Accuracy in Media

After the recent spate of sex assault claims against Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, several journalists are calling for a reevaluation of the claims made against Bill Clinton during his presidency.

Clinton was accused of sexual assault by three women — Kathleen Willey said Clinton groped her without her consent, Paula Jones publicly stated that Clinton exposed himself to her and harassed her — she eventually settled her claims out of court, and Juanita Broaddrick, who leveled a charge of rape against him.

Now, more than 16 years since Clinton left office, some liberal journalists are feeling guilty for dismissing these claims so easily.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was one of the first to chime in with his thoughts, which seems to have started the ball rolling.

Hayes isn’t alone.  Michele Goldberg wrote in the New York Times that while she remains skeptical of Willey’s and Joneses accusations, she believes Broaddrick.

Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick. The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we’ve heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her. Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It’s true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones’s lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn’t want to go public but couldn’t lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her. (emphasis added)

CNN’s Jake Tapper summed it up Monday, saying that “the accusers of Bill Clinton back in the ’90s were never given the credence and treated with the same respect that these women are being treated and I think that there is something to be said about how society has evolved since then.”

“But it’s hard not to look back at that period and think, ‘You know what? The media treated those women poorly.’”




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