Late Wednesday night, NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared on Fox News at Night, where he discussed the recent shocking sexual assault allegations brought against NBC anchor Matt Lauer, and Democrat Rep. John Conyers.
After reports from Variety and The New York Times Wednesday revealed that NBC News knew about Lauer’s lewd behavior for years but didn’t punish him for fear of losing ratings, Graham mocked the enlightened media for holding a morally superior attitude that they clearly hadn't held themselves up to.
“But I think that the news media, these are people, that the shocking thing about all of this, is, you have never seen a group of people who say that they're on top of everything and then don't seem to realize they have a sexual predator in their midst for 20 years,” Graham stated to FNC host Shannon Bream.
The panel also discussed how voters had to respond with sex scandals affecting both Republican and Democrat candidates. Bream asked Graham how a voter could square away voting for a candidate who are accused of doing horrible things in their private life but may vote more in line with how they would vote.
Graham compared the Roy Moore situation to the 2016 election, saying, “This is one of the things people can't understand. Why would a Christian conservative support Donald Trump? That’s very obvious. Everybody knew what Hillary Clinton stood for and they didn't want any part of it. So that is a decision we have to make.”
Later on, Bream noted how no major networks appeared at a press conference held Wednesday by Bill Clinton’s accusers. That wasn’t surprising to Graham:
It's just a pattern we’ve seen since 1994 when Paula Jones first came forward. They all sat there in February of '94 and they looked at each other and said “Do we have to cover this?” and they all decided, “No, we don't have to.” That kind of mentality remains.
Read the full transcript below:
Fox News At Night
SHANNON BREAM: Lauer is the latest in the string of high profile journalists, politicians and celebrities to face allegations of sexual misconduct. Despite persistent rumors of Lauer’s conduct over the years, the network says this complaint, the one it got this week, was the first formal filing and acted swiftly. Variety said Lauer’s lewd behavior wasn't a secret. “Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding ‘Today.’
NBC declined to comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at ‘Today,’ the morning news show was number one in the ratings and executives were eager to keep him happy.” So far no public response from the former anchor. Here in Washington mounting pressure for the longest serving member of the House to resign. The Congressional Black Caucus insisting that decision is up to Congressman John Conyers alone. He skipped votes today as the house passed a bill requiring anti-harassment training. This morning, Democrat Kathleen Rice walked out of a party meeting that included minority leader Nancy Pelosi and she was fuming.
KATHLEEN RICE: Let's talk about the big elephant in the room. That's why I was done with the meeting. I don't have time for conversations that are not real or not going to advance the ball for all of us here in Washington. And I for one am not going to stand silent even in the face of pressure from leadership not to.
BREAM: Congressman Rice is part of a bipartisan team introducing a bill that would unmask members who settled sexual lawsuits with taxpayer dollars. Another day in a scandal that doesn't seem to be going anywhere let's talk about it with Sarah Westwood, the White House reporter for The Washington Examiner. And Tim Graham from The Media Research Center. Welcome to you both.
Okay Sarah there was also a firing today, Garrison Keillor, has been an institution on public radio. Swiftly ties were cut with him over allegations of impropriety on his part, but he had just authored something about Al Franken under this title, “Should He Resign? That’s Absurd.” He talks about how this came about with Al Franken. He says eleven years later, a talk show host in L.A., she goes public and there's talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.” Where are we going in this conversation?
SARAH WESTWOOD: In circles it seems like. This is a classic example of the exact kind of hypocrisy that this ‘Me too’ moment is exposing, right? That there are men, especially on the left who have proclaimed themselves to be advocates for feminism who themselves are being revealed to have engaged in the exact behavior they decried in the past. That's exactly why I think the allegations against Senator Al Franken in particular were potent. Because he’s someone who’s advocated forcefully for women's rights in the past and was found to have violated them in some pretty egregious ways according to some accusers who stepped forward.
BREAM: Well and Tim, it seems to be a really tough, kind of split-personality decision that people are having to make on both sides. Do they support the person they believe in because they like their underlying policies, the way that they'll vote on Capitol Hill versus what we're finding out about them allegedly personally and their misbehavior and being willing to accept that because the ends justify the means?
TIM GRAHAM: Well it’s tough for a voter because voters trying to send someone to Washington that will vote the way they would vote. So if you’re a voter in Alabama now you have the one that would vote the way I'd vote even though I don't think of them as a highly moral person or I have the guy that supports everything I oppose. This is one of the things people can't understand. Why would a Christian conservative support Donald Trump? That’s very obvious. Everybody knew what Hillary Clinton stood for and they didn't want any part of it. So that is a decision we have to make. But I think that the news media, these are people, that the shocking thing about all of this, is, you have never seen a group of people who say that they're on top of everything and then don't seem to realize they have a sexual predator in their midst for 20 years.
BREAM: It's interesting. Because did we get to the place in this conversation Sarah, where we're talking about supporting people because of the way we think they'll vote in the end despite the allegations we may have heard of them because 20, 30 years ago during the Bill Clinton scandals when he was president, there were top-name feminists who were out there writing op-eds supporting him in the media, saying listen, this is a guy who’s going to be good for women in the end so this is his private life. It doesn't enter into what he does publicly.
WESTWOOD: It's really interesting because just before we start to have democratic politicians accused of engaging in this kind of sexual misconduct there was a reckoning with the way the left protected Bill Clinton, going on in the democratic party and that seems to have come to a screeching halt now that Congressman Conyers and Senator Al Franken have been accused. Democrats were examining whether it was proper, for instance, to dismiss credible allegations from people like Juanita Broaddrick or Kathleen Willey or any of the other women that accused Bill Clinton of misconduct simply because Bill Clinton was a pro-choice Democrat, that he was someone who was going to advance ostensibly pro-women policies from the White House. Now we've seen that conversation all but disappear because it implicates the Democrats who are protecting currently-sitting democratic politicians who are accused of the same sort of behavior.
BREAM: Tim, very quickly we're just about out of time but today there was a press conference involving a lot of those accusers of former President Clinton and apparently the networks doesn't show up.
GRAHAM: It's just a pattern we’ve seen since 1994 when Paula Jones first came forward. They all sat there in February of '94 and they looked at each other and said “Do we have to cover this?” and they all decided, “No, we don't have to.” That kind of mentality remains.
BREAM: Apparently they didn’t show up at the National Press Club today. We’ll talk more about that coming up. Sarah and Tim, thank you.