In a culture of privilege and alcohol at Yale, her world converged with Kavanaugh’s

Editor’s note: When I was in graduate school at Medill – Northwestern University, I taught in a summer program for promising high-school journalists. “Some of tomorrow’s rock-star journalists can be found in our prestigious program for high school students, the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute (MNJI).” (…/hi…/medill-cherubs.html).

Ms. Pogrebin was one of the students. She went on to Yale and the New York Times. She is one of the reporters who produced this excellent article on Page 1 of the Times this morning: “Outsider Faced Culture of Privilege and Alcohol.” It is the “30,000-foot” perspective on this troubling issue. Good going!

“Last week, more than 30 years after they graduated from Yale, Deborah Ramirez contacted her old friend James Roche.

“Something bad had happened to her during a night of drinking in the residence hall their freshman year, she said, and she wondered if he recalled her mentioning it at the time.

“Mr. Roche, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, said he had no knowledge of the episode that Ms. Ramirez was trying to piece together, with her memory faded by the years and clouded by that night’s alcohol use.

“Days later, in a New Yorker story, Ms. Ramirez alleged that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, exposed himself to her at a dorm party. Mr. Roche, a former roommate of the judge, believes her account, he said, and supports her decision to speak out.

“‘I think she feels a duty to come forward,” Mr. Roche said. “And I think she’s scared to death of it.’

The article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

2 thoughts on “In a culture of privilege and alcohol at Yale, her world converged with Kavanaugh’s”

  1. This is also a good article (by Peter Maass) covering the same period and culture:


    Maass sensibly asks whether — given Judge’s reports in his memoir of his own drunken blackouts — he can now be trusted as a reliable witness in defense of Kavanaugh’s behavior during those years:

    Judge also wrote that about a week before the wedding, he went to his favorite bar, ordered a shot and a beer, and struck up a conversation with a woman who was there. “We bought each other several rounds of drinks, and when I looked at the clock it was after midnight,” he wrote. “Then, in what seemed like an instant, it was suddenly the next morning. … I couldn’t remember a thing after I had looked at the clock. I had blacked out.”

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