As Allegations of Gross Sexual Comments Swirl Around Bloomberg, CBS Skimps

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Allegations of sexism and inappropriate remarks are swirling around the rising 2020 campaign of Michael Bloomberg. But CBS is skimping on the details — including how the businessman allegedly made gross insinuations about women and oral sex and may have told a pregnant employee to “kill it,” in regard to her unborn child.

On Monday's CBS This Morning, the show allowed a scant 15 seconds to the developing story (out of two hours). None of the objectionable details were mentioned. In contrast, ABC and NBC over the weekend highlighted the specifics. 

On Monday, CBS’s Major Garrett breezed by with this explaination: “Bloomberg is also under fire for lawsuits filed over the years alleging that he created a culture of sexual harassment at his company. In a statement, the Bloomberg campaign responded, ‘Mike simply does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment.’” That was it. 

 


Over on NBC’s Today, Andrea Mitchell went into defense mode, describing Sunday’s front page, 4000 word Washington Post story as making Bloomberg “an easy target for new scrutiny.” She also played a clip of an ad attempting to defend the Democrat: 

MITCHELL: Bloomberg’s rise in the polls making him an easy target for new scrutiny of his past. The latest a Washington Post summary of alleged sexist comments and lawsuits against his company by women employees going back decades. Bloomberg responding with an ad featuring woman who worked for him praising him. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Nobody that I respect more and felt nor respected by. 

Mitchell offered no details. But, to NBC’s credit, the network at least offered some on Saturday night’s Nightly News. Unlike CBS, ABC's Eva Pilgrim noted the unsavory claims on Monday’s Good Morning America

The article accusing the billionaire of creating a workplace culture that allowed the sexual degradation of women. Bloomberg allegedly making crude comments telling an employee who just announced she was pregnant to “kill it,” and scolding a female employee who couldn't find a nanny saying, “All you need is some black who doesn't have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.”  

On Sunday's GMA, ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz reminded viewers of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape: 

Donald Trump has had allegations in the past, and not just allegations, but very sexist talk as we all remember on that Access Hollywood tape. So whether this sticks to Mike Bloomberg we just don't know at this point, Dan, but he'll definitely be getting more scrutiny about it. 

ABC has been covering the story consistantly, including reporting on it in 2019. Here’s some of The Post story by Michael Kranish that CBS isn’t interested in: 

The most high-profile case was from a former saleswoman. She sued Bloomberg personally as well as his company, alleging workplace discrimination. She alleged Bloomberg told her to “kill it” when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg has denied her allegation under oath, and he reached a confidential settlement with the saleswoman.

The Washington Post interviewed a former Bloomberg employee, David Zielenziger, who said he witnessed the conversation with the saleswoman. Zielenziger, who said he had not previously spoken publicly about the matter, said Bloomberg’s behavior toward the woman was “outrageous. I understood why she took offense.”

(....)

In the most high-profile example, a top saleswoman, Sekiko Sakai Garrison, alleged that Bloomberg told female salespeople about a male colleague getting married: “All of you girls line up to give him [oral sex] as a wedding present.” And, the lawsuit said, when Bloomberg saw certain women, he said, “I’d f--- that in a second.”

(....)

The Post obtained a copy of the booklet. Bloomberg is quoted as desiring oral sex from a well-known actress and is quoted as saying, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.”

Transcripts from Monday are below: 

CBS This Morning
02/17/20
7:12:05 a.m. Eastern 
15 seconds 

MAJOR GARRETT: Bloomberg is also under fire for lawsuits filed over the years alleging that he created a culture of sexual harassment at his company. In a statement, the Bloomberg campaign responded, Mike simply does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment.”  

(....)

NBC's Today
02/17/2020
7:13:35 a.m. Eastern
34 seconds 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Bloomberg’s rise in the polls making him an easy target for new scrutiny of his past. The latest a Washington Post summary of alleged sexist comments and lawsuits against his company by women employees going back decades. Bloomberg responding with an ad featuring woman who worked for him praising him. 

WOMAN: Nobody that I respect more and felt nor respected by. 

MITCHELL: Those charges and comments on discriminatory lending practices and racial profiling by the NYPD when he was mayor all fodder for his rivals at Wednesday night's debate. His fist, if he qualifies, as is expected.  

(....)

Good Morning America
02/17/2020
7 a.m. Eastern TEASE

TOM LLAMAS: Bull's-eye on Bloomberg. Not even in the next race, but the Democratic candidates taking aim at the billionaire. With just five days to go until the Nevada caucuses, the questions growing about his past treatment of women in the workplace as his poll numbers rise. 

(....)

ABC's Good Morning America
02/17/2020
7:10:35 a.m. Eastern
1 minute and 18 seconds 

EVA PILGRIM: But as Bloomberg’s polling numbers increases, so does the scrutiny on his past, including the billionaire’s treatment of women in the workplace, and allegations of sexist comments reported by ABC News and receiving renewed attention after another investigation by The Washington Post. The article accusing the billionaire of creating a workplace culture that allowed the sexual degradation of women. Bloomberg allegedly making crude comments telling an employee who just announced she was pregnant to “kill it,” and scolding a female employee who couldn't find a nanny saying, “All you need is some black who doesn't have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.” 

Court records reviewed by ABC News finding that at least 17 women have taken legal action against Bloomberg's company over the past 30 years. Three cases specifically naming Bloomberg for his role in the company's culture. None of the cases made it to trial. Four were dismissed or withdrawn. Five were settled out of court. Three cases remain active. Bloomberg this weekend tweeting, “I would not be where I am today without the talented women around me. I've depended on their leadership, their advice and their contributions. As I demonstrated throughout my career, I will always be a champion for women in the workplace.”

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Andrea Mitchell Eva Pilgrim Michael Bloomberg
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