Accuracy in Media

As some called for Al Franken to resign in the wake of a woman accusing him of sexual harassment, the mainstream media has constructed a double standard with regard to such charges.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin said, “I realize that this was years and years ago, this story, and he was a private citizen at the time, but can [Franken] survive this?”

Baldwin failed to note this also matches the description of another sexual harassment scandal the network has treated much differently, that of Roy Moore, the U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama.

Gloria Borger, CNN’s chief political analyst, went even further.

“It remains to be seen,” Borger said. Borger did not clarify what remains to be seen, which would be helpful because Franken has admitted at least something like what the accuser described did happen, and there is a photo of him pretending to grab her breasts as she slept on an airplane after a 2006 USO tour.

“We should say that Leeann (Tweeden, the accuser) did not call for him to step down or say he ought to step down,” Borger continued.

“We have to look at the context in which all of this is occurring, which is Moore. Judge Moore. And that has been, you know, brewing and percolating, whatever you want to say, for days and days and days.

“So now then you have a Democrat and these charges, and I can be sure of one thing, which is this is not the last [woman to come forward] … This is scratching the surface. He was not a member of the Congress at the time this occurred. He was just a comedian.”

Moore also was not a member of Congress when his alleged bad acts occurred. Moore’s bad acts occurred nearly 40 years ago. Franken’s occurred in 2006, and another potential accuser has emerged with an even more recent accusation.

You can almost see the contours taking shape of the left’s attempt to rescue and ultimately rehabilitate Franken.

Instead of taking the accusation seriously and writing on the damage it does to the woman or women involved and to society at large, the Daily Beast’s Erin Gloria Ryan lamented potential damage to a hashtag.

“The #MeToo moment is in a far more delicate place than headlines would lead one to believe,” it said.

Then, Ryan’s friends in high places reached out to her for help.

“Men in those worlds privately wondered (sometimes in late night text messages to their female friend: this writer) where it would end; if they had something lurking in their own past; if one day, the #MeToo moment would engulf them too.”

Men wonder about a lot of things, but they know whether they’ve sexually harassed a woman.

She then took aim at the case against Franken – and again, her concern did not address the victims.

“Democrats have no moral authority on the issue of sexual assault and harassment unless they condemn it from everybody, even their caucus’s class clown.”

Nothing to see here, folks. Franken is a comedian. He was just kidding. Must get the party of Bill Clinton back in position to attack others for sexual harassment.

If that means belittling the claims of Franken’s accusers, then so be it. The other accuser, Melanie Morgan, described Franken calling her because he disagreed with her on a policy issue.

Even giving Morgan the benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to pretend what she alleges Franken did is the same thing as what Tweeden’s picture shows Franken actually doing. Nor is what Tweeden’s picture shows, horrible as it is, the same as what somebody like Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton did.

“One’s political ideology or past advocacy doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a person to be victimized by somebody with opposing ideology. But if what she’s written is all she’s got, Morgan’s account reeks of naked political opportunism, of weaponized victimhood in a way that is so morally bankrupt that it threatens to derail the entire #MeToo conversation for selfish political ends.”

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