Commentary

Brent Bozell: The Media's Speeding Ticket on Tagging Trump With Rape

By L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham | June 26, 2019 | 5:09am EDT
Carroll's allegation that Donald Trump raped her comes after roughly 24 years of silence, with no photos or videotapes.

On June 21, New York Magazine published a shocking cover story, an excerpt from the new book by author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll titled "What Do We Need Men For?" Carroll described suffering sexual assault in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. The alleged assailant is named Donald Trump.

When did this occur? She vaguely guesses it "has to be in the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996" because of what they were wearing.

In her telling, Carroll and Trump playfully talked about lingerie until he talked her into trying something on, and they walked back to a dressing room. She claims that he then pushed her into a wall, unzipped his pants and inserted his penis into her, all while still wearing his overcoat. "The whole episode lasts no more than three minutes," she says. And she dramatically concludes, "I have never had sex with anybody ever again."

That sounds horrible. We should all agree we want to have a president who is not a rapist. The liberals and the Trump haters turned the page back to when Juanita Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton 20 years ago, insisting that conservatives made her a cause celebre.

Yes, that's true. But there's at least one important difference: the speed of the journalism.

Carroll's allegation, made after roughly 24 years of silence, comes with no photos or videotapes. There is no date for the encounter. No one could say whether Trump was in New York on whatever day that was. She says that at the time, she told two unnamed girlfriends in TV news about being assaulted. It would be nice if someone among them could find an actual date of this alleged attack. Carroll also alleges she was assaulted by former CBS boss Les Moonves after she interviewed him in 1997. Moonves also denied her allegations.

New York Magazine released the story on Friday, June 21, shortly after noon. It was launched on "NBC Nightly News" ... after about six hours. Who needs time for vetting the evidence?

But when NBC News reporter Lisa Myers interviewed Broaddrick back in 1999, NBC sat on the story for more than a month, insisting it was undercooked, not ready for broadcast. The timing was transparently political. It aired on Feb. 25 on "Dateline NBC," 13 days after the Senate acquitted Clinton in its impeachment trial. Clinton critics had printed buttons reading "FREE LISA MYERS" in the interim

Even when it finally aired, Tom Brokaw's "NBC Nightly News" remarkably refused to air its own Broaddrick scoop.

Myers thoroughly investigated the allegation and had placed both Broaddrick and Clinton at the alleged location on that day — April 25, 1978, at the Camelot Hotel. Three female friends said Broaddrick had told them of this assault, and that she had a black and swollen lip. Liberals energetically attempted to ignore or knock Broaddrick's story in 1999. They disparaged her again as being part of a "Soviet show trial" of Bill and Hillary Clinton when she appeared with Trump before the second presidential debate in 2016. Then, in 2017, when the Clintons were no longer useful, the left suddenly discovered that Broaddrick's story was credible.

The Broaddrick-dismissing media outlets are now flagellating themselves for not playing this unproven Carroll story even bigger. This is why most Americans think the "news" media are partisan hacks who define what is "news" and what is not "news" based on how it can advance (or inhibit) the left's crusade to fundamentally transform America.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.

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