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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, the witness who Christine Blasey Ford claims was present when Kavanaugh allegedly tried to sexually assault her at a party in 1982, was a Gamergate supporter.
Judge wrote a now-archived article in 2015 called “Why Gamergate is Really About Political Correctness” that resurfaced via Twitter on Monday. In the article, the self-described journalist blasted Feminist Frequency host Anita Sarkeesian as a “bully” and ranted about the influence of “social justice warriors” in the gaming industry.
Gamergate, which began as a protest against perceived ethical failures in games journalism, was a storm of hate speech online that fueled mob harassment of several progressive women within gaming.
Sarkeesian had defended developer Zoe Quinn against mass attacks by angry trolls after Quinn’s ex-boyfriend accused her of sleeping with a journalist to get positive reviews for her game. Sarkeesian herself then became the target of backlash when she spoke out about misogyny in gaming. Hate speech targeting her culminated in death threats, rape threats, and doxing.
Judge condemned these attacks in his article as “disgusting, sad, and intolerable” but praised other YouTubers for having “absolutely demolished” Sarkeesian’s arguments, complaining that the media had not covered that in detail.
Judge’s conservative leanings and Gamergate sympathies are not surprising in context of his other writing, some of which has featured on popular right-wing websites like the Daily Caller and the American Spectator.
Progressive nonprofit Media Matters for America describes Judge as “a prolific right-wing writer” and, in an extensive investigation of his work, says that a “wide-ranging online portfolio reveals his disturbing views about women.” The group draws attention to several passages from Judge’s writing in which he appears to minimize sexual abuse and describes being sexually aggressive while drunk.
In light of Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh, Judge’s writing is under fresh scrutiny. Judge was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland in the 1980s. Ford testified on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Judge was present in the room during the alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh.
“Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack,” Ford said during the hearing. “They both seemed to be having a good time. Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.”
Judge told the FBI that he did not recall the alleged incident.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.