As Dr. Christine Blasey Ford shared the painful details of her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a Senate hearing Thursday, the extreme right rallied to Kavanaugh’s defense on Twitter.
ThinkProgress’ Extreme Right Dashboard, which monitors over 2,000 Twitter accounts on the extreme right, revealed the manner in which white supremacists and members of the so-called “alt-lite” were working to discredit Ford and shield Kavanaugh last week.
It’s now clear that support hasn’t waned; if anything, it’s only gotten stronger, even in the wake of additional allegations against Kavanaugh and Ford’s sworn testimony.
While Ford, who also goes by Dr. Blasey professionally, spoke in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the accounts monitored by the Extreme Right Dashboard swarmed to Kavanaugh’s defense. For instance, while the top hashtag used by the accounts was the pro-Trump #MAGA, many of the top hashtags pointed directly to Kavanaugh or the topic of sexual assault. Among those hashtags were #ConfirmKavanaugh and #ConfirmKavanaughNow.
Likewise, the top trending hashtags — new hashtags that have risen to the top over just the previous day — centered on beating back the accusations against Kavanaugh, with hashtags like #IStandWithBrettKavanaugh and the notably misspelled #ComfirmKavanaugh.
Even the top terms used without hashtags pointed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. The most popular topic was, unsurprisingly, “kavanaugh,” associated most closely with “ford” — as well as #ConfirmKavanaugh and #ConfirmKavanaughNow.
The most popular trending topic was even “parties” — a nod to Ford’s claim that the assault took place at a party with Kavanaugh.
On Thursday, white nationalists and members of the so-called “alt-lite” further pushed new defenses of Kavanaugh. While Ford detailed the assault in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee — and while millions across the country tuned in to watch her testimony — some of the most prominent voices supporting Trump and his nominee took to Twitter to try to undercut her claims.
To wit, Jack Posobiec — a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist who once held a “Rape Melania” sign — tried to claim that Ford’s testimony was “the end game of the feminists.” He also recommended people follow fellow conspiracy theorist Stefan Molyneux, an ethno-nationalist who spent Thursday writing things like “Oh, Dr. FEAR_OF_FLYING flew to Washington.” (Ford has a noted fear of flying, but flew to Washington for the hearing.)
Elsewhere, Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter declared that he was “laughing” at Ford’s testimony, which detailed Kavanaugh’s attempt to rape Ford.
Perhaps the most unhinged commentary of the day came from yet another conspiracy theorist named Laura Loomer. Loomer — a noted bigot and purported adult — spent most of Thursday’s hearing effectively imploding, calling for Ford to be “imprisoned… for life” for her testimony.
Loomer also mocked Ford repeatedly, writing, “Oooo I’m such a baby that I need coffee in order to stop fake crying and I’m going to use a baby voice so you all think I’m a little girl.”
As it is, Thursday’s Twitter meltdown still may not have been as embarrassing for Loomer as another congressional hearing earlier this month. Loomer attempted to crash that hearing in protest — and was immediately shut down by Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), who showcased his auctioneering skills to drown out the conspiracy theorist.
GOING, GOING, GONE: Rep. Billy Long, a former auctioneer, uses his skills to drown out protester Laura Loomer in a surreal moment during Twitter congressional hearing https://t.co/B1XdTwE8lV pic.twitter.com/Ab1eh2klOT
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 5, 2018