Dismissed: Media Reception of Clinton's Accusers Wasn't So Victim-Friendly

"Next. Let's move on to the next thing.”

As of late, the media seems to be siding with female victims in situations of alleged sexual impropriety. “Guilty until proven innocent” appears to be the attitude of the day from the talking heads regarding men suspected of sexual misdeeds. However, once upon a time, a man with seemingly countless fingers pointed at him was given a pass by the mainstream media. That man, of course, was William Jefferson Clinton.

Despite accusations from Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and others, in the eyes of the left-wing press, Slick Willie seemed capable of doing no wrong. A perfect example of Clinton’s Teflon-like freedom from scrutiny is a 1999 exchange between radio host Don Imus and a pre-disgrace Dan Rather, then-host of the CBS Evening News:

IMUS: Even this Juanita Broaddrick thing that, this interview that the people over there at NBC News have been sitting on for some reason, who knows but -- 

RATHER: Well, I think the reason is pretty obvious that they're, they don't call me and tell me why they run or don't run these things, but I think it's pretty obvious. They are nervous about, number one, whether this information is accurate, whether it's really true or not. And then number two, even if it does it turns out to be true, it happened a long time ago and number three, they've gotta be figuring maybe, just maybe the American public has heard all they want to hear about this and are saying you know, "Next. Let's move on to the next thing.”

Wow. Americans had “heard all they [wanted] to hear about [it].” Rather wanted to "move on," because "it happened a long time ago."  

IMUS: I was reading in either Time or Newsweek that even the woman herself, Juanita Broaddrick said that she hopes that this thing went away this week and even she was sick about hearing about it and it's her story.

RATHER: Well, let's hope she gets her way with that.

Democrat Rather wanted Clinton’s improprieties out of the spotlight sooner than later. And he wasn't alone: other coverage of Broaddrick’s claims included TIME’s dismissive assertion that her story had come from the “vociferously conservative” Wall Street Journal, and that it seemed “unlikely to have much traction.” Newsweek referred to her as simply “Jane Doe #5,” remarking that she "should have leveled (unproven) assault charge in ’78, or ’92.” Notably, on the same page, Newsweek said of Hillary, “Run, Hill, Run.” Furthermore, in that same week’s editions, both Time and Newsweek boasted cover stories on Hillary’s pursuit of a Senate seat, Newsweek referring to her as “the hottest commodity in American public life.” Perhaps most incredibly, the cover of TIME's February 22nd issue pictured Hillary, 52-year-old Bill, and Bill's sexually indulged 25-year-old White House underling Monica Lewinsky, with only the words "How the Scandal was Good for America."

Times have changed. Or perhaps, the current crop of accused doesn't threaten the leftist media's political agenda. According to Rich Noyes, accusations against Alabama Republican Roy Moore have garnered nearly 80 minutes of coverage across the Big Three networks over the last four days. During Clinton’s time in the hot seat accused of rape, CBS, NBC, and ABC devoted just four stories to the charges, for the entire year from March 1998 to the same month in 1999.

Sexual scandal is the topic of the moment in the media. One might even say the press seems ebullient in its exposure of the misdeeds of the famous and powerful. However, when their political goals were at stake and their leader was accused, those who reported the news looked the other way. Because, despite their moralistic posturing of the moment, the biased mainstream media will always put its politics first. And when sexual crimes threaten the Left's advancement, they will readily sacrifice the victims.


Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust via Foter.com / CC BY-SA