breaking story first. It’s essential that the media is sober and intentional in everything they do, and that’s something we should all keep top of mind. It's a very complicated time that requires a lot more sobriety and thoughtfulness.

While hyper-partisanship is where we’ve ended up in politics, it’s really not what the country wants. People label themselves husbands, wives, moms, sisters, and friends before they label themselves Democrats or Republicans. People just want to live their best lives. They want to be socially free, physically safe, and financially secure.

The sliver of hope that we have is that elected officials represent their country more than they are here to represent their party. Last Friday [afterthe Kavanaugh hearing] when we heard about the investigation, we got hope that was going to start to happen. This week, though, has been overwhelming and confusing — was it an investigation in name only? Was it an investigation that asked all the relevant parties? Did they investigate things beyond the allegations of sexual assault.

There’s a lot of gray area around that.

And what’s weighing on me so much is that we’re talking about these massive, overwhelming gray areas, but the impact on the lives of Christine Ford, Debbie Ramirez, Brett Kavanaugh, and their families — the impact is not gray. It’s black and white.

Every person who’s touched this is walking away damaged. I think so much about Dr. Ford and her family and what they’ve been through, and I think about Brett Kavanaugh and his family and what they’ve been through. And even those of us who are covering it. The responsibility of covering this story is very big. These are serious accusations — these words, these labels — are going to travel with Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh for the rest of their lives.

Here’s the positive — and I know it’s hard to find the positive. I remember when Trump was elected. I remember that it was after the Access Hollywood tape and after a number of women had accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Many, many women in the country were sad — in terms of equality and gender diversity, I felt like we were moving slowly. But I never felt like we were moving backward. I worried when he was elected that we were going to move backward. But I actually think the opposite has happened.

Since the president won — and he is a president that has been accused of a number of inappropriate things — we saw the birth of the Me Too movement. We saw women standing together and finding their voices. Many women and victims are discouraged right now that Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers haven’t been heard enough — but think about the surge that RAINN has seen in the amount of women that have come forward in the last week, or told their story.

In this dark moment, there is a silver lining. Maybe not everyone in power is listening the way we want them to listen, but a lot of other people are.

Stephanie Ruhle hosts “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle” at 9 a.m. ET and “MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle” at 1 p.m. ET.

Related Articles