MEDIA BIAS: I Suffered A Trial By Media At The Hands Of The Washington Post. I Was Presumed Guilty
Malcolm X once said: “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”
Even with the American public’s trust in their media at historic lows, the liberals who dominate the press appear to view that sentiment not as a cautionary tale but as an opportunity. Liberal editors and reporters have brazenly weaponized journalism in order to consolidate political power for the Democratic Party—not just by how they report the news but by how they decide what is news.
A recent Morning Consult poll found that 11 of the 14 most polarizing brands in corporate America today are news outlets — including storied institutions like NBC, CBS, ABC and The Washington Post. I spent years fighting liberal media bias as a GOP communications director because of the threat it poses to our country and to my party, but never did I think media bias would so thoroughly devastate my personal life.
On February 9, The Washington Post published a hit piece that my ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, had shopped to them. It was a platform from which she could lob baseless accusations of domestic violence against me and get the attention she craved by claiming her place in the #MeToo movement. The Post was complicit in her vendetta against me, and I was forced to resign my position as a White House speechwriter as a result.
The Post had no court records, no police reports, no witnesses, no compelling photos — no corroborating evidence of physical abuse of any kind. All the Post had was my accuser’s word to support her allegations. Despite the extensive FBI background check I was subjected to for my job, the White House told the Post that its query was the first they had heard of the allegations.
But with similar, yet far more credible, allegations coming out about another White House staffer, the prospect of a sensational one-two punch to President Trump was too attractive for the Post to resist.
In the ensuing storm, I calmly issued a 13-page document with extensive text message and photo evidence documenting that in reality, I was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of my accuser, and that her false accusations were her fulfillment of a divorce proceeding threat to smear me if I didn’t give her what she wanted. Our short and tumultuous marriage had ended when I sued her for divorce and prevailed on our key points of contention.
I stated unequivocally to the media that not only am I innocent of her allegations, but I have never been violent in any way toward any woman in my entire life. I was raised by a naval officer and a church administrator. When I read the completely fabricated allegations against me, I was revolted. I bristled with disgust at the mere thought of hurting a woman in such a way.
In the following hours and days, three of Jessica’s (now-former) friends, with whom I had not spoken since our split, told reporters of her dishonesty, instability, and explosive temperament, as well as multiple occasions on which they had personally witnessed Jessica’s physical violence against me.
My previous ex told the paper that I had never been violent in the 10 years she knew me and that she didn’t believe the allegations. “Her truth” then cost my supportive ex “her job” on a Democratic campaign.
I spoke extensively on the record to every reporter who was willing to listen. I answered every question. I called in to live radio shows. I was completely transparent and dogged in my own defense.
My accuser even admitted to punching me repeatedly. When I told this to one reporter, he justified it by saying I had said some pretty nasty things during our marital fights. Is it plausible to imagine any reporter similarly dismissing a man’s admitted physical abuse of his wife by saying she asked for it because she was too mouthy?
At significant expense, I even took and passed a polygraph administered by a licensed examiner who works for the D.C. Metro Police and U.S. Capitol Police. He has 14 years of experience and more than 3,500 polygraphs under his belt. My accuser refused to do the same when confronted by a newspaper.
In an incredible act of conviction and courage, my former boss, Maine Governor Paul LePage — himself a childhood victim of domestic violence and proponent of victims’ rights — told the media he had offered me my job back. He told me baseless allegations in the media denigrate credible allegations in courts. Dozens of people who know both me and my accuser — highly credible people with lots to lose — publicly expressed their support for me.
Not a single person who knows me and Jessica both has spoken out in her support.
Still, the first thing a prospective employer or a new friend will see when they search for me on Google are these outrageous accusations.
Every profession has its ethos — its code. Doctors do no harm. Lawyers put their clients’ interests first. Police protect and serve. And journalists — once upon a time — objectively delivered the news.
Criminal allegations should never make it to the media unless they first make it to the courts. The Post should never have run with the story. But until the media raises its standards, my warning for other men is twofold: first, be very careful about who you get involved with; and second, don’t be complacent, because this could happen to you. In a trial by media, you are presumed guilty and never proven innocent.
David Sorensen is a speechwriter and has worked for the White House and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.