The New York Times went after Donald Trump over the weekend in a hit piece that looked into the real estate mogul's past relationships and how he had "crossed the line… with women in private." Luckily for Bill Clinton, the NYT didn't do the same for him back in 1992 when he was running for office.
The Washington Examiner pointed this out by digging through the archives to find out why The Gray Lady passed over Juanita Broaddrick's rape claim against Clinton while he was attorney general for Arkansas in 1978.
It states that reporters for the NYT and the Los Angeles Times were alerted to Broaddrick's story in the final weeks of the 1992 presidential election. Both passed and the NYT explained it as "toxic waste" usually dumped in last minute as an act of political desperation. Cut to six years later, when President Clinton was facing revelations of having sex in the Oval Office with his intern Monica Lewinsky, and suddenly Broaddrick's charge seemed a bit more relevant.
However, as the Examiner explains, "Broaddrick backtracked from her claim in a sworn denial, but later denied the denial." This flip-flop hurt her story. But in 1999, a day after Clinton's impeachment, she told NBC News that he had indeed raped her. NBC wasn't keen on releasing that interview and waited over a month (and after his acquittal) to do so.
The NYT commented on Broaddrick's restated claim and why it passed yet again:
The problems with Mrs. Broaddrick's accusation are obvious. There is no physical evidence to verify it. No one else was present during the alleged encounter in a Little Rock hotel room nearly 21 years ago. The hotel has since closed…
[D]espite the problems with the accusation, it became part of the background noise of the impeachment process in Congress, pushed by conservative House Republicans even after Mr. Starr made only a glancing reference to it in a supplement to his report.
But as the Examiner notes, that doesn't explain why they ignored it back in 1992.
Bill Keller was a managing editor at the time of the impeachment and said the lack of interest was a result of "scandal fatigue" surrounding the Clintons:
The first thing we did was assign some reporters to learn as much as we could — about the story, about how it emerged, about its consequences. Even then, we talked long and hard about whether to publish anything. The merits of the allegations are probably unknowable. Legally, it doesn't seem to go anywhere. Congress isn't going to impeach him again. And frankly, we've all got a bit of scandal fatigue.
But today, the NYT isn't feeling the same sort of fatigue when it comes to Trump and they are siccing the journalistic dogs on him to dig up anything. But as it turns out, a woman interviewed in the Trump story, Rowanne Brewer Lane, is accusing the NYT of spinning her story and twisting her words. She said:
"I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump, and I don’t appreciate them making it look like that I was saying that it was a negative experience because it was not."
So for the NYT, a woman who said Trump was a gentleman needs to be examined but a woman who claimed Bill Clinton raped her is not worth the effort.
No media bias there.
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