Following Minnesota Senator Al Franken announcing his resignation on Thursday amid a series of sexual harassment allegations, CBS News special coverage of the lawmaker’s departure lamented what a “big blow” it was for the Democratic Party to lose someone with such a “nationwide progressive profile.” Anchor Bianna Golodryga even grieved “the end to a potentially storied career.”
While the world was clamoring for alleged sex harasser Al Franken to resign from the Senate on December 7th, Hollywood was at a loss as to how one of their own could be crashing. Just hours before Senator Franken told the Senate that he would resign, angry feminist and Trump resistor Rosie O’Donnell tweeted multiple times in support of the senator from Minnesota. The actress tweeted the hashtag #stayAl, and retweeted a Hill story speculating on Franken’s resignation, saying “I HOPE THIS IS FAKE NEWS.”
Democrats have taken two high-profile casualties this week in the war over sexual misconduct, while Republicans, at least for now, are unscathed. That state of affairs doesn’t sit well with Dahlia Lithwick, who worries about principled Dems putting themselves at a general competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis sleazy GOPers.
Veteran liberal journalists Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell on Thursday lamented the “rush to judgment” that forced Al Franken from the Senate. Despite the fact that eight women have now accused the Democrat of inappropriate or unwanted touching, Tom Brokaw mourned, “... There was on the part of the Democratic Party a determination and kind of a rush, if you will, to have the Senator resign so they didn't have the burden of trying to defend him .”
During NBC’s Wednesday special coverage of President Trump’s White House address, anchor Lester Holt also covered breaking news about a growing list of Democrats calling on Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign amid sexual harassment allegations. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd hoped the move would help the Democrats regain the “high ground” on the issue.
Both Republicans and Democrats have faced serious allegations of sexual misconduct, but in the month of November, ABC, CBS and NBC spent twice as much time telling viewers about the Republicans’ problems. Nearly two-thirds of this coverage (4 hours, 27 minutes) focused on Republican politicians, compared to 2 hours, 6 minutes spent on the Democrats, a greater than two-to-one disparity.
Near the end of Wednesday’s State of America on CNN International, the show published a head-scratching graphic that placed Republican Congressman Joe Barton (Tex.) alongside other political figures who, unlike Barton, have been accused of sexual misconduct. To make matters worse, CNN political commentator Angela Rye ripped into “white, liberal women” for supposedly forcing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to call for Democratic Congressman John Conyers (Mich.) to resign.
The English poet of the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer, is generally credited with coining the phrase that has been updated in modern English to read, "better late than never." It means to do something or to arrive later than expected may not be good, but it is better than not at all. That may not be true in the case of former President Bill Clinton's enablers and apologists for his sexual misdeeds before and after winning the White House.
On Sunday's AM Joy, there was another case of liberal projection as MoveOn.org senior advisor and frequent MSNBC guest Karine Jean-Pierre complained that "We have a sexual predator as the President of the United States who lies constantly." This in spite of the fact that the group she works for was founded in 1998 primarily for the purpose of defending President Bill Clinton from impeachment over his sexual misbehavior.
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg continued on Tuesday’s Hardball to dig herself a hole when it comes to being inconsistent on sexual misconduct claims, bewailing to host Chris Matthews that “Republicans will certainly milk the Al Franken thing” while touting leftists as true moral arbiters purging alleged miscreants from their ranks.
In spite of repeated proclamations from MSNBC pundits that anyone expressing a scintilla of skepticism about any claims of sexual misconduct must therefore support that gross misbehavior, MSNBC’s best and brightest repeatedly broke this self-imposed standard over the past week vis-a-vis the Al Franken sexual assault allegations. Morning Joe added to this shamelessly hypocritical coverage on Tuesday, questioning if the latest Franken accuser can “prove” her accusation that Franken shoved his tongue in her mouth. The hosts also waffled on whether or not Franken should suffer any serious consequences for his alleged sexual crimes, with co-host Willie Geist wondering whether Franken should be treated as a “pariah” and “have his life ruined and thrown out.”
Last week, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote an op-ed calling for Al Franken to resign in light of radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden’s claims that the Democratic senator sexually assaulted her multiple times while on a USO tour to the Middle East to entertain American troops back in 2006. However, on Monday, Goldberg published another piece retracting her original call for Franken to be replaced. She primarily based her new argument on the grounds that Franken’s support for “women’s rights” should preclude him from being subjected to feminists’ purported standards for alleged sexual abusers. Goldberg also fretted that getting rid of the senator at this point would set a dangerous precedent that would “risk unilateral disarmament” for Democrats in the political arena.