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.
On Tuesday, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (Mich.) announced his retirement following a flood of sexual harassment charges. Also in the world of sexual harassers: Fed up with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake sold out his supposedly conservative principles and donated $100 to Moore’s liberal opponent. During ABC’s World News Tonight, the network celebrated Flake while downplaying Conyers.
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.
According to a New York Times Magazine writer, on Wednesday high-ranking Democratic Congressman James Clyburn compared Rep. John Conyers’ female accusers to child-killer Susan Smith in an effort to dismiss the harassment allegations made against his colleague. So far none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have covered the disgusting charge on any of their evening or morning shows.
MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt on Thursday continued to tout Democratic talking points on John Conyers, reminding viewers that the elderly Congressman, who has been accused of sexual harassment, is an “icon” and the “Dean of the House.” This is the same Hunt who downplayed accusations against Al Franken as “not actually groping.”
Tuesday was a terrible day for Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers as yet another former staffer came forward to accuse the longtime Congressman of sexual harassment and he was reportedly in talks with the Congressional Black Caucus to possibly resign. But according to the liberal Big Three Networks, none of that was really newsworthy.
In a piece that was supposed to be a rolling documentation of the sexual misconduct allegations that have come to light since the toppling of Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, The New York Times had left out a series of accusations against numerous Democratic politicians. And on top of the blatant omissions, the timeline had gone un-updated since November 21 despite a flood of new allegations, including one Democratic Congresswoman exposing a former Democratic Congressman.
Nancy Pelosi received near-universal condemnation for her comments on Sunday’s Meet The Press when she praised accused sexual harasser and fellow Democratic House Representative John Conyers as an “icon.” Even CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who is not exactly pro-Republican, called Pelosi’s remarks “catastrophically bad.”
And yet, on Monday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were inspired to double-down on Pelosi’s comments, repeatedly declaring that Conyers is an “icon” and thanking Pelosi for “speaking the truth.” Neither host was upset by the California congresswoman’s dismissal of the truthfulness of Conyers’s alleged victims.
Democratic Michigan Representative John Conyers Jr. found himself in the spotlight on Tuesday after BuzzFeed reported that the Congressman paid $27,000 in a settlement allegedly linked to sexual harassment. “[Conyers] settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not ‘succumb to [his] sexual advances,’” BuzzFeed wrote. But that wasn’t enough for ABC and CBS who downplayed the accusations throughout the day.
NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross is never more favorable toward a guest than when she’s hosting a conservative-bashing comedian. (See her cooing over Jon Stewart.) On Tuesday, Gross interviewed Stewart’s partner in satire Stephen Colbert for 40 adoring minutes. She fawned over his moonlighting on Broadway and boosted him as brave for going to Iraq (and Colbert mocked both attempts to fawn).
When they discussed how Colbert took his fake O'Reilly-mocking character to a House hearing chaired by liberal Democrat Zoe Lofrgren last fall to advocate for migrant farm workers, Gross found it "like, so amazing" and Colbert said that after Rep. John Conyers asked him to leave, he recanted and they had a great time talking jazz and listening to records in Conyers' office. How cozy, Colbert and the Democrats and NPR:
The Anti-Defamation League has described Shabazz as anti-Semitic and racist, trying "to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country." This certainly seems to be the case as he has made an increasing number of appearances in the media, in which the audience is to suspend belief and assume this man is an evenhanded voice on race relations in America.
In fact, Shabazz used his statement at CNN to accuse the ‘Republican or right wing tea party strategists' of ‘stir(ing) up racial fears'.