Members of the media are finally acknowledging Bill Clinton’s alleged sex crimes, but they can’t get too much credit given their 2016 habit of playing defense for the former president.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted on Friday that Democrats and the center-left need to have a “reckoning” with the allegations, and CNN anchor Jake Tapper admitted last Monday that Clinton’s accusers were never given the same respect as accusers today. (RELATED: Media Forced To Acknowledge Bill Clinton’s Alleged Sex Crimes)
The accusations against Clinton may be too much to bear now given the media’s intense scrutiny of Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and others, but it cannot be forgotten how journalists downplayed and discredited Clinton’s alleged crimes just over a year ago.
Just a few days ago, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews claimed that he and others were very “tough” on Clinton and had always viewed intern Monica Lewinsky as a victim, but Stephanie Ruhle’s puzzled face told the real story.
On May 9, 2016, then-MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts minimized the accusations against Clinton by referring to them as “alleged misconduct,” forgetting that Clinton was guilty of misconduct — cheating on his wife with an intern — and accused of crimes as serious as rape.
On the same day, NBC’s Tamron Hall similarly used the phrase “alleged affair,” despite the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress held a semen sample that matched the DNA of Clinton.
Andrea Mitchell, another MSNBC anchor, criticized Donald Trump on May 19, 2016, for using the word “rape” to describe what Clinton is accused of, even though Juanita Broaddrick has accused him of exactly that. Even worse, Mitchell called Broaddrick’s claim a “discredited and long-denied accusation.”
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin was quite the Clinton defender on May 16, 2016, when her guests tried to point to his alleged crimes, stating “let’s not go there,” when one guest recalled Clinton’s harassment settlement with Paula Jones.
“Wow, wow, hang on a second — that’s where you’re going to go in the first 20 seconds?” Baldwin asked when another guest accused Hillary Clinton of badmouthing the women who had accused Bill Clinton of assault one day later on May 17, 2016.
“Is part of making us great getting back into the weeds with Bill Clinton and his sex life?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo said smugly on January 14, 2016. “That seems to be a big point of emphasis for [Trump] now.”
And let’s never forget the vile comments from “The View’s” Joy Behar, who called Monica Lewinsky and the other Clinton accusers “tramps” on October 10, 2016.