Gay Man Charges Jesse Jackson With Harassment and Discrimination: Most Media Mum
On April 15, The Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site, "Jesse Jackson denies gay worker’s harassment, discrimination claims." The article began:
A spokesman for the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday denied a claim from a man who says he was fired from the civil rights leader’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition because he is gay.
Tommy R. Bennett filed a complaint with the city of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations last year, alleging Jackson fired him unjustly and that the civil rights leader forced him to perform “uncomfortable” tasks, including escorting various women to hotel rooms to meet Jackson for sex.
The piece ended noting that a gay publication, The Windy City Times, had reported Bennett's allegations earlier in the week. The Windy City Times story included more salacious details, such as the complainant's charge that Jackson directed him to apply cream to a rash between Jackson's legs; the minister told Bennett about one of his high school instructors, a gay man, who served as Jackson's teacher with benefits; and Bennett's allegation that Jackson wanted to have sex with the Rainbow Coalition employee.
The Chicago Tribune on its Web site also covered Bennett's complaint on April 15, with fewer particulars than the Sun-Times had included. Don Imus and Lou Dobbs mentioned the allegations on each of their Fox Business programs. By and large, however, this story has been ignored by the mainstream media. A review of the NewsBank database, covering media outlets nationwide, indicates fewer than a dozen reports on the Jackson story.
Why the silence? Last September, megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long was accused of sexual improprities. Among many others, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, CBS Evening News, and MSNBC covered the story. It even found its way into a Jay Leno monologue.
Yet allegations against Jesse Jackson, longtime liberal activist, former Democratic presidential candidate and spiritual advisor to President Clinton, aren't newsworthy. As someone once pointed out, if not for their double standard, liberals would have no standards at all.