CNN Slammed Over GOP Women Panel Defending Kavanaugh

“CNN’s framing of this segment was really irresponsible,” says author and columnist James Surowiecki

Last Updated: September 24, 2018 @ 8:35 PM

CNN received harsh criticism over the weekend after airing a segment asking Republican women in Florida their opinions of the sexual misconduct allegation currently swirling round Judge Brett Kavanaugh. All five women offered robust defenses of Kavanaugh, seemingly to the surprise of CNN reporter Randi Kaye.

On Twitter, many pointed out that at least two of the women were high placed Republicans operatives and said CNN should have been more transparent and said they were more than just ordinary voters.

In a viral thread Sunday, author and columnist James Surowiecki laid out the case.

“CNN’s framing of this segment was really irresponsible. This purported to be a focus group that would show what ‘Republican women’ think of Kavanaugh now. So each woman is identified as a ‘Republican voter,'” he said. “But in fact, the two women who dominated the discussion are not average voters — they’re better described as GOP political operatives.”

Surowiecki cited the women by name, and used their past credentials against them.

“The woman in the white sweater, Lourdes Castillo de la Pena, has served on the Republican National Senatorial Committee, and hosted a $1000-a-plate fundraiser for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign at her home,” he said. “Gina Sosa, who made the now-infamous comment about how all 17-year-old boys have done something like this, was a congressional candidate in the GOP primary this year.”

“Angela Vazquez is a Community Council member in Kendall, in Dade County. In other words, these were not GOP voters plucked off the street. They were, in large part, members of the GOP establishment in Miami-Dade.”

“In effect, the focus group was stacked to produce the result it got: lockstep support for Trump’s nominee, and unswerving fealty to the conservative line,” Surowiecki concluded. “What’s surprising about that segment is not that those women said what they said — they were, in effect, handpicked to offer that line. What’s surprising is that CNN thought this was a good way to show what average GOP women voters think.”

A rep for CNN did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

The clip went viral over the weekend for the unusually blunt defenses of Kavanaugh coming from the women. Some of the lines heard were:

“Tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high school”

“There was no intercourse”

“Why didn’t she come out soon?”

“Who brought the alcohol for these kids?”

“Perhaps in that moment she liked him”

Ironically, the segment also took off among GOP Twitter users as Pro-Trump accounts mocked CNN, assuming the network had been blindsided by the defenses. A tweet from Daily Caller contributor Benny Johnson racked up more than 18,000 retweets.

“CNN asked women if they believe Judge Kavanaugh. This was not the response they were expecting,” he said. “Wow.”