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Fringe right-wing news outlets are pushing a smear campaign designed to discredit Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleged President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school. The problem is, these narratives are fabricated.
Clippings from Scribe, Ford’s Holton-Arms High School yearbook, first appeared on Wednesday on an obscure conservative blog called Cult of the First Amendment. The clippings, from across three issues dating 1982 to 1984, describe underage drinking by teenage students and two instances in which students wore racially insensitive outfits.
The blog hypes the images of teenagers at parties and yearbook stories about boys to depict a culture of “binge drinking” and “promiscuity.” Yet Ford only appears in one photo, sitting beside another young girl at a Halloween party.
While the images do not negate Ford’s allegations, several fringe right-wing websites known for pushing hyper-partisan misinformation and conspiracies are using the yearbook to attack her character.
Gateway Pundit regurgitates much of what is in the blog, blasting the school’s “elitist” culture and that the Holton-Arms teenagers liked to portray themselves as “the sexual predators of younger men.”
In a weirder deep dive, InfoWars’ Alex Jones actively suggests that the images expose Ford as a “the definition of a trainwreck fraud.”
In a broadcast on Thursday, Jones focused on one image of a girl wearing a miniskirt. The student’s face is censored from the image but Jones repeatedly suggests that this is Ford, describing the skirt made the teenage girl a “hussy” and “captain of the sluts.”
“We need Judge Kavanaugh to still testify next week and to have big blown-up poster boards with Christine Blasey Ford spreading her legs in the high school yearbooks,” Jones rants, “in stockings up to her knees and miniskirts, provocatively putting her hand behind her head and showing everything but her panties.”
Jones goes on to claim that Ford would pass out at parties to suggest that this gave her “plausible deniability.”
Again, despite Jones’ assertions, the excerpts do not negatively portray Ford at all let alone mention her beyond the photograph. The smear, however, carried by conspiracy-peddling fringes of the right and amid multiple death threats sent to Ford, is spreading on social media as both Kavanaugh and Ford offer to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.