Accuracy in Media

Despite her strange interview with Anderson Cooper – in which she said that she wasn’t ravaged and it wasn’t like she was attacked and that rape might not be the right word for what happened to her and that it is identified with sexuality and sexual fantasies – E. Jean Carroll’s increasingly shaky allegation that President Trump raped her 23 years ago in an exclusive New York City department store still has solid support in the mainstream media.

“Carroll’s allegation is credible,” flatly stated Aaron Rupar of Vox in “Republican responses to the new assault allegation against Trump are both predictable and sad” – subhead: “’I know that she’s selling a book.’”

Although Carroll declined to “use the word you used” – rape – in her appearance on Anderson Cooper 360 in an interview that grew so bizarre the host called for a commercial break to allow the guest to get it together, she said she told two close friends about it when it happened back in the mid-1990s, and New York magazine said it confirmed the two friends had heard the story.”

What’s crazy to Rupar is that, after all the country went through with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and multiple women having been found to have lied to hurt his chances of being nominated, Republicans don’t immediately accept the advice columnist’s word about something that happened 23 years ago.

“Despite the credibility of Carroll’s allegation, all the other accusations against Trump, and the fact that the president infamously bragged in a hot mic recorded released just before the 2016 election about groping women in a manner eerily similar to how Carroll alleged he assaulted her, Republicans are still standing by their man,” Rupar wrote.

There has never been any evidence Trump ever did what he described on the infamous Billy Bush tape, which was leaked on the day of one of his presidential debates with Hillary Clinton.

Rupar takes Republican senators to task for not either leaping to the president’s defense or rejecting the charges. He points to quotes from Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas that they have no comment on the matter, to comments from Cory Gardner of Colorado and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that they have not heard about it and from James Lankford of Oklahoma that “I don’t even want to get into believable or not believable. I know that she’s selling a book.”

But he failed to note, as Time magazine did, that Democrats were not exactly crowing about this either.

“It’s been three days since the writer E. Jean Carroll accused President Donald Trump of rape, but the allegation has caused barely a ripple in the 2020 campaign,” wrote Charlotte Alter of Time under the headline “Why 2020 Democrats Aren’t Highlighting the Rape Allegation Against Trump.”

The candidates issued statements “expressing the usual sentiments: shock, disgust, calls for investigations,” Alter wrote. “Yet the allegation against the president of the United States has not shifted the dynamics of the 2020 race, and most of the Democratic candidates responded with the bare minimum of condemnation.”

Alter went on to say “The muted response sent a loud message: even in a post-Me Too era, Democratic candidates don’t believe condemning the president’s alleged sexual crimes is a winning political issue.”

The candidates, she wrote, “are busy prepping their talking points [for the first debate] about their vision for the future, and don’t want to get sucked into the president’s vortex of accusations and denials.”

Rupar also has recognized there is little energy for taking on Trump with Carroll’s charges, although he insists she is credible.

“But if we didn’t know it already, the Republican reaction indicates that – short of smoking-gun evidence of Trump assaulting someone – no accusation will be credible enough for them to seriously consider breaking with the president,” he wrote.

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