The most ridiculous spin exercise emerging from the Matt Lauer/Charlie Rose scandal is that somehow this is why Hillary Clinton lost, the lecherous male journalists beat her. The New York Times – the same newspaper that publicly devoted itself to electing Hillary Clinton on the front page – turned to feminist writer Jill Filipovic for an editorial on how sexist media bias is to blame for Hillary’s loss.
She alleged “The latest harassment and assault allegations complicate that account and suggest that perhaps many of the high-profile media men covering Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were the ones leading with their genitals.”
Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Matt Lauer interviewed Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump in an official “commander-in-chief forum” for NBC. He notoriously peppered and interrupted Mrs. Clinton with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only to pitch softballs at Mr. Trump and treat him with gentle collegiality a half-hour later.
This, to be blunt, is Fake News. Yes, Lauer asked Hillary Clinton about her private e-mail server: “You've said it's a mistake. You've said you made not the best choice. You were communicating on highly sensitive topics. Why wasn't it more than a mistake? Why wasn't it disqualifying, if you want to be commander in chief?” Any male candidate would see that as a tough, but obvious question at a “Commander-in-Chief” forum.
We know that in her book What Happened, Hillary complained that she was “almost physically sick” with rage at Matt Lauer. But here’s the point: Trump wasn’t treated with “gentle collegiality.” Fox’s Howard Kurtz ruled Trump received the exactly same “major league pitching.” Lauer interrupted Trump more than Hillary.
Then Filipovic added: "Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose set much of the televised political discourse on the race, interviewing other pundits, opining themselves and obsessing over the electoral play-by-play. Mr. Rose, after the election, took a tone similar to Mr. Lauer’s with Mrs. Clinton — talking down to her, interrupting her, portraying her as untrustworthy."
The Times piece links to a CBS News article repeating a contentious passage in a July 2016 interview where Rose, like Lauer, questioned Mrs. Clinton’s decision to have a private e-mail server.
But here’s what we pulled out of that same interview that Filipovic ignores, Rose throwing Hillary softballs about how Trump is the most dangerous man ever nominated for president:
ROSE: Do you believe Donald Trump is dangerous? Do you believe Donald Trump is not fit to be president?
HILLARY CLINTON: I think he has shown that he is dangerous. That he poses —
ROSE In what ways?
CLINTON: Well in several ways. When someone running for president says, in the most off-hand way, he doesn’t really care whether other countries get nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia.
CLINTON: Japan. But let’s focus on Saudi Arabia. We have done everything we can, Democratic and Republican administrations going back decades to try to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. That casual indifference to the worst weapons that we have ever created in the world is dangerous. It’s either a lack of knowledge about what he’s saying means. Or, it’s an indifference to the power that he is seeking. And I saw in an article, a long article, that Donald Trump, being near the nuclear code would pose a danger to civilization. Now that’s not me.
ROSE: And you agree with that?
CLINTON: And I do agree with that, Charlie. And I don’t, look, I don’t say that lightly. And I don’t say it with any satisfaction.
ROSE: Donald Trump with his finger on a nuclear bomb would be a threat to civilization?
CLINTON: He has no self-discipline. No self-control. No sense of history. No understanding of the limits of the kind of power that any president should impose upon himself. He has shown none of that. “Let’s return to torture. And you know what, I will order the American military to commit war crimes. Let’s pull out of NATO. We don’t need them.” What he has laid out is the most dangerous, reckless approach to being president that I think we’ve ever seen. And I say that knowing —
ROSE: The most dangerous man ever to run for president of the United States?
CLINTON: I believe that.
Filipovic also unpersuasively asserted that Mark Halperin and Glenn Thrush were “harsh” critics of Hillary. She summed up:
A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable. These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status….
Couldn't she be dishonest and unlikeable without any media interference? But if you call her “Crooked Hillary,” that must be a sign you’re a sexual abuser:
These “Crooked Hillary” narratives pushed by Mr. Lauer, Mr. Halperin, and a long list of other prominent journalists and pundits indelibly shaped the election, and were themselves gendered: Hillary Clinton as a cackling witch, Hillary Clinton a woman it was easy to distrust because she was also a woman seeking power, and what kind of woman does that?
This isn't the first time that the Times has let Filipovic lament sexism defeating Hillary. In August, she even claimed "No public figure in modern history has had her choices combed over with as much tick-picking meticulousness as Hillary Clinton." Yes, “A shameless misogynist” “stalked a woman on stage while we all watched and then he won the election,” Filipovic whined.