Same Ole’ Game: Sexual Misconduct Is Only Bad When Republicans Do It

Posted: Nov 22, 2017 1:15 PM
Same Ole’ Game: Sexual Misconduct Is Only Bad When Republicans Do It

Leah wrote yesterday about Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) being ensnared in the sexual misconduct reckoning that’s rippling through various industries and taking down very prominent members of the media. CBS’ Charlie Rose was fired yesterday based on allegations from eight women. NBC News’ Mark Halperin was also given his exit papers over past allegations. Glenn Thrush of The New York Times has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations lobbed against him.

With Conyers, he paid $27,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim. Another woman came forward last night with new allegations of sexual misconduct against the longtime congressman. If Conyers were a Republican, this would be all over the Big Three (CBS, NBC, and ABC). Instead, only NBC did a lengthy report on Conyers’ allegations, the other two networks deep sixed it (via Newsbusters):

The Conyers story broke with enough time for it to be picked up by the morning broadcasts of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC). Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today barely touched the story. Each gave the accusation just a news brief lasting 22 seconds and 35 seconds respectively. Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America failed to report the accusations against Conyers period.

But come Tuesday evening, NBC got its act together and gave the accusations the attention they deserved. NBC was the only network news outlet to dedicate an entire segment to the accusations against Conyers. The NBC Nightly News report lasted two minutes and 14 seconds, which blew the others out of the water.

In sharp contrast, CBS Evening News allocated a mere 22 seconds for Conyers out of a total of 14 minutes they dedicated to covering stories related to sexual harassment over six segments. That meant only 2.6 percent of their sexual misconduct reporting had to do with the longest-serving Representative in the House. But meanwhile, they spent two minutes and 37 seconds continuing to harp on the 12-day-old Roy Moore story.

So, not a total blackout, but one that shows the Democrats and their allies in the media are circling the wagons around their bad seeds. Another Rust Belt Democrat whose been hammered as of late is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who says he’s not stepping down, with media figures trying to play down his sexual misconduct allegations that included forcibly kissing radio host Leeann Tweeden in 2006 during a Middle Eastern USO tour. Another woman also alleges that Franken grabbed her rear end at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. While that second accusation was met with silence, the voters of Franken’s state have noticed. His approval ratings have dropped; with more voters saying Franken should resign.

In Detroit, the Free Press also called on Conyers to resign:

John Conyers Jr. has a long and complicated legacy in southeast Michigan and the U.S. Congress.

He has been an undisputed hero of the civil rights movement, a legislator of uncommon influence and power, and an aging icon whose felonious wife and sometimes-wandering pace have confounded his place in history.

But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous.

It is the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people. 

And it means that whatever Conyers’ legacy will eventually be, his tenure as a member of Congress must end — now.

He should resign his position and allow the investigation into his behavior to unfold without the threat that it would render him, and the people he now represents, effectively voiceless.

Both of these guys will hang onto their seats. For starters, as Nate Silver noted, while the noise for Conyers and Franken to resign could get louder, they don’t want to set the precedent of members of Congress being torched over such allegations. Politically, yes, it’s a win. The Democrats keep these seats and they win the public relations battle, making themselves look good among the voters by trying to get the resignation train to roll. That's tempered by the fact that they're only doing this because these seats are safe. Yet, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said the Franken resignation talk is a “distraction.” We already have people saying Franken was a comedian, that what occurred between Tweeden happened before he was in Congress. Yet, the rear end grabbing occurred when he was in office.

It’s the same old game: sexual misconduct is only bad when the Republicans do it. For Democrats, it’s bad, but whatever; they're liberal. Give them a pass, right? I know it's par for the course regarding the Democrats and the media, but chalk this up as another prime example of liberal media bias. The Bill Clinton protocol is still in effect.