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Sleazy and misogynistic men have roamed the halls of the Capitol Building and White House for years. However, the media tend to disproportionately target those on the political right.
Following Monday’s debate, the media went wild attacking Donald Trump for his fat-shaming of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, devoting nearly 20 minutes to the scandal. In order to brand him a complete cad, some outlets went further, unearthing other damning examples from his past. Yet, although Trump has earned this evisceration, it’s clear to see that the media has often given a pass to worse behavior displayed by liberals or at least avoided noting their party affiliation.
In the following slides, you’ll find some of those liberal lions that the media has downplayed – from JFK to Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner.
2. John F. Kennedy
After Mimi Alford disclosed that JFK had seduced her during her tenure as a White House intern, a Chris Matthews panel discussed whether the revelation would change the nation’s view of the idolized, sexually promiscuous, former president. Shockingly, the commentators – which included conservative Kathleen Parker – agreed that it didn’t change the picture. Although JFK’s actions were “awful, terrible, despicable, disgusting,” the group deemed him to be a “horn dog,” but “still a hero.” In 2015, NBC aired the following quote from an RR Auction House executive Bobby Livingstone: “I believe the Kennedys to America are the closest thing you have to a royal family…”
3. Ted Kennedy
The Kennedy brothers sure knew how to do one thing well – seducing women. Infamously, after heavily imbibing one night in 1986, Ted Kennedy sexually assaulted a young Washington waitress, throwing her onto a table, and then onto Senator Chris Todd’s lap, where Kennedy then sandwiched her between himself and Todd. Yet, when the “Edward M. Kennedy Institute” was opened in Boston, CBS’ Scott Pelley did not mention the senator’s controversial past as an inveterate womanizer. In a January 2016 episode of The View, Joy Behar declared that women voted for Kennedy because “he voted for women’s rights.” She continued, “I don’t like either one of them, to tell you the truth, Teddy or Bill. They’re both dogs as far as I’m concerned. But I will still vote for Bill Clinton because he votes in my favor.”
4. Bill Clinton
When Donald Trump resurfaced Bill Clinton’s scandalous sexual past in a May 2016 ad, the networks clearly defended the former president. ABC mentioned the inclusion of “discredited or unsubstantiated cases” in the ad, and referred to a Clinton campaign quote which called the allegations two decades old, and the resurfacing of them as bad strategy on Trump’s part. NBC’s Peter Alexander declared: “It’s only May, but this race is hitting another low. Donald Trump’s latest attacks on the Clintons revisiting decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Bill Clinton…” More recently, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway if the latter had recommended that her boss “not go there” because “it’s not your best look.” In January 2016, The View’s Whoopi Goldberg declared that Bill Clinton had “not perpetrated violence against women.”
5. Chris Dodd
As far as his sexual exploits go, former Senator Chris Dodd is probably best known for his involvement in the aforementioned scandal with Ted Kennedy and a female server at Washington’s La Brasserie in 1986. In a 2010 CNN article entitled “Recent Controversies Overshadow Chris Dodd’s Career,” there was not a single mention of this incident. Currently, Dodd serves as the president of the Motion Picture Association of America and Chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. In this role, Dodd has power to change the flawed rating system that has enabled networks to call jokes about raping 9-year old girls and principals sleeping with schoolboys appropriate for children. Perhaps his sexual history explains his seemingly unbelievable contention that “96% of parents stated they were satisfied with the accuracy of the TV ratings.”
6. Anthony Weiner
Following the break of a sexting scandal in 2011, Anthony Weiner resigned from his post as Democratic Representative of New York’s 9th congressional district. But before he admitted his culpability, the media attacked the source of the leaked photos – conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart. When Weiner campaigned for the New York mayoral office in 2013, all three networks played a promo video, touting him as “comeback kid.” But in the midst of that campaign, the supposedly contrite politician was caught continuing his entrenched lewd online habits. This summer, his wife and close Clinton confidante Huma Abedin revealed she was separating from Weiner, who had been caught yet again texting images of his crotch, the latest including his young son in the photo. Reporting on the incident, the networks discussed how the scandal might affect the Clinton campaign and condemned Donald Trump for “trying to capitalize on the news.” New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni went further, calling Weiner “Trump’s Irredeemable Twin.” But many would argue that the more apt comparison is to the man who officiated Weiner and Abedin’s wedding – Bill Clinton.
7. Elliott Spitzer
Three years after he resigned from office following a 2008 prostitution scandal, former democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer obtained a prime-time show on CNN. Soon after, in a display of ultimate irony and journalistic bias, he appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the sanctity of marriage. But like many of these men, behavior is entrenched. In February of this year, Spitzer became embroiled in a scandal with a Russian woman who claimed to be his girlfriend; however, CBS did not once mention the February 2016 brouhaha. ABC’s Good Morning America did mention the story, but tellingly failed to include Spitzer’s party identification.
8. Kwame Kilpatrick
As the youngest elected mayor in Detroit history and VP of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, Kwame Kilpatrick seemed like a rising political star. However, in 2008, Kilpatrick’s ongoing affair with his chief of staff, and the lies he had told to cover it up, were revealed. Although the networks did highlight the scandal, they did not reveal an important point – Kilpatrick’s party affiliation. Later, Kilpatrick’s career was decimated when he was convicted for racketeering, fraud and extortion. But again, the New York Times buried his Democratic affiliation in paragraph 19 of a 21 paragraph report.
9. John Edwards
After extensive denial, former NC Senator and 2004 Democratic VP nominee John Edwards admitted to having an affair with a political documentarian named Rielle Hunter. He further denied having fathered Hunter’s daughter Quinn while his wife Elizabeth was dying of breast cancer, but eventually broke down and admitted to that as well. But the New York Times did not run any stories on the allegations for ten months, waiting until the politician admitted his guilt. Such restraint on the part of NYT was not displayed in the cases of Herman Cain and John McCain, whose supposed scandal allegations fizzled. Although ABC talked extensively about the scandal when it broke, the news outlet avoided labeling Edwards as a democrat. In 2011, Edwards was convicted of six felony charges involving the use of campaign funds to hide the scandal.
Hunter, interviewed by ABC’s Amy Robach in July 2016, expressed her frustration at the “lack of compassion and understanding that happens when people make mistakes.” This, she said, was impacting her voting decision in the 2016 presidential election. “Part of what I love so much about Hillary Clinton is she has had everything thrown at her ... she doesn't ever give up and I admire that,” she told Robach. “As a mom, she’s a great role model ... I’m with her.” Looking at Quinn, she corrected herself: “We’re with her.”