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Comparison of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Testimonies

Updated on September 30, 2018
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

Millions watched the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Thursday, September 27, 2018 where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh gave testimonies over nine hours. People haven't stopped talking about how different the two testimonies were.

The purpose of this article is merely to compare the two types of testimonies because they were strikingly different. The comparisons include their tone, temperament, body language, emotions and whether they answered the questions or not.

The situation is sensitive and raw. It is dividing families, friends and causing arguments on social media, in households, and at workplaces.

Some people are forming opinions who did not even watch the hearing that was on all channels on Thursday. Those who watched it formed their opinions after Dr. Ford's testimony about an alleged assault that happened back in 1982 before they heard what Judge Kavanaugh had to say.

In order to make a fair comparison, this writer watched the entire hearing. She is making the comparison without casting blame or judgment on either one of the two. She is neither reporting on the legality of the hearing or on any political premise. She is leaving those issues up to the experts.

The reason for setting the groundwork for this article is to cut down on negative comments about a very delicate situation that involves every American.

Area
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Judge Brett Kavananaugh
Career
Professor of Psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine
United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; Supreme Court nominee
Age
52
53
Married
16 years
14 years
Family
Two young sons
Two young daughters, 13 and 10
Purpose of Testimony
Accused Judge Kavanaugh of assault as a teenager
To deny accusations and to clear his name
Impact on Self and Family
Accuser has been in therapy most of adult life, family has received death threats; had to relocate several times and use security
Accused and family have suffered; feel falsely accused and want name cleared

It doesn't matter if you are a Republican or Democrat, male or female, part of the #MeToo Movement or not, you couldn't help from noticing a vast difference in the style and content of the testimonies.

The tone and style of answering the questions were different. Dr. Ford told her story in a detailed order with a quiet demeanor. On the other hand, Kavanaugh appeared angry and was loud from the very beginning when he read his opening statement. His facial expressions and body language were ones of contempt.

Dr. Ford answered questions from senators and from the prosecutor hired by Republicans, Rachel Mitchell. Mitchell was relieved from her duties mid-way through Kavanaugh's testimony and he received questions only from senators from that point until the end.

Kavanaugh dodged many of the questions. Once he threw the question back to a senator who asked it.

Minnesota's Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar asked the nominee about his drinking problem. Instead of answering the question, he asked her the same question. It was offensive to the senator because her 90-year-old father is currently in Alcohol Anonymous.

After the break, the judge apologized. It was undetermined if someone suggested that he do it or if he volunteered to do it. Nevertheless, the senator accepted his apology.

Klobuchar said if she had acted like that in his courtroom, he would have thrown her out. She said she appreciated that he apologized, but he never answered the question.

Area
Dr. Ford
Judge Kavanaugh
Tone
Appeared polite and quiet
Appeared angry, loud and belligerent
Facial Expressions and Body anguage
Used professional demeanor in spite of being nervous
Showed anger and contempt
Answers to Questions
Answered questions directly
Evaded questions
Emotions
Admitted she was terrified
Choked up several times
Records Provided
None
1982 calendar
Length of Testimony
About 45 minutes
About 45 minutes
Opening Statement
Read one that had been written in advance
Read one that had been written in advance
Questioned By
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell and Senators the whole time
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell part of the time and only Senators the rest of the time
President Trump's Remark
"Speech was compelling; Ford seems to be a nice lady"
President still stands by his pick for SCOTUS
Social Media's Criticisms
Criticized her voice as "vocal fry" (see explanation below)
Social media didn't criticize the judge for "vocal fry"
Assessment of Alleged Incident
100% sure it happened
100% sure it did not happen

"He Said...She Said"

Dr. Ford said she is 100% sure the incident happened as she described it and Judge Kavanaugh did assault her to the point that she thought he was going to accidentally kill her. Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh said he is 100% sure it did not happen. He added that he believes something happened to his accuser, but it was not him.

The Supreme Court nominee denied everything Dr. Ford shared. He said he did not know her when they were in high school. The psychology professor insisted that they all hung out together after she was introduced to him by a group of mutual friends.

What is Vocal Fry?

Some people on social media criticized Dr. Ford for what they call "vocal fry.” They tweeted that they were turned off by the sound of her voice. They said she sounded like a "Valley Girl." They went so far as to say her testimony was annoying, and she must be lying and has no credibility by the way she spoke.

A “vocal fry” is a low-pitched, creaky sound caused by the movement of vocal cords during a speech that might be brought on to mask nervousness, anger, fear, sadness and other strong emotions. Vocal fry can cause the voice to deepen because of tension in the vocal cords while a person is under tremendous stress.

Vocal fry is often associated with the way the Kardashians and Jenner women talk as well as Britney Spears.

Did you watch the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing ?

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Comments

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Rodric, thanks for your honest and positive comment. I appreciate it that you understood my premise. My article had nothing to do with politics. I merely wanted to show the vast differences between the two testimonies. Judge Kavanaugh later apologized for his behavior.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      2 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      This article was informative and makes me want to watch the testimonies. I thought that I would get a bashing against the Judge, but did not. I was offended that people said the Doctor was a vocal fry. I might have to read the transcripts instead.

      I can understand why both would behave the way you described. Your assessment is your opinion, but it is a valid psychological assessment. There is no such thing as an unbiased assessment. Humans are not capable of doing that. You attempted to be balanced, which is all that anyone can ask. You did a great job.

      Thanks for this article. I was not interested in the politics of this because I am not a fan of President Trump. I don't think that he is a bad president, but I think he is a bad person based on his behavior in public. I will admit that I do not like him, but he is my president and I will defend him if the need arises. I am embarrassed by his antics. That's another story though.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 months ago from Richmond, VA

      OK, Brad Masters!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      2 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Margaret

      Based on your last comment, your article is of no value because it it your opinion and your subjective value that was used to make the comparison.

      "The purpose of this article is merely to compare the two types of testimonies because they were strikingly different. The comparisons include their tone, temperament, body language, emotions and whether they answered the questions or not.

      The situation is sensitive and raw. It is dividing families, friends and causing arguments on social media, in households, and at workplaces.

      Some people are forming opinions who did not even watch the hearing that was on all channels on Thursday. Those who watched it formed their opinions after Dr. Ford's testimony about an alleged assault that happened back in 1982 before they heard what Judge Kavanaugh had to say.

      In order to make a fair comparison, this writer watched the entire hearing. She is making the comparison without casting blame or judgment on either one of the two. She is neither reporting on the legality of the hearing or on any political premise. She is leaving those issues up to the experts.?

      Then once again, this article is meaningless.

      And you don't mention the "experts", what experts?

      It doesn't have to do with credibility of the witness, it has to do with proof and evidence. To which Ford had zero!

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 months ago from Richmond, VA

      bradmasterOCcal, you raised some very good questions. However, none of them apply to the intent of the article. The intent was stated in the introduction to compare the testimonies of the two people as illustrated in the two charts.

      I met my goal without casting blame on anyone, including the senators. I am sure you met your goals in the articles you wrote. I will never know because I will honor your request not to read them.

      From one Hubber to another, thanks for commenting!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      2 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Margaret

      What are you trying to do with this article?

      Did you add the tone of the senators when asking Ford, versus the tone when asking Kavanaugh.

      What about the long winded lies made by the democrat senators?

      And they already admitted before the confirmation they weren't going to vote for him.

      I have done several articles on this, so I won't repeat them and please don't bother to read them.

      It doesn't have to do with credibility of the witness, it has to do with proof and evidence. To which Ford had zero!

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Tim, I added "vocal fry" to the article after reading about it on social media. With so much discussion about the situation, I tried to write the article by including something unexpected.

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      Interesting article about the testimonies of these individuals, Margaret. You provide great information about how the judge and the doctor's testimonies differ. Explaining "vocal fry" was an unexpected plus to this article. Time will reveal any further truths.

      Thank you.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 months ago from Richmond, VA

      R Talloni, Thanks for your detailed comments. You brought out some important points!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 months ago from the short journey

      In a fair comparison it would be important to mention that the judge and his family have suffered immensely after being blindsided at the last minute with this accusation. Certain things like her voice quality are opinion, such as my opinion is that on every level she's gone way past the stage to get by with an innocent girl act.

      If someone falsely accused me in those circumstances on that topic I would be angry and my response would betray the truth about it. If I had an old detailed diary in that situation and someone called it a prop instead of a record, (or a witness, or maybe proof) I would become even angrier. If I were going to publicly accuse someone of something like that I would certainly prepare ahead of time, but I would not go into it without having those I called witnesses with me, both present and on the same page.

      She took a big risk in doing what she did the way she did it. Trying to blame those she took advice from, whether it was people on the beach or Democratic Senators, undermined her credibility. The side that was supposed to be on her side threw her credibility under the bus in more than one way and they did it because they are not so much for her as they are against him. If they were for her they would have given her better advice, but they are only using shallow cliches to cover the fact that they are using her.

      Other comments she made were dramatic but not convincing when they are considered carefully. Victims do not think, "Oh, I might 'accidentally' be killed" in this attack. They do not remember the attack that way. It seems she was given bad advice or that she lied. Perhaps it is both since it is impossible to believe that a professor with several degrees couldn't figure out how to contact the President of the United States and/or those under him as well as her own legislators with her accusation.

      The entire affair is contemptible business and she may come to regret an FBI investigation. If she lied about how all this unfolded before she chose to explode it, which (all things considered) seems likely, the weight of the consequences are something she will have to own. There is a Proverb that states, "The stone rolled will roll back." Psalms speaks of how those who spread a net for others find their own feet in it. If the FBI can prove he is not telling the truth then he will own it.

      We do not know who is telling the truth in this situation and no one but those two do know. What we should all be considering is that in this climate we all need to be careful. When an accusation makes the accused guilty, we are all in a heap of trouble. No one will be left to speak for us if we are falsely accused.

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