Topic: Media Research Center
As a kneejerk defender of all things Trump, the Media Research Center knew what it had to do when writer E. Jean Carroll came forward in late June to accuse President Trump of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room 24 years ago: destroy her and paint her as crazy and non-credible. Let's take a look at how.
Jorge Plaza started the MRC attack by questioning her motives for going public when she did: "The timing of this allegation is suspect. Why didn’t she come forward with her story after the release of the infamous Hollywood Access [sic] tape? At that point, accusations were coming out left and right. ... Instead, Carroll waited until she had published her book -- almost 3 years after the Hollywood Access [sic] tape -- to make her claim." Plaza then criticized celebrities who bashed Trump over the allegation, huffing that they're driven by "an all-consuming rage that inhibited their rational ability to smell a fishy story. Carroll's story fit into their preconceived notion of Trump as an evil rapist, so her story must be true without any investigation."
This was followed by Emma Fantuzzo bashing MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for reporting onit: "O’Donnell and the liberal media quickly ate up the allegations without any skepticism, with O’Donnell spending over half of his hour-long program on the story." After O'Donnell pointed out that Trump lied when he claimed that he never met Carroll as shown by a photo of the two of them,Fantuzzo sneered: "One photograph from the early 90’s in no way confirms that Carroll was later raped."
Joseph Chalfant then played the victim card after a CNN interview with Carroll: "The interview was reminiscent of the firestorm Justice Brett Kavanaugh received when the media launched a barrage of unsubstantiated claims against him in his youth, or how the press treated Justice Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill hearings. The left has a long history of using sexual assault claims as a club to beat conservatives with." He added: "Should sexual assaulters be robustly condemned? Of course, but they need to be proven guilty in a court of law before angry mobs form to declare them guilty in the court of public opinion."
We should remind Chalfant that his employer was a leader of the angry right-wing mob that portrayed President Clinton as a serial sexual assaulter despite the lack of a guilty verdict against him in a court of law.
Kristine Marsh played up Carroll's supposed "very odd behavior" in a CNN interview, in the form of Carroll saying that there are people who think rape is sexy, but was more mad that the media accurately reported that Trump insisted that Carroll is "not my type" and "pointing out past comments Trump had made about an accuser’s appearance." This was followed by Scott Whitlock obsessing over the "weird turns" in the Carroll interview with CNN.
Gregory Price also used the CNN interview against Carroll, whining:
If you are a woman, and accuse any notable Republican of sexual assault, you will immediately become the darling of the liberal media for at least a day no matter how little evidence there may be to back up the allegations. Over the last few days, the press have paraded around gossip writer E. Jean Carroll, who, in her new book, accused President Trump of raping her in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the 1990s.
>All accusations of sexual assault should be treated and investigated with the utmost seriousness. For MSNBC's Morning Joe, however, serious #MeToo journalism was once again thrown out the window.
Rape is a horrific crime, allegations of which should be taken very seriously. E. Jean Carroll, however, has followed up her rape allegation by making several bizarre statements, none of which were mentioned on Morning Joe.
After host Joe Scarborough referenced Juanita Broaddrick, who level a rape accusation against President Clinton in the late 1990s, Price groused that "the media trashed Juanita Broaddrick and the rest of Bill Clinton’s accusers back in the ‘90s." Price appears not be sufficiently self-aware that he's doing the exact same thing to Carroll.
Chalfant joined in wielding the interview as a cudgel, complaining that a different CNN show "refrained from airing the portions that may not portray the President’s accuser in the most appealing light. ... Rather than air a clip that may cast doubt on Carroll’s credibility, they swept it under the rug." He concluded by huffing: "If Trump committed an act of sexual assault he should be wholeheartedly condemned, but until he’s proven guilty it’s important for the media to depict the situation objectively in fairness to both the President and to Carroll." Again, not a standard the MRC ever applied to allegations against Clinton.
Clay Waters also played the Carroll attack/Clinton equivocation card, responding to the New York Times' claim that it was overly cautious in reporting Carroll's allegations by claiming that "the paper risks being caught in a whipsaw, if Carroll’s credibility as an accuser suffers, or she keeps making bizarre comments like the one she made Monday night to CNN host Andersen Cooper, which only right-leaning outlets have noticed" and that "The Times had a far different reaction to an old rape accusations against a president back in 1999, after Juanita Broaddrick came forward with her story of being raped by Bill Clinton."
Curtis Houck served up his own version of that attack, grousing that MSNBC host "and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer Nicolle Wallace falsely claimed that there’s never been a presidential 'candidate to be credibly accused of sexual assault as violent as the rape described by E. Jean' before Donald Trump," citing "the history regarding any and all of Bill Clinton's accusers (most notably Juanita Broadrick) as well as Ted Kennedy’s sordid history with women." He also gleefully highlighted "the now scatterbrained story of E. Jean Carroll" and "her bizarre claims."
Ryan Foley took issue with late-night host Samantha Bee claiming that NBC's Chuck Todd offered Trump a "softball" interview because he didn't ask the president about the Carroll allegations, huffing that "Apparently, Bee didn’t watch the interview, or she would have known that the interview was loaded with tough questions" (because the MRC had complained about Todd trying to "confront the president from the left") and dismissing her complains as a "typical tirade."
Carroll came for further attack in another post by Plaza after she stated in an interview about her book that "the world is a very, very merry place without men" and that men are so terrible that they should be sent to a "secret place" for "special retraining" while women are left to rule the world.Plaza cheered that "the media has distanced itself from the alleged victim, opting to focus simply on the allegation’s “impact.” adding: "The more distance between Carroll and her allegation, the better. The media loves the rape accusation against Trump. Carroll’s bizarre comments and flagrant man-hate? Not so much."