Accuracy in Media

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday, the media jumped on an effort to portray Kavanaugh as uncaring about gun violence.

During a break, Fred Guttenberg, the father of a student killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February, attempted to shake Kavanaugh’s hand. Guttenberg was seemingly rebuffed.

Guttenberg then tweeted about the encounter:

“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”

Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was among those killed in the Parkland, Fla., shooting, which left 16 others dead and another 17 injured.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah responded to Guttenberg’s tweet:

“As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened.”

Guttenberg told Shah that his account was incorrect.

The media has taken Guttenberg at his word. But some outlets acknowledged that it isn’t clear what, if anything, was said between the two before Kavanaugh turned the other direction.

The media failed to report that Guttenberg has gone on record as opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation since the National Rifle Association supports him. He called Kavanaugh a “risk to public safety” in a July tweet, and his attempt to meet Kavanaugh was likely part of a planned effort to ambush the nominee.



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