Nets Attach Words 'Sexual Assault' to Trump, But Not to Clinton

As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Monday recalled both the tape from 2005 revealing Donald Trump speaking lewdly about his behavior toward women, and Trump inviting women who have accused Bill Clinton of either sexual harrassment or assault to Sunday's debate, there was an obvious double standard in the willingness to use the term "sexual assault" with regard to Trump's behavior, while Clinton's behavior was alluded to in a more vague and toned down manner.

While the CBS Evening News called Trump's behavior "sexual assault," but Clinton's more violent behavior was labeled as "extramarital affairs" on the same show, ABC's World News Tonight and the NBC Nightly News each used a clip of debate moderator Anderson Cooper charging that Trump "sexually assaulted" women, but in both news casts used more vague terms like "wrongdoing" and "abused," or using words like "accusers" and "accused," giving little detail on what the Clintons were being accused of.

By contrast, on CNN's The Situation Room, correspondent Sunlan Serfaty more forthrightly recalled that the women who were Trump's guests at the debate "have accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assaults."

And only FNC's Carl Cameron -- on Special Report with Bret Baier -- recalled any details about Kathy Shelton, the woman who was raped as a 12-year-old and saw her attacker avoid prosecution after he was defended by Hillary Clinton, who was later caught on tape laughing and bragging about her success in the case.

On the CBS Evening News, Bill Clinton's behavior was referred to simply as "extramarital affairs" in a report by correspondent Major Garrett:

DONALD TRUMP: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action.

MAJOR GARRETT: And after bringing up President Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs last night, Trump today threatened more.

A bit later, CBS correspondent Julianna Goldman applied the term "sexual assault" to Trump as she recalled: "By holding the emergency call with his members today, House Speaker Paul Ryan all but acknowledged that the tape showing Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault is now threatening Republican majorities in Congress."

On the NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt vaguely referred to "Bill Clinton's accusers" in the opening tease: "Donald Trump, wounded by the bombshell tape revelation, brings Bill Clinton's accusers to the debate."

A bit later, in a piece by NBC's Katy Tur, no indication was given that sexual harassment or assault were involved in the Clinton case:

KATY TUR: A day after turning the debate stage into a side show, putting Hillary Clinton face to face with accusers from her past.

DONALD TRUMP CLIP #1: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action.

TRUMP CLIP #2: Hillary Clinton attacked those same women, and attacked them viciously. Four of them are here tonight.

Tur soon used a clip of debate moderator Cooper of charging that Trump "sexually assaulted" women:

ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.

COOPER: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: No, I have not.

On World News Tonight, ABC anchor David Muir vaguely recalled that Bill Clinton had been "accused" of "wrongdoing" as he began the show:

We begin with the new shock waves tonight after the Donald Trump videotape. What he said about what he can do to women because he's a star, and then what he did last night right before the debate, bringing women who have accused Bill Clinton of wrongdoing and trying to seat them in his VIP box, hoping Bill Clinton would have to shake their hands.

ABC's Tom Llamas came closer to using blunt language as he recalled that women made accusations of being "abused" by Bill Clinton as the ABC correspondent griped about Trump "luring" the media to a "shocking stunt" at a press conference:

Donald Trump set the tone for the night less than two hours before the debate, luring reporters to his hotel, promising a glimpse of his last-minute preparations. What they got instead, a shocking stunt: Trump at a table surrounded by women who claimed they were abused by former President Bill Clinton.

Soon came the same clip that was also used by NBC of Cooper charging that Trump "sexually assaulted" women:

ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

DONALD TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.

Moments later, ABC did at least include a clip of Trump attacking the Clintons on the subject of their abusive behavior toward women, but still without much specificity as to what they did:

TRUMP CLIP #1: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine were words, his was action. His was what he's done to women . There's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women.

TRUMP CLIP #2: Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously.

In the next report, by correspondent Jonathan Karl, there was more vagueness as Karl recalled that women had "accused" the Clintons, without noting what they were accused of: "His effort to divert attention by bringing out the women who have accused the Clintons apparently didn't impress Speaker of the House Paul Ryan." A bit later, Karl added: "But will Trump's stunt with the Clinton accusers work?"

On FNC's Special Report, after referring to Bill Clinton's behavior as "sexual misconduct," Cameron gave viewers a few details on  Shelton negative experience with Hillary Clinton. Carl:

Before last night's debate, Trump held a news conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. The Trump campaign paid for their travel. The fourth woman, Kathy Shelton, was raped when she was 12 years old. Her attacker was defended in court by Hillary Clinton, and he got off on a technicality.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of ABC's World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, the NBC Nightly News, CNN's The Situation Room, and FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier:

#ABC's World News Tonight:

DAVID MUIR: We begin with the new shock waves tonight after the Donald Trump videotape. What he said about what he can do to women because he's a star, and then what he did last night right before the debate, bringing women who have accused Bill Clinton of wrongdoing and trying to seat them in his VIP box, hoping Bill Clinton would have to shake their hands.

(...)

TOM LLAMAS: Donald Trump set the tone for the night less than two hours before the debate, luring reporters to his hotel, promising a glimpse of his last-minute preparations. What they got instead, a shocking stunt: Trump at a table surrounded by women who claimed they were abused by former President Bill Clinton.

(...)

ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

DONALD TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.

(...)

TRUMP CLIP #1: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine were words, his was action. His was what he's done to women . There's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women.

TRUMP CLIP #2: Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously.

(...)

JONATHAN KARL: His effort to divert attention by bringing out the women who have accused the Clintons apparently didn't impress Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

(...)

KARL: But will Trump's stunt with the Clinton accusers work? Especially given his past comments.

TRUMP: The whole group -- Paula Jones, Lewinsky -- it's just a really unattractive group. I'm not just talking about physical.

KARL  He now calls Bill Clinton a predator, but listen to what he said during the height of the Clinton sex scandals.

TRUMP: I don't necessarily agree with his victims. His victims are terrible. He is really a victim himself, but he put himself in that position.

(...)

#CBS Evening News:

DONALD TRUMP: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action.

MAJOR GARRETT: And after bringing up President Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs last night, Trump today threatened more.

(...)

JULIANNA GOLDMAN: By holding the emergency call with his members today, House Speaker Paul Ryan all but acknowledged that the tape showing Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault is now threatening Republican majorities in Congress.

(...)

#NBC Nightly News:

LESTER HOLT, IN OPENING TEASE: Donald Trump, wounded by the bombshell tape revelation, brings Bill Clinton's accusers to the debate.

(...)

KATY TUR: Last night's debate was largely seen as Trump's best chance to make amends with the Republican party, but he proved he had no interest in that, staging a political stunt that some operatives believe could cost him the election.

TUR: Fueled by a fevered crowd in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump was on the attack.

DONALD TRUMP: Special prosecutor, here we come, right?

TUR: A day after turning the debate stage into a side show, putting Hillary Clinton face to face with accusers from her past.

TRUMP CLIP #1: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action.

TRUMP CLIP #2: Hillary Clinton attacked those same women, and attacked them viciously. Four of them are here tonight.

TUR: The GOP nominee was going for a vicious counterpunch, backed into a corner by a 2005 audio leak.

TRUMP AUDIO: Grab them by the (bleep).

ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.

COOPER: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: No, I have not.

(...)

#CNN's The Situation Room:

SUNLAN SERFATY: Trump's no-holds-barred debate performance was an attempt to stabilize his candidacy, bringing to the debate women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assaults, as he tries to move past the videotape controversy.

(...)

#FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier:

CARL CAMERON: Before last night's debate, Trump held a news conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. The Trump campaign paid for their travel. The fourth woman, Kathy Shelton, was raped when she was 12 years old. Her attacker was defended in court by Hillary Clinton, and he got off on a technicality. According to the Associated Press, Shelton was paid $2,500 in May by a pro-Trump superpac run by Trump ally Roger Stone.

DONALD TRUMP: Hillary Clinton systematically attacked and discredited the victims of Bill Clinton's sexual harassment and assault. And instead of trying to stop it, she made it possible for him to take advantage of even more women. She put even more women in harm's way.

NB Daily Campaign Watch 2016 Presidential Debates Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Special Report CNN The Situation Room Video Kathleen Willey Major Garrett David Muir Lester Holt Jonathan Karl Carl Cameron Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Juanita Broaddrick Paula Jones Roger Stone


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