OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - There were tears, interruptions, emotion and palpable anger. The Kavanaugh hearings played out like a courtroom drama though no one was on trial at Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
The matter at hand was the serious allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that he drunkenly sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, in the early 1980s when they were teenagers.
Some of us watched on TV, some of us on the web. But for about eight hours, millions of us watched. No matter how you spent your screen time, the internet reacted with screen grabs, and plenty of commentary in the court of public opinion—world wide web version.
Much was made of the demeanor of both Kavanaugh and Ford as they made their opening statements. Kavanaugh was characterized as angry and when the tears streamed, he was seen as emotional. Analysts described Ford as afraid.
Associated Press offered their take on the gender roles at play: "[Kavanaugh] let his anger flare repeatedly, interrupted his questioners and sobbed several times during his opening statement. [Ford] strived to remain calm and polite, despite her nervousness, and mostly held back her tears."
"If Brett Kavanaugh can be this angry on national TV, imagine what he's like when he gets inebriated." — Rep. Ted Liu of California.
Stop asking #Kavanaugh about process and the FBI investigation. Stop letting him interrupt and steamroll you. Ask about the many obvious lies that speak to his broader credibility problems. This is not complicated.— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) September 27, 2018
Of course, what would Twitter be without reaction from the Commander In Chief himself? President Trump weighed in on his favorite platform towards the end of the hearing. He characterized the ordeal as the Democrats' "search and destroy" mission.
Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2018
Others didn't see it that way.
"This is the face of a rich white man facing consequences for his own choices for the first time at age 53." — San Francisco comedian and writer Nato Green wrote.
The issue of the timing of these allegations being put into the limelight was a point of contention.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told Kavanaugh during the hearings, "you've got nothing to apologize for," said if Democrats truly wanted an FBI investigation, they could have spoken up when Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was first made aware of the allegations from Ford.
Feinstein said she did not leak Ford's story and that she kept it confidential like she had been asked. "She was stalked by the press. She's been harassed," the ranking senator said.
Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers clearly believe they are telling the truth at the very least. But Lindsey Graham just said he plans to knowingly gin up false accusations against future Democratic nominees. What the hell? https://t.co/u0UycPQ7qa— Jonathan Riley (@JonRiley7) September 28, 2018
ICYMI: My questioning of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 27, 2018
"Lindsey Graham has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him," White House Press Secretary Sarah H. Sanders wrote on Twitter.
.@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 27, 2018
I am sorry but #DianeFeinstein needs to retire. She just now asked her staff if they leaked the victim’s information. She has caused so much damage to this process.— Fran (@fcarrey) September 27, 2018
People in the background did not go unnoticed. The accused's wife entered the room clutching Kavanaugh's hand as she has stood by her husband throughout the ordeal.
"Caption this photo. It's Kavanaugh's "supporting" wife." — local left-leaning organization Resistance SF posted:
And yes, that was Alyssa Milano in attendance. The actress turned outspoken leader of the #MeToo movement told ABC News she was invited by the Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein.
I want to believe that she wants to know if he is guilty of it or not, but her previous statements and body-language say she judged him guilty as soon as someone accused him... shame... #KavanaughHearings #AlyssaMilano pic.twitter.com/zjw8ScsFEG— J.G.Fritts (@JGFritts) September 27, 2018
Democrats grew impatient in their line of questioning when Kavanaugh answered evasively on whether or not he'd ask the White House to conduct an FBI background investigation on the allegations against him from three female accusers. Senator Kamala Harris toward the end grew exasperated when she said, "I'm going to ask you one last time..." on whether or not he would allow such an investigation.
Three women who have accused Kavanaugh have asked for an FBI investigation. Kavanaugh refused to say whether or not he'd ask the White House to conduct an FBI investigation about the recent allegations.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 27, 2018
Dr. Ford has passed a polygraph test and given the Committee the results. Judge Kavanaugh has not. She has called for outside witnesses to testify. Judge Kavanaugh has not. She called for an FBI investigation. Judge Kavanaugh has not.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 27, 2018
Dr. Ford is not on trial. She is sitting here because she has the courage to come forward and because it was her “civic duty.” I believe her.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 27, 2018
I know that today's hearing was difficult for a lot of people across the country. Please know there is support available if you need it. pic.twitter.com/iFfqNvfaSP— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 28, 2018
The hearing may have devolved into partisan politics, but no matter who you believe, the Senate panel plans to vote Friday morning on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
WATCH: Thursday's Senate hearing on sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh:
Associated Press contributed to this story