This Tuesday morning I'll be starting the day with "Fox & Friends" at 8.30am Eastern. Later, I'll be guest-hosting "Tucker Carlson Tonight". Just ahead of that, I joined Tucker to talk about the sex-scandal dominoes falling from Hollywood to PBS, and the Democrats' sudden distancing of themselves from the Clintons - twenty years too late:
Steyn noted how a recent mainstream media headline read "I Believe Juanita," referring to Juanita Broaddrick, a former nursing home administrator who says then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton (D) raped her.
He said he wrote the same post in February 1999...
"Why shouldn't Al Franken grope a woman? It's because the media told us it doesn't matter being a pig because character doesn't matter," he said of the sentiment during the Lewinsky scandal.
"They've got respected PBS anchors walking around naked, and I don't mean Big Bird," Steyn said of Charlie Rose, who has been accused of misconduct by as many as eight women.
Click below to watch:
As I mentioned to Tucker, The New York Times a few days ago ran a column called "I Believe Juanita". I believed Juanita, too - way back when, eighteen-and-a-half years ago, when it counted and when the Times was covering the story only as an illustration of "shadowy, subterranean" media "mechanics". At any rate, here's my Juanita Broaddrick column from February 1999:
He raped her. Old news. Get over it.
He raped her. Or rather (for we must observe the niceties) she alleges he raped her. That's what Juanita Broaddrick told The Wall Street Journal last Friday. That's what The Washington Post reported Saturday â€”on page one. That's what The New York Times somewhat tardily got around to letting its readers in on yesterday â€” although the fastidious Times boys forebore to let the word "rape" sully their account, preferring the term "assault" and noting only that "he forced her down to the bed and had intercourse with her," which would be rape if Mike 'Tyson did it but with Bill Clinton qualifies merely as a marginally non-consensual relationship.
He raped her. Okay, he assaulted her. He bit her lip and rammed his penis into her vagina. And what happened? Nothing. No one on the Sunday talk shows raised the issue. It wasn't on the TV news, it wasn't on the radio news. Instead of running with "Is Our President A Rapist?", Time and Newsweek put the alleged rapist's wife on the cover in regal pose and cooed over the unstoppable momentum for her mooted Senate campaign.
He raped her. That's what she told Lisa Myers of NBC News back in January, just as the impeachment trial was getting underway. But the network got cold feet â€” unlike the president, who always keeps his socks on. "The good news is you're credible," Miss Myers informed her interviewee. "The bad news is you're very credible" â€” a problem peculiar to American journalism. Last night, with Mr. Clinton acquitted and Senator-elect Rodham cruising to victory in the New York primary, NBC decided it was finally safe to air Miss Myers' report on Dateline. So what will happen now? Nothing. He raped her. Old news. Get over it. Move on. The country's reached "closure."
No, it hasn't. It's reached "Denial." Denial is a small town in Arkansas, midway between Hope and Hot Springs, where all the men are abusers but all the women feel it would be unseemly to bring it up. A zillion Clinton women ago, I remarked that the United States was beginning to resemble one of those Sam Shephard plays set in a crumbling farmhouse where everyone in the family knows there's a dead baby buried in the backyard but they all agree not to mention it, even though its rotting corpse silently and remorselessly contaminates everything. Back in those days, when it seemed the president was simply groping the odd breast hither and yon, my comparison was intended as metaphor. But the metaphor is getting dangerously close to prosaic reality. First, Americans learned to accept that their president was an adulterer; next, a pants-dropper; now, a rapist. It's all too easy to imagine, say, a year from now a decomposed corpse being dug up on the outskirts of Little Rock, the spawn of some unfortunate gubernatorial liaison circa 1987. In a typically artful invention, Mr. Clinton told Mrs. Broaddrick, as he zipped up his pants, not to worry, he was sterile, the result of mumps. The conception of his daughter shortly after this 1978 encounter represents what the lawyers would call "conflicting testimony."
I suppose it's possible to believe Mr. Clinton's denial (through his lawyer) of Mrs. Broaddrick's story. Just as it was possible to believe his denial of Gennifer Flowers' story â€” until he conceded having sex with her in his Paula Jones deposition. Just as it was possible to believe his denial of Monica Lewinsky's story â€” until the stained dress found its way to the FBI crime lab. Just as it was possible to believe his denial of Paula Jones' story â€” until he paid her 850,000 bucks. But The Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz, who heard Mrs. Broaddrick's grim story at first hand, believes her. Miss Rabinowitz is one of my few journalist heroes. She's spent much of the last decade tirelessly re-investigating the soi-disant "child abuse" epidemic of the 80s: Through her efforts, some of the most ludicrous cases have been re-opened, falsely accused "abusers" have been re-leased from jail, those whose lives were destroyed have been belatedly vindicated. No one knows better than Miss Rabinowitz how easy it is to concoct charges of sexual assault. Yet she's come to the conclusion that what her interviewee alleges did, in fact, take place. "This is the part that always stays in my mind," says Mrs. Broaddrick. "The way he put on his sunglasses. Then he looked at me and said, 'You better put some ice on that.'" Bill Clinton feels your pain even after causing it.
It's true that Mrs. Broaddrick has previously denied the rape. It's also true that Monica initially denied servicing the president, as did Elizabeth Ward Gracen â€” and both relationships were eventually conceded by Mr. Clinton. But once again it's the telling detail that sticks. A month ago on this page, I made a joke about the convenient do-it-yourself Home Affidavit Kit ("I [Your Name Here], being of sound body, did not have sexual relations with William Jefferson Clinton"). But it turns out it's no joke. Mrs. Broaddrick's lawyer contacted an old friend, Bruce Lindsay, White House deputy counsel. Shortly afterwards, the president's attorney Bob Bennett faxed back the affidavit of another woman who'd denied involvement with Mr. Clinton. Mrs. Broaddrick's lawyer replaced the original name with that of his client and dropped it in the mail. This is the first administration to keep a standardized denial-of-sex affidavit on file.
Juanita Broaddrick's rapist wasn't just a boss or a powerful, well-connected man: He was at that time the attorney-general of Arkansas, the state's chief prosecutor, the man responsible for enforcing rape law. Yet Mr. Clinton's nation of deniers will still shrug: Why didn't she press charges? Likewise, when Kathleen Willey â€” you remember, last March's Psycho Slut Of The Month â€” said she wanted to slap his face, skeptics demanded: Why didn't she?
Here's why. The best film about Bill Clinton is not Primary Colors or Wag The Dog but a little-noticed Clint Eastwood thriller released in 1997. Absolute Power opens with a late-night rendezvous between President Richmond (Gene Hackman) and the young attractive wife of one of his major campaign donors. He pushes her crudely down to crotch level â€” the Monica position. But things get a little rough and she slaps his face â€” as Mrs. Willey wanted to do. The president howls. She struggles to break free. He places her hand on his crotch and she grabs it hard. He screams again. At this point, the Secret Service men standing guard burst in, see this woman physically threatening their president and, as they're trained to do reflexively, shoot her dead.
That's why Mrs. Willey stayed her hand. The United States can probably live with O.J.'s jury nullification: It seems the only person the Juice has ever wanted to kill was his wife â€” oh, and her hapless friend. But, if he moved in next door, one could be reasonably confident he wouldn't re-offend. Not so with O.J.'s sometime golfing partner Bill Clinton. There is a sexual thug in the White House and Americans cannot even slap his face.
~from The National Post of Canada, February 25th 1999
Tonight, Tuesday, I'll be guest-hosting "Tucker Carlson Tonight", for a full hour live coast to coast at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. If you prefer me in non-visual form, a little before that I'll be reading Episode Five of our latest nightly audio adventure, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. We hope you'll tune in for one or other, or maybe even both.
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