Bozell & Graham Column: The Shameless New York Times

May 17th, 2016 10:59 PM

The New York Times proclaimed the results of their six-week “investigation” on the front page of the Sunday paper. They discovered that Donald Trump is kind of sleazy around women. They want us to know this right now – not six months ago – when it’s clear he’s the Republican nominee against Mrs. Bill Clinton.

No Republican is surprised. Their shameless partisanship knows no bounds.

When Juanita Broaddrick accused Clinton of sexual assault in February 1999, the Times was not impressed. They never found her story worth publicizing, since they were first told about it near the end of the 1992 campaign. They described it as partisan “toxic waste.”

When Kathleen Willey accused Clinton of sexual harassment in the Oval Office, they smeared her in a Frank Rich column headlined “The Liars Club.”

This is the paper where feminist columnist Anna Quindlen dismissed Paula Jones as no sexual harassment icon like Anita Hill. She said there was “no reason to let right-wing activists, no friends to either the President, women, or the issue of sexual harassment, shame us into foolish lockstep.”

This is the paper that published columns by both Hill and Gloria Steinem shredding feminism in defense of President Clinton’s intern antics during the Lewinsky scandal.

As for toxic waste, this is the paper which proudly published Maureen Dowd on the front page on April 7, 1991 as she slimed Ronald and Nancy Reagan with Kitty Kelley’s uber-sleazy and uber-unsubstantiated tabloid tales. “The new biography also offers sensational claims that the Reagans practiced a morality very different from what they preached....that both the Reagans had extramarital affairs, and that Mrs. Reagan had a long-term affair with Frank Sinatra.

Proof? Who needs proof? The fact that Bantam Books could publish Kelley without being sued was all the proof this rag required.

Now it's Trump being accused -- of behavior much less severe than Bill Clinton with Jones, or Willey, or Broaddrick.
Keep all the Clinton-defending in mind as Times reporters Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey sneered in print: "Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of casual insults, hurled from the safe distance of a Twitter account, a radio show or a campaign podium. This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president: degrading, impersonal, performed."

They began with a woman named Rowanne Brewer Lane, and how Trump asked her to put on a bikini at a party: “But the 1990 episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane described was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew. This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters."

The story quickly blew up in their face. Brewer Lane appeared on Fox News and CNN, trashing the Times account as a false manipulation of her words. She told them Trump was a gentleman (not "debasing") and that she didn’t want to participate in a hit piece. CNN told the Times reporters “Rowanne has asked for an apology.” Barbaro refused to give any ground: "I think we really stand by our story. We believe we quoted her fairly and accurately; and that the story really speaks for itself."

Yes. It does.

It’s safe to say that Donald Trump is no one’s idea of Mr. Manners. His rudeness toward women was summarized by Megyn Kelly in the first debate, and the way he treated her afterward underlined it. But The New York Times now has no right, none whatsoever, to pass judgment on presidential candidates and their treatment of women.