Accuracy in Media

MSNBC anchor Katy Tur claimed falsely that not a single Republican senator apologized to Christine Blasey Ford for when she testified before Congress about her alleged sexual assault perpetrated by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“It will no doubt resonate that each GOP senator starts his time by apologizing to Kavanaugh for what he is going through, while none took their time to apologize to Dr. Ford what she has been through,” Tur tweeted to her 565,000 Twitter followers the day of Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimonies.

In reality, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley did apologize to Ford before she even testified.

“Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have been through a terrible couple weeks,” Grassley said in his opening statement. “They and their families have received vile threats. What they have endured ought to be considered by all of us as unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy. So I want to apologize to you both for the way you’ve been treated. And I intend, hopefully, for today’s hearing to be safe, comfortable, and dignified for both of our witnesses. I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort of a show of civility.”

Just before the committee adjourned for lunch, Grassley also said, “Dr. Ford … I can only speak as one of 21 senators here, but I thank you very much for your testimony, more importantly, for your bravery coming out, and trying to answer our questions as best you could remember. Thank you very much.”

Tur’s tweet also failed to note the context that prior to Ford’s testimony, all the GOP senators agreed to yield their time to Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Ariz. Speaking on behalf of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mitchell also gave Ford an apology and sympathy.

“I just wanted to tell you the — the first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you are terrified, and I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry. That’s not right,” Mitchell said prior to asking Ford any questions.

MSNBC’s Tur did not notice that not all GOP senators started his time by apologizing to Kavanaugh during the judge’s testimony. Mitchell spoke on behalf of the first three Republican senators on the committee during Kavanaugh’s testimony.

Tur did send a correction tweet, but did not mention anything about the Republican senators yielding there: “Pardon me, except for Grassley,” was Tur’s terse correction.

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