Conservative pundit Mark Steyn presciently asked one day before Bill Cosby’s arraignment on sexual-assault charges why media coverage of former President Bill Clinton is still positive.
“I mean that as a serious question,” Steyn said Tuesday while filling in for radio host Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart reported. “Why is Bill Cosby finished? He was the most beloved guy. We keep hearing Bill Clinton is the most beloved guy in America. ‘If Bill Clinton was on the ticket, he’d sweep all 50 states. It would be a landslide. Americans love Bill Clinton.’ They loved Bill Cosby – nice grandfatherly Bill Cosby. But somehow, for some reason – you don’t see ‘The Bill Cosby Show’ on TV anymore. You don’t see it on the rerun channels. He is not appearing anywhere.”
In short, Steyn wanted to know why charges leveled against Clinton by Eileen Wellstone, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones have not diminished the former president’s status with pundits and policymakers, but Cosby – a donor to the Clinton Foundation who has not been found guilty of any crimes – is a national pariah.
Cosby, 78, was arraigned Wednesday on charges he sexually assaulted a woman who came to his home in 2004, WND reported. Bail was set at $1 million after he did not enter a plea in a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, courtroom.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 14. The comedian also was required to turn over his passport.
“You’d almost think it’s some kind of like racism thing,” Steyn said of the mainstream media’s double-standard. “When a bunch of women make accusations against the black guy – boom, he’s vaporized. When a bunch of women make accusations against some white Southern redneck – we’re talking about putting him back in the White House for another eight years as first gentleman.”
Styen’s underlying point was highlighted Friday when CNN Anchor Alisyn Camerota appeared shocked to learn of the number of women who have made claims against Clinton.
“There are about 14 women who could be said to have made claims at one time or another,” CNN political commentator Errol Louis told Camerota, the Daily Beast reported.
“Is that right? Fourteen?” the anchor replied.
“If you go to the sort of right-wing websites and the talk radio crowd, there are about 14 names out there,” Lewis said.
In Clinton’s case, the direct testimony about the attack came from no one less than the victim:
“All of a sudden he turned me around and started kissing me. That was a real shock,” Broaddrick said in a 1999 interview on NBC’s “Dateline.” “I first pushed him away. Told him no. Please don’t do this.”
“He then said something like, ‘Did you not know why I was coming up here?'” she said. “Then he tries to kiss me again … biting on my lip.”
Clinton then forced her down on the bed, she said.
“This was very frightening. I tried to get away from him, and I told him no,” she said. “He was just a vicious, awful person.”
Cosby is charged with forcing himself upon former Temple University employee Andrea Constand with pills and alcohol. The criminal case is the first brought against Cosby since a flood of accusers stepped forward over the summer.
She was “frozen, paralyzed, unable to move,” Montgomery County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele told reporters Wednesday.
A 2006 deposition from a civil case that was unsealed in July revealed Cosby had affairs with at least five women and gave prescription sedatives to others. Montgomery County prosecutors reviewed that new evidence before reopening Constand’s case.
“The evidence shows Mr. Cosby established a relationship with the victim after meeting her through her work associated with Temple University’s women’s basketball program,” Steele told reporters, according to CNN.
Charges against Cosby eerily echo Broaddrick’s allegations against Clinton. Broaddrick, then a 35-year-old nurse with the last name Hickey, met Clinton in 1978 during one of his campaign stops on his way to becoming the governor of Arkansas. She and a friend called Clinton while in Little Rock to attend an American College of Nursing Home Administrators event, at which point the future president allegedly asked her to meet in a hotel room.
Candice Jackson, author of “Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine,” recounted Broaddrick’s story for WND in May 2005.
She felt “a little bit uneasy” meeting him in her hotel room, but felt a “real friendship toward this man” and didn’t feel any “danger” in him coming to her room. When Clinton arrived she had coffee ready on a little table under a window overlooking a river. Then “he came around me and sort of put his arm over my shoulder to point to this little building and he said he was real interested if he became governor to restore that little building and then all of a sudden, he turned me around and started kissing me. And that was a real shock.” Broaddrick pushed him away and said, “No, please don’t do that” and told Clinton she was married. But he tried to kiss her again. This time he bit her upper lip. She tried to pull away from him but he forced her onto the bed. “And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him ‘No,’ that I didn’t want this to happen, but he wouldn’t listen to me.” But he “was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious awful person.” At some point she stopped resisting. She explained, “It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘Please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip.”
Clinton didn’t linger long afterward. “When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says, ‘You better get some ice on that.’ And he turned and went out the door.” The whole encounter lasted less than 30 minutes, but it changed Juanita Broaddrick’s life forever.
Broaddrick’s comments came during an interview with NBC News’ Lisa Myers in 1999. The network did an extensive background check on her prior to airing its investigative report.
“The good news is you’re credible. The bad news is that you’re very credible,” Myers told Clinton’s accuser prior to the broadcast, Jackson said.
Clinton denied Broaddrick’s allegations and pointed to an affidavit she signed in November 1997 saying she never experienced unwanted sexual advances.
“I didn’t want to be forced to testify about one of the most horrific events in my life. I didn’t want to go through it again,” Broaddrick told Meyers on getting tangled in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton.
Broaddrick is likely to face the same questions one more time as Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton attempts win her party’s presidential nomination. Republican Donald Trump, addressing attacks by Clinton’s campaign surrogates, made waves on Tuesday with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie when she referred to the former president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky as “alleged.”
“You mention Monica Lewinsky,” Guthrie asked. “Are you saying an alleged extra-marital affair, that of course he has now admitted, is that fair game?”
“Is it alleged? I don’t think that’s alleged,” Trump responded.
“No, he’s admitted it, he’s admitted it,” said Guthrie.
“If he’s admitted it, you don’t have to use the word alleged,” said Trump.
“Right, exactly,” the NBC host conceded.
The Republican front-runner said any attempts by the Clinton campaign to portray him as a sexist would be countered with discussion of her husband’s highly controversial treatment of women.
“You look at, whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them – that certainly will be fair game. Certainly, if they play the woman’s card with respect to me, that will be fair game,” Trump said.
Others who have made allegations against Bill Clinton:
- Eileen Wellstone’s claim that Clinton raped her in 1969. The two allegedly met at an Oxford pub.
- Gennifer Flowers’ claim that she was Clinton’s mistress for 12 years.
- Kathleen Willey, a former White House aide, claimed Clinton sexually assaulted her Nov. 29, 1993.
- Paula Jones sued Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994. The lawsuit was dropped in 1998 after an $850,000 out-of-court settlement was reached.