Accuracy in Media

Within days of an explosive New York Times report that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein paid off multiple women who had accused him of sexual harassment, the New Yorker published a report that named multiple women who alleged Weinstein sexually harassed them.

Three of the women from the New Yorker article said Weinstein raped them. Even more striking was audio obtained from a New York Police Department sting operation, in which Weinstein is heard saying that he is “used to” groping women’s breasts and promising a woman that he “won’t do it again.”

As the evidence against Weinstein mounted further, various media and entertainment figures didn’t miss the opportunity to compare Weinstein with President Donald Trump. While the now-famous 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump talks about grabbing women “by the pussy,” the tape reveals no actual evidence that Trump ever did so, unlike the Weinstein audio recording, which captures Weinstein admitting to groping a woman’s breasts.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel was among those to compare Trump to Weinstein, even though there is no evidence Trump ever committed sexual harassment — much less, rape.

“So people are pointing to the fact that Harvey Weinstein was a [Hillary] Clinton supporter, and listen, it’s true,” Kimmel said during his show Monday. “I’m not defending Hillary Clinton. The fact is, her campaign did take money from what turned out to be a high-profile man who’s been accused of sexual harassment multiple times. And not just one of them, by the way. She took money from two of them: Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, who donated to Hillary’s campaign in 2008.”

Kimmel is far from the only media figure to compare Weinstein with the current president, though.

New York Times columnist Tina Brown wrote , “what I learned about Harvey in the two years of proximity with him at Talk [Magazine] was that nothing about his outward persona, the beguiling Falstaffian charmer who persuaded — or bamboozled — me into leaving The New Yorker and joining him, was the truth.”

“He [Weinstein] is very Trumpian in that regard,” Brown added.

And on Sunday night, HBO’s John Oliver called Trump “the Harvey Weinstein of presidents” and attacking Trump’s decision to reverse an Obamacare regulation requiring most employers to provide contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans.

But Trump, first as a global businessman, then as a presidential candidate, and now as the leader of the free world, has promoted multiple women to high-profile positions. Unlike Weinstein, there is no evidence Trump used his position to sexually harass or rape women.

This is not to downplay the disturbing nature of the Access Hollywood tape, but simply to point out that words are just that — words. Besides, given how much Trump has been accused of lying and embellishing stories, who is to say Trump wasn’t doing the same in the Access Hollywood tape?

Women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, but no accusation ever stood even cursory scrutiny. Given the liberal mainstream media’s relentless efforts to bring down Trump and his administration, one would think something — anything — would have surfaced by now.

Instead, Trump made history by becoming the first president to have a female campaign manager at the time of his election. Further, Trump’s current White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is only the second woman to serve in the position, and the first mother to have the job.

To compare Trump with Weinstein is not only factually flawed but an insult to the women whom Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed and raped. Those equating the movie mogul, who is now in rehab and whose wife has left him, with the president of the United States, whose family very much supports him and praise him as a many who empowers women, need to acknowledge that this attack line on the president doesn’t measure up.

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