In an impressive feat of ideological dexterity, New York Times national politics reporter Jennifer Medina used the damning report outlining sexual misconduct committed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give the Democratic Party unearned credit for its high standards on combating sexual charges in their ranks in her Tuesday article “Cuomo, Trump and Other Politicians Accused of Mistreating Women.”
It’s a common argument from the liberal Times and the rest of the press, almost a lament that Democrats are so much tougher on themselves on policing their sexual offenders than are Republicans. But is it true?
Medina set the tone with her defense of misbehaving Democrats (click “expand”):
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York is the latest in a long series of political figures who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault. Nearly all have faced calls for their resignation, and some have heeded them while others have steadfastly refused to step down.
What’s the difference between those who stay in power and those who don’t? Party affiliation, for one thing: In recent years, Democratic leaders have generally abandoned those in the party who have been accused of assault or harassment, usually (but not always) leading them to step down and be replaced by another Democrat. Republicans, who have not always faced the same pressure from party leaders, have more typically dug in their heels and stayed put.
That makes Mr. Cuomo’s case all the more unusual: He has made clear he has no plans to willingly leave office. But not since President Bill Clinton has there been such an expansive -- and public -- investigation of a high-profile politician into allegations of sexual misconduct.
Of course, Bill Clinton didn’t leave office, either. There was also no mention of notorious Democratic Senators Ted Kennedy (MA) or Chris Dodd (CT), neither of whom resigned in disgrace for their activities.
It wasn’t a sex scandal, but Virginia’s “blackface” Democratic Governor Ralph Northam survived and remains in office.
So the idea that Democrats impose some kind of rigid “purity test,” as the paper alleged after the Cuomo sex scandals first came to light, is laughable.
Medina even used the piece to get in one more unsubstantiated smear against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
She made a short list of accused politicians, including former president Donald Trump. Former Democratic Sen. Al Franken (MN) also made the short list. Failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore (AL) was included, as was a New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), accused of physical assault.
But why was Brett Kavanaugh on the list? An exhaustive investigation by a hostile media and the FBI turned up no evidence against him. Even worse is Medina’s assertion that the now-Supreme Court justice was accused by three women (click “expand”):
Soon after Mr. Trump nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, three women accused him of sexual assault or misconduct.
One of the women, Christine Blasey Ford, said that Mr. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was about 15 at a party in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s. During hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Blasey Ford said she had feared Mr. Kavanaugh would rape and accidentally kill her during the alleged assault.
Mr. Kavanaugh “unequivocally and categorically” denied the allegation and was confirmed to the court by one of the slimmest margins in American history.
The allegations by Ford were vague enough, but of the other two women accusers -- presumably Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick -- the former denied any memory of it, and the latter’s accusations were absolutely crazed, as even the Times admitted later.
Deborah Ramirez’s uncorroborated sexual allegation against Kavanaugh (from a dormitory party at Yale) were part of the frenzy of the Kavanaugh hearings. Yet the Times, after first omitting it, had to admit Ramirez “declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.”
Swetnick, a client of disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, claimed that as a college student she attended high school parties where young women were gang raped while Kavanaugh supervised. No one corroborated her loathsome tales. So why is the Times still treating her like a credible accuser?