Despite two hours of available air time, ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday skipped a damning New York Times story with a bombshell claim: Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 presidential campaign, was told that Harvey Weinstein was a rapist, but still took his donations and raised money off him.
It should be pointed out that GMA is co-hosted by George Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton and friend of Hillary Clinton. CBS and NBC covered the allegations in the Times, though briefly. On CBS This Morning, Jericka Duncan explained, “Actress Lena Dunham confirmed to CBS News how she warned aides to Hillary Clinton last March about Weinstein's treatment of women, saying, quote, ‘I think it's a really bad idea for him to be involved. He has a problem with sexual assault.’”
Not quoted by CBS is that Dunham claims she also said this to the Clinton campaign: “I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point.”
In the Times piece, reporters Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, Susan Dominus, Jim Rutenberg and Steve Eder wrote:
Earlier, during the 2008 presidential race, Tina Brown, the magazine editor, said she cautioned a member of Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle about him. “I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him,” Ms. Brown said in an email.
Appearing in a clip on CBS, Kantor offered this damning question: “We don't know exactly what Mrs. Clinton did or didn't know, but did she afford him a kind of, like, feminism by association and make him look like an advocate for women?”
Still, CBS only allowed 35 seconds on this potentially huge story (while talking about Weinstein in general). Over on NBC, the network of disgraced sexual abuser Matt Lauer, Today allowed 25 seconds on the Clinton angle (also within a larger story on Weinstein).
Reporter Sheinelle Jones mentioned: “The Times also reporting that actress Lena Dunham warned Hillary Clinton's aides about Weinstein’s behavior and his treatment of women.”
She added, “The Times reporting Weinstein had long raised campaign cash for her and her feminist credentials helped burnish his image.”
Regarding Dunham’s serious accusations against Hillary Clinton, it should be noted that they build on her initial comments from October. Then, she wrote an op-ed for the Times and apologized for not more strenuously objecting to Weinstein’s closeness to the campaign:
In the fall of 2016, I performed at a benefit for Hillary Clinton organized by the Weinstein Company. I had heard the rumors. I felt that going onstage under his aegis was a betrayal of my own values. But I wanted so desperately to support my candidate that I made a calculation. We’ve all made calculations, and saying we’re sorry about those calculations is not an act of cowardice. It’s an essential change of position that could shift the way we do business and the way women regard their own position in the workplace. I’m sorry I shook the hand of someone I knew was not a friend to women in my industry.
Considering that the DNC raised over $300,000 off of Weinstein, the question of what Democrats knew about him and when is a very important one.
Transcripts of the two Clinton mentions (within the larger Weinstein stories) can be found below:
CBS This Morning
JERICKA DUNCAN: Weinstein was a lucrative Democratic fund-raiser.
LENA DUNHAM: Hillary Clinton declared that women’s rights are human rights.
DUNCAN: Actress Lena Dunham confirmed to CBS News how she warned aides to Hillary Clinton last March about Weinstein’s treatment of women, saying, quote, “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to be involved. He has a problem with sexual assault.” Clinton said in October she was shocked and appalled by the revelations.
JODI KANTOR: We don't know exactly what Mrs. Clinton did or didn't know, but did she afford him a kind of, like, feminism by association and make him look like an advocate for women?
SHEINELLE JONES: Those mentioned in the article include Hillary Clinton. The Times reporting Weinstein had long raised campaign cash for her and her feminist credentials helped burnish his image.
JONES: The Times also reporting that actress Lena Dunham warned Hillary Clinton's aides about Weinstein’s behavior and his treatment of women. For her part, Clinton released a statement in October,saying she was shocked and appalled by the revelations, adding that Harvey Weinstein's behavior, alleged behavior cannot be tolerated.