In an attempt to demonstrate how pervasive sexual assault was in politics Tuesday, CBS Evening News went back to the 90’s for a heinous example. No, they didn’t cover the plethora of examples swirling around former President Bill Clinton. Instead, they chose one of their favorite conservative punching bags, Justice Clarence Thomas. “While these stories are being shared across social media today, the theme and its reality are nothing new,” stated CBS reporter Anna Werner before taking her shots at Thomas.
“25 years ago, 35-year-old law professor Anita Hill sat before an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee recounting how Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas allegedly harassed her,” recalled Werner, conveniently omitting that the hearing was chaired by none other than Senator Joe Biden.
Werner completely ignored the facts of the case and gave no backstory, yet stated “Thomas landed a spot on the court. Hill landed a lifetime of defending her story.” She spoke as if it was a known fact that Thomas had somehow weaseled his way out of a deserved punishment. The CBS report failed mention Hill’s evolving story or the testimony of other women which contradicted Hill’s accusations.
But that didn’t stop Werner from sitting down with Hill to get her perspective on the Donald Trump tape situation. “What I think should have been the focus of the conversation is the harm that sexual harassment causes to the victims,” Hill told Werner, “This is a powerful moment for us to understand that and to think about, “Okay, what do we do next to make sure this doesn't happen to another generation?””
CBS and Werner went out of their way to produce yet another Justice Thomas hit piece, even though Trump made it easy for them by dragging reporters to a press conference with Bill Clinton’s accusers before Sunday’s presidential debate. This bias was on display during their Monday night broadcast as well. During the same show, CBS labeled Trump’s tape as “sexual assault” while claiming Clinton’s attacks were “extramarital affairs.” Willfully ignoring the examples of sexual assault allegations placed in front of them makes it painfully obvious who CBS is protecting.
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October 11, 2016
6:47:15 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: Donald Trump's vulgar remarks about women started a national conversation about sexual assault, and it's getting louder. Here's Anna Werner.
[Cuts to video]
ANNA WERNER: Hours after the Trump tape hit the airwaves and a national nerve, author Kelly Oxford launched a Twitter feed asking, "Women: Tweet me your first assaults. They aren't just stats. I'll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ( bleep ) And smiles at me. I'm 12."
KELLY OXFORD: I was sharing a personal experience, and when you do that, you put yourself in a very vulnerable position.
WERNER: The response was explosive, offering an immediate wind into the scope of sexual assault in the country today.
OXFORD: It's hundreds of people with the same horrible story, and telling them maybe for the first time. It's really unbelievable.
WERNER: One woman wrote, "Family friend laid on top of me on the couch and wouldn't let me up. I was about 11." While another shared, "When you're afraid to look directly at any man because you're scared he might assault you, this is rape culture. Know that it's not okay." Millions have shared their experiences, creating the hashtag #NotOkay. While these stories are being shared across social media today, the theme and its reality are nothing new.
JOE BIDEN: Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god?
ANITA HILL: I do.
WERNER: 25 years ago, 35-year-old law professor Anita Hill sat before an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee recounting how Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas allegedly harassed her.
HILL: On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess.
CLARENCE THOMAS: This is high-tech lynching.
WERNER: Thomas landed a spot on the court. Hill landed a lifetime of defending her story.
HILL: For 25 years, we have been saying that sexual harassment is a real problem. What I think should have been the focus of the conversation is the harm that sexual harassment causes to the victims.
WERNER: Those hearings, like the Trump tape, triggered a national conversation on assault. But Hill fears when the news cycle ends, the talk of how to make change will stop, too.
HILL: This is a powerful moment for us to understand that and to think about, “Okay, what do we do next to make sure this doesn't happen to another generation?”
[Cuts back to live]
WERNER: Scott, Hill says the fact that people are outraged about Trump's comments is a big difference. She doesn't believe that would have happened in 1991.
PELLEY: Anna Werner, thanks very much.