Fox News contributor fired after angry reaction to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony
"This was extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible."
The emotional testimony offered to the Senate Judiciary Committee by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party, came across as "credible and powerful" to Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume.
''The more hesitant, the more fragile she has seemed, the more credible and powerful she seems to the audience," Hume said following Ford's testimony.
But while Hume found Ford credible, her testimony divided many Fox News hosts and pundits, and led to one contributor being fired.
In one of the most incendiary reactions to Ford's testimony, Kevin Jackson, a syndicated radio host and a Fox News contributor who has guest hosted Outnumbered and Fox & Friends, claimed Ford's problems were her own "promiscuity," adding, "Dang girl, stop opening your legs" in tweets that have since been deleted.
"Kevin Jackson has been terminated as a contributor. His comments on today's hearings were reprehensible and do not reflect the values of Fox News," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
What anchors were saying on Fox News was important, as televisions on Air Force One were tuned to the network's live coverage of the hearing, according to The Hill. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that President Trump was watching the live coverage of the hearings aboard Air Force One before returning to the White House.
Fox News host Chris Wallace was among those to praise Ford's testimony, calling her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee a "disaster" for Republicans.
"This was extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible. And nobody could listen to her deliver those words talk about the assault and the impact it had had on her life and not have your heart go out to her, and she was actually traumatized by an event," Wallace said following the committee's first break. "This is a disaster for the Republicans."
Fellow Fox News host Martha MacCallum, who interviewed Kavanaugh on Monday night, agreed that Ford's testimony was powerful and suggested it may have been a mistake for Republican senators to outsource their questions to Rachel Mitchell, the top sex crimes prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix.
"You have to believe that the Republican senators right now are asking themselves whether or not this was a good idea — whether or not they have robbed themselves of their opportunity to ask pointed questions in a way that perhaps might be more compelling," MacCallum said.
Fox News host Bret Baier even felt the need to respond to a viewer on Twitter who claimed the network's analysis of Ford's testimony made it seem they were "bending over backwards" to be MSNBC.
"If you think that first section of this hearing was a win for the GOP – Then you saw a different hearing," Baier wrote.
But other conservative commentators weren't as impressed by Ford's testimony. The Resurgent's Erick Erickson wrote that Ford "seems very unsure of much of her memory" and that "emotion does not equal fact and tears do not equal evidence." CRTV's Michelle Malkin referred to Ford's testimony as "victimization" and claimed Kavanaugh "has been transformed by Resistance magicians into a serial gang rape predator." And popular conservative commentator Glenn Beck said Ford's pain "doesn't seem authentic."
Ford's testimony even divided pundits and contributors on Fox. Fox Business host Stuart Varney said Ford's testimony "was undermining the integrity of the court and the nominee." Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor and a frequent Fox Business guest, said Ford "was far from being raped" and wondered if "women actually find her credible. Frankly, I do not."
Prior to Ford's testimony, Wallace got personal during the network's live coverage, revealing that two of his daughters opened up to him about incidents they experienced in high school that they had never discussed before, following the allegations against Kavanaugh.
"Two of my daughters have told me stories that I had never heard before about things that happened to them in high school," Wallace said. "There are teenage girls who don't tell stories to a lot of people, and then it comes up… I don't think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this."