By Jean Song CBS News October 8, 2018, 12:53 PM Me Too movement's "togetherness" splitting along partisan lines, Jodi Kantor says
The investigative reporter who co-wrote the bombshell story that revealed sexual assault allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has one "firm prediction," a year after the Me Too movement swept across the America: "This discussion over harassment and assault has no end in sight." But apart from the now-disgraced Weinstein, Jodi Kantor said the movement took a different turn amid the contentious Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh.
"What felt special in many ways about the Me Too movement in the last year, about the Weinstein story, the [Bill] O'Reilly story, etc., etc., is that they did not split along partisan lines. The message was, this is a problem everywhere no matter who you are, no matter what you believe politically, this is something we need to confront together as a society. Now it feels a little bit with Kavanaugh like that togetherness is splitting and falling apart," Kantor, a CBS News contributor, said Monday on "CBS This Morning."
When figures like Kavanaugh, President Bill Clinton, Justice Clarence Thomas or President Trump are accused of sexual misconduct, the allegations take on "partisan anger," she said. "In some ways they are the most important stories because they're about the presidency and the Supreme Court. But they're also the hardest because they're about so much more," Kantor said.
Kantor is working on a book about Weinstein and the cultural shift thereafter with Megan Twohey, her co-author in the Weinstein report. Kantor noted she did not think Maine Sen. Susan Collins' decision to vote to confirm Kavanaugh was "logically consistent."
"Sen. Collins on Saturday said there wasn't enough evidence for me to vote against him, but then she sort of raising a theory that Dr. Ford is misremembering this and that it was really somebody else. What evidence does Sen. Collins have for that theory that she just floated on television?" Kantor said of the moderate Republican lawmaker.
On Sunday, Collins told CBS' "Face the Nation": "I am convinced that Dr. Ford believes what she told us and that she was the victim as a survivor of sexual assault and that, that has been a trauma that has stayed with her for her entire life. But we have a presumption of innocence in this country. And when I looked at the lack of any corroborating evidence, including no evidence from her very best friend who was present at the party, I could not conclude that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant."
Kantor pointed to the wide range of reactions from the public, as well as lawmakers.
"If you look at Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, for a lot of people, the power was that she stood up before the country and she said, this thing happened so many years ago but it still matters. And, no, I don't have perfect evidence and a ton of documentation and, no, I can't tell you everything about that night. But I am clear on what happened that I'm going to tell you," Kantor said. "Other people responded the opposite way and said, 'what do you mean you have no evidence? What do you mean you have no documentation? He's being falsely accused.'"