Was it right for Ryan Grim to write this story?
It is easy to forget in what followed that Grim, without consulting her, forced a survivor to go full on public with her story. He did that despite the fact that this survivor had begged the people she chose to out herself to, to keep it confidential. Sure, we could say it was his journalistic duty to report and all this stuff. And, yet, maybe Senator Feinstein, as the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, read the situation like it ended up playing out: Releasing the letter wouldn’t make a damn difference to the Republican support for the Supreme Court nominee and it would ruin Dr. Blasey Ford’s life all over again. Remember, the Republican chair also had the letter. It is very likely that the two had talked and Feinstein decided it wasn’t worth the risk.
I find it disturbing that in all the talk around this story, this particular element is not being discussed. If we really do want to protect survivors, allowing them to go public when we chose to do so, we are doing a damn bad job of ensuring that.
I am not sure whether Grim did the right thing here. It is easier to say now, after the fact, that it was all in vain. And maybe the public rage that was ignited by women in response to the Republicans exertion of patriarchal power made it worth it. Yet, Grim’s decision, given that he works for The Intercept, has more of the flavor of taking an “establishment Democrat” to task. “But he didn’t know, at the time, he’d out a survivor!” might be an excuse. Well, there is enough in his original reporting to suggest that he did. Debra Katz is mentioned as “a whistleblower attorney who works with #MeToo survivors.” Ryan Grim decided that it was okay to drag a survivor into the spotlight despite that survivor’s request to keep her story confidential. No, actually, this was not okay! If anybody’s life was destroyed in what happened next it wasn’t the rich white man’s who now sits on the Supreme Court, it was Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s. And a white man made the decision to do that. Again.
P.S.: I am not sure if it is right to use her name in this post. I guess she is now out in the open. I did not use the Republicans’ names because I don’t want to honor them. Plus, their names remind me of their cruelty and immorality. To me, Dr. Blasey Ford is a shero!