There is deliberate conflation of the various charges against four men, and the reason is political.
Earlier this year, former Fox News ratings champ Bill O'Reilly was ousted after sexual harassment allegations became more than the network could ignore or quietly settle. Well, now we know what Fox News actually paid to settle just one case against O'Reilly — former Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl was reportedly awarded a mind-blowing $32 million. Wrongful death settlements rarely approach that figure, much less settlements for what O'Reilly still pathetically contends are false sexual assault allegations. And it was at least the sixth such settlement for O'Reilly and Fox.
Consider the source, but The New York Times reports, “Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman’s complaints about Mr. O'Reilly. They included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter” [emphasis added].
National Review’s David French argues it’s time to banish O'Reilly from conservative media: “How many serious allegations must there be — and how much settlement money must O'Reilly pay — before conservatives apply the same standards to him that they would eagerly apply to a liberal of corresponding fame and importance? Yet prominent conservatives are guests on his new ‘No Spin News,’ and he’s consistently a guest on other conservative programs. O'Reilly should be banished from every serious and meaningful conservative outlet just as Weinstein is being stripped of his progressive public platforms. Frankly, there is no need for O'Reilly’s voice in the public square.”
The timing of the Times’ report is … well, interesting, given that Hollywood has been under the microscope over its “see something, don’t say anything” approach to alleged serial sexual miscreant Harvey Weinstein. The entertainment industrial complex is upset now, of course. But they weren’t the only ones sweeping it under the rug — the media played its role all too well. Are Leftmedia outlets attempting to make up for that silence by nailing everyone they can find now? Or are they just after conservative leaders?
A major hint comes from The Washington Post, which jumped into the fray with a new story about old sexual harassment allegations against Donald Trump. “What pisses me off is that the guy is president,” said Melinda McGillivray, who accused Trump of groping her in 2003. Jessica Leeds, another accuser, lamented, “It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and [President] Trump just continues to be the Teflon Don.”
Several other women have also accused Trump of similar behavior over the years.
We in our humble shop did everything we could to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination, in large part because he is a man of grossly inadequate character. Criminal character, if the allegations are true, although the lack of settlements contrasts with both O'Reilly and Weinstein. When the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out as last year’s October surprise, we blasted Trump for his horrible and inexcusable behavior while noting the difference between words and deeds.
At the same time, it’s incredibly suspicious that almost all of the allegations against Trump came out not just after he secured the GOP nomination, but in October, when it began to appear that he just might have a shot to beat Hillary Clinton. That’s what makes the allegations against him unlike all the other men. Two questions: Why not speak up before Trump won the nomination? And what does it say about Clinton that he still won?
In any case, the idea that it’s beyond the pale for a president to have been accused of such things is evidence of an acute case of either memory loss or hypocrisy. The Washington Post’s only mention of Bill Clinton was a dutiful one, lest the paper be accused of leaving him out, and it was merely a glancing note of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and his settlement with Paula Jones over having “exposed his genitals to her.” Never mind that Clinton was credibly accused of rape. Yet for some reason Juanita Broaddrick’s name does not appear in the Post’s story.
And that’s not to mention the checkered sexual histories of presidents John F. Kennedy, Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson and even Thomas Jefferson.
Note, however, that it serves the Leftmedia agenda to conflate harassment, assault and rape. “Harassment” in particular is a vague term that can mean anything from inappropriate jokes to unwanted physical advances. Wedging in a story about Trump’s alleged groping amidst news of O'Reilly’s harassment settlement and Weinstein’s assault and rape accusations — while almost totally ignoring Clinton’s behavior — advances the Leftmedia agenda to undermine Trump because it makes him no better than the other men. Character flaws notwithstanding, Trump’s agenda is a pretty conservative one, and thus he’s the ultimate enemy.
So the bigger question is why men in powerful positions do these sorts of things. The Post does include one quote that helps explain that: “Nobody expected him to be a good guy. People knew what kind of guy he was.” That was former Clinton White House official Elaine Kamarck on her old boss, Bill Clinton.
Indeed, the one characteristic that links these men is narcissism. In 2012, writing about Barack Obama, Mark Alexander explained: “By definition, narcissists are deeply insecure and, consequently, have an unrelenting need to be admired by others. Their low self-esteem is often imprinted from early childhood, and for many it is associated with ineffective fathering or worse, parental abandonment. Narcissists have a grandiose sense of self and of entitlement, and they have an excessive dependence upon others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation. Though they may project an image of great confidence, it is nothing more than arrogance pretending to be confidence in a cover-up of their insecurity.”
That leads to the ultimate in self-serving behavior: sexual deviancy. Gaining pleasure for oneself at someone else’s expense is a true mark of a pathological narcissist, and it’s arguably the trait that makes any or all of these allegations believable. But rather than call a spade a spade, the Leftmedia would rather use victims’ pain for political gain.