Reliable Sources: Calm before the Kavanaugh storm

Kavanaugh tells Fox News: Not going anywhere
Kavanaugh tells Fox News: Not going anywhere

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Is it Thursday yet?

Everywhere I go, I'm being asked about the Brett Kavanaugh nomination battle. All indications are that this story has captured the public's attention -- at least a sizable chunk of the public -- and no one knows how it will end. This is about power, it's about gender, it's about politics, it's about memory, it's about truth. This is why Thursday is shaping up to be a "where were you when?" day.

>> Look out for new polling about Kavanaugh and SCOTUS on Wednesday morning...

>> Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur on MSNBC: "We are in the wild, wild west of Senate judicial wars.'

>> As Jim Acosta said on "CNN Tonight" Tuesday night, "the U.N. this week is a sideshow to the you-know-what show back in Washington..."

>> POTUS is slated to hold a rare press conference Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET...

Three cameras in the room

Per CNN's Sunlen Serfaty, "there will be three cameras allowed" in the hearing room on Thursday. "One camera focused on the witness, one camera focused on the questioner, and one cuts camera."

CNN also obtained details about the format... Per Phil Mattingly and Kate Sullivan's story, both witnesses will face "five minutes of questioning from each senator on the panel, or a lawyer if senators choose to yield their time." The GOP senators are expected to yield to career prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who's been hired to do the questioning...

What this is about

Senator Lisa Murkowski, given her status as a key swing vote, had the quote of the day, via an interview with the NYT: "We are now in a place where it's not about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is qualified. It is about whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed."

Kavanaugh's defense

Brian Lowry emails: We'll never know, but I've spent the past week thinking about what Jeet Heer tweeted about Kavanaugh -- basically, if he had said "I drank a lot in high school and college, and I have no memory of the incidents that have been reported, but if anyone was hurt by my behavior, I sincerely apologize," wouldn't that have played considerably better than insisting -- as some of his defenders have -- that those bringing the allegations against him are politically motivated liars?

What is "USAReally?"

Via NYT's Kevin Roose, the wildest story of the day: "Is a New Russian Meddling Tactic Hiding in Plain Sight?"

He says "some cybersecurity experts" believe a website called USAReally "may be a part of a retooled Russian propaganda operation that is experimenting with new tactics ahead of November's midterm elections, and testing the boundaries of what American social media companies will allow..."


-- Monday's edition of Martha MacCallum's program, featuring her interview with the Kavanaughs, was the #1 program of the night on cable news... (THR)

-- "Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer will become the first female announcing team to cover an NFL game this Thursday, with Amazon Prime Video offering the pair as an online alternative to the Fox broadcast crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman..." (NPR)

Read more of Tuesday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

-- "Ken Werner, a TV veteran and one of the most seasoned syndication executives in the business, will retire at the end of the year as president ofWarner Bros Domestic Television Distribution." David Decker will be stepping up... (Deadline)


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