Republicans are known to be fond of making brash and false accusations about Democrats. In fact, it’s an obsession. They generally deploy this tactic when they are desperate to create a distraction from something horrible they did or said. And lucky for them, they have Fox News to broadcast their diversions and lies to millions of their glassy-eyed disciples.
A perfect example of this took place Saturday morning on Fox and Friends. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and devoted bootlicker, Corey Lewandowski to talk about a variety of current events (video below). Among them were the allegations against Trump for sexual harassment and abuse. The segment featured a graphic that said “HRC Falsely Claims Trump is “Sexual Assaulter.” But the claim is factual based on Trump’s own words. They played video of Hillary Clinton’s BBC interview pointing out the similarities of Trump’s behavior to that of Harvey Weinstein. She correctly noted that:
“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere. Whether it’s in entertainment, politics… After all we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.”
Indeed. No one should be excused from committing these atrocious acts, Democrat or Republican. But that’s not how Fox News sees it. Not only did Trump admit to his abuse, at least a dozen women have come forward with credible allegations. But Clinton’s remarks set Lewandowski off on a tangent that hardly exonerates Trump:
“There was a sexual assaulter in the White House and he was called Bill Clinton. He had to pay a $750,000 fine for abuses that he perpetrated while he was President of the United States. He was disbarred. He lost his law license. He lied under oath and he was impeached.”
First of all, let’s address the cluster of outright lies in Lewandowski’s comment. Nearly everything he said was demonstrably false. Politico covered these claims last year and debunked all of them:
“[Paula] Jones sued Clinton for allegedly exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991. The Jones suit, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, was ultimately dismissed by a judge on the grounds Jones could not show damages. While it was on appeal, Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to settle the suit without admitting liability.” […]
“An earlier version of this piece falsely stated that Bill Clinton was disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in Arkansas and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, Clinton’s law license was suspended in Arkansas and he resigned from the Supreme Court bar; he was not disbarred.”
So the incident Lewandowski referred to did not happen while Clinton was president. The payment was a settlement, not a fine. There was no judicial finding against him. He was never disbarred. The House of Representatives did impeach Clinton, but that’s a political action, not a legal one. And the Senate declined to convict or remove him from office.
Lewandowski unleashed a tortured stream of lies to divert attention away from Trump’s gross and illegal behavior. But his argument wasn’t that Trump was innocent. Only that Clinton was guilty. What’s more, he seemed to agree with the punishment he wrongly asserted was carried out against Clinton. Therefore, he is essentially advocating that punishment for anyone guilty of these crimes. Presumably that includes his buddy in the White House. In other words, he’s in favor of fining and impeaching Trump. A plurality of Americans agree.
Of course, to expect an ultra-partisan hack like Lewandowski to grasp the logical extensions of his own argument may be too much to ask. And even if he did, he would likely struggle to find an exception for his right-wing confederates. Democrats weren’t shy about denouncing the behavior of Clinton or Weinstein. It’s too bad that Republicans can’t do the same about Trump. After all, as Fox’s Abby Huntsman said at the end of this segment: “It’s so important to point out the hypocrisy.” Of course, she was referring only to Democrats.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
[The Clinton discussion begins at about 3:50]
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 14, 2017