With the possible exception of Michael Avenatti, nobody did more to spread unverified, salacious rumors during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process than Jane Mayer of The New Yorker. She passed off second-hand accounts as if they were collaborative witnesses and told Preet Bharara that journalists are obligated to report on allegations of sexual assault, even if they know it to be false, which made it all the more remarkable when Mayer took to the pages of The New Yorker on Monday to lament former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's resignation.
On Monday's CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon brought on two liberal guests, Hilary Rosen and Kirsten Powers, to talk about Franken and whether or not he got "railroaded," as Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico told Mayer.
The Avenatti Channel is now suddenly worrying about due process. Lemon began by asking Rosen, "Seven current and former senators have since expressed regret for also calling for Franken’s resignation while trying to take the moral high ground, did the Democrats jump the gun, you think?"
Rosen blamed Al Franken for making the decision to resign and criticized him for blaming Kirsten Gillibrand, but did agree with the larger point. She also sensed there was more to the story. She declared that "clearly, this was a set-up with Leeann Tweeden, the principal accuser against Al Franken. It was a political hit job and it went all the way from Sean Hannity to others."
So, according to Rosen, because Franken's principled accuser is a conservative, it's a "hit job." Rosen did concede that at least one of the women has stood by her accusation, but everyone conveniently left out any mention of the photographic evidence of Franken pawing Tweeden's breasts as she slept on a plane during a USO tour.
Lemon repeated "Do you think Democrats jumped the gun?: He kept raising the point that the Democrats went too far...and the Republicans don't go far enough, as he asked Powers:
DON LEMON: Kirsten, we currently have a sitting president who has multiple credible accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment against him. Where are the calls from Republicans for an investigation or for him to resign?
KIRSTEN POWERS: There aren't any. But I don't think that that means that the Democrats should hold themselves to the low, low standards that the Republicans have held up for Donald Trump.
Lemon kept hammering: "Do you think, Hilary, I mean, given what you both have said, given what Kirsten just said, do you think that in this climate, this political climate, Democrats are playing with an outdated set of rules?"
Rosen agreed that feminists should stick to feminist principles: "Kirsten's point is right. We shouldn't lower ourselves to Trump, but we also shouldn't ignore that if we have our own standards, we have to live by them. People are kind of conflating due process with consequences here."
That's nice, but Rosen celebrated Mayer's hit job on Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez and uncorked a huge ran on Jake Tapper's show that Republicans were "stomping on survivors" and "stomping on women's hearts."
At least Powers noted that the focus on Tweeden's politics misses the fact that there were a total of eight women, including some Democratic women, who also accused Franken of wrongdoing.