There was barely any reading to be done, or barely any doing of reading, through the day; there was only audiovisual brain stimulation. Bret Stephens wrote something proudly false and witless for the New York Times in the morning, but it was a fart into the rising earthquake. The limbic system was absorbing worse insults every 15 seconds, parceled into five-minute rounds, stacked one after another for all the hours of the workday.
So the Times opinion section decided to ask, on Twitter, how everyone felt about the brain stimulation:
The response to this meta-stimulus was primal disgust and rage. There was a fundamental brutality and unfairness and idiocy of the morning part of the program—Christine Blasey Ford was recounting her experience of sexual assault as a young teenager, and the media-political question was and had to be: Was this a convincing performance? Was the witness able to convey both suffering and authority about her suffering, in a way that could move two or four senators off the fast track of supporting her accused assaulter’s confirmation? How was it all playing?
Seeing the cynical foundation of the coverage laid bare in the middle of her anguish and resolve was too much to take. Before long, the opinion desk deleted the tweet and apologized (“In retrospect, a Twitter poll is insensitive in light of the gravity of this hearing”). Will we ever learn which side won the poll?