NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer has been living on the rhetorical edge. Last week, Blumer was trying to justify the racism of Trump supporters by arguing that it's really not racist to believe that blacks are less intelligent and more rude because liberals made them that way.
Now, in a Sept. 29 post, Blumer is straining logic to its limits by insisting that Bill Clinton's denial that he raped Juanita Braoddrick isn't real because the denial came from spokesmen and not directly from Clinton's mouth.
No, really. Blumer is actually arguing this:
In a narrow sense, the item discussed here really shouldn't be newsworthy, because it's based on history which has for all practical purposes long been settled. But now that it's being treated as news, let's look into the can of worms at least two media outlets have chosen to open, perhaps without fully grasping the consequences of their doing so.
Leada Gore, an AL.com reporter who says she's "been covering Alabama news for more than 20 years," reported Tuesday morning that Ed Henry, an Alabama lawmaker who is also the state's Donald Trump for President co-chair, tweeted a sharp response to accusations of sexism directed at Trump by Hillary Clinton in Monday night's debate, specifically: "It is ironic that Lying Hillary blast (sic) Trump as a sexist when she is married to Bill, who is likely a rapist." We're supposed to believe that this tweet is controversial or over the top. It is, of course, no such thing.
Leada, you may not like it, and the topic may be unpleasant, but Henry's tweet really isn't beyond the pale. Nevertheless, the Associated Press has posted an abbreviated story based on Gore's work at its main national site. Both reports critically err in claiming that "Bill Clinton has adamantly denied" the related rape charge.
Why couldn't the president -- on national television -- offer an "adamant denial" of his own? Why answer in such an indirect and lawyerly way? Kendall was (and still is) Bill Clinton's lawyer. That denial reads: "Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false. Beyond that, we're not going to comment."
As Broaddrick's son Kevin Hickey stated in an April 12, 1999 story at the New York Observer, "He didn’t even say, ‘The President told me this. How do we know it’s not David Kendall’s opinion of what happened?” The key is: We don't — and if you ask Mr. Kendall anything about his statement, he'll either say nothing if not under oath or cite attorney-client privilege if he is. Mr. Kendall's "denial" also could be read as a tacit admission that the encounter on the date Broaddrick contends that the rape occurred did indeed occur, and that if Mr. Clinton were ever to speak on the matter, he would likely attempt to defend that encounter as consensual.
But wait a minute. I just indicated that Bill Clinton has never spoken on the matter, while both the AL.com and AP items (each saved in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) have implied that he "adamantly denied" the charges personally[.]
So let's be clear here. In the circumstances, nothing short of a direct denial spoken by Bill Clinton himself constitutes a genuine denial. Is there any evidence that Bill Clinton himself has denied Juanita Broaddrick's rape allegation in his own voice since she made it over 17 years ago?
What needs to be removed from both the AL.com and AP reports is their statement that Bill Clinton has "adamantly denied" the charges. Unless they can drum up some evidence to support that claim which has surfaced in the past eight months, there is no record that Bill Clinton himself has ever done that himself.
Yep, that's Blumer's argument -- Clinton's denial is not "a genuine denial" unless Clinton himself is on record saying it. Sad, yet not unexpected from a guy who insists racism isn't really racism.