- The Washington Times
Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Atlantic published an article Wednesday comparing singer R. Kelly’s “tantrum” this week during an interview with Gayle King to Supreme CourtJustice Brett Kavanaugh defending himself against sexual assault allegations during his confirmation hearing in October.

Mr. Kelly on Wednesday proclaimed his innocence during a now-viral CBS News interview as he faces nearly a dozen charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. During the interview, Mr. Kelly leapt from his seat and screamed, “Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth!”

The Atlanticsaid the performance was “eerily akin” to Justice Kavanaugh’s emotional defense during his confirmation hearing after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault.

Spencer Kornhaber, a staff writer for The Atlantic, wrote that by the time Mr. Kelly was “up and spitting, he’d taken on the tenor of a child having a tantrum, or Brett Kavanaugh yelling at his confirmation hearing.” 

Mr. Kornhaber argued that while Mr. Kelly’s interview “stands out for its anger,” his “self-pitying” attempt to portray himself as the victim “in the loudest and most public terms possible” was similar to Justice Kavanaugh’s approach. 

“The closest comparison here might be to the #MeToo target now on the Supreme Court,” Mr. Kornhaber wrote. “The substance of what the two men have been accused of differs vastly, but their responses — and the cultural scripts they draw upon — rhyme. Brett Kavanaugh shouted about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations as being unfair given the life he’s lived, while Kelly argued that his previous acquittal meant the present allegations were also ‘unfair.’

“Boys-will-be-boys logic — whether about drunken tomfoolery or sexual conquest — play in both’s defense,” he added. “Most strikingly, the force and fury of the tactics used by both men make the same dare. For those inclined to believe the accused, passion in the face of prosecution could read as innocence. For those who aren’t, it might look like a predator’s brutality coming out.”

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