Democrats and media figures continue to struggle with the truth of the abuses of former President Bill Clinton who has been accused by multiple women of everything from sexual harassment to rape. Dozens of reporters have interviewed Clinton without seriousness questioning him on these past allegations until recently. Even after a year of “MeToo” stories, only this month did an interviewer risk the ire of Clinton supporters to press the former president. Clinton became immediately condescending and dismissive. The continued muted response to Clinton’s past is evident after a rather shocking claim in a new interview with PBS NewsHour where Clinton explained that “what you can do to someone against their will” has simply changed.
In the interview posted by RealClearPolitics
., Clinton says:
“I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work. You don’t have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their other — just walking around. That, I think, is good.”
Clinton insisted that he was vindicated and continues to parse words to excuse his inexcusable conduct:
While some are praising this interview, how about the hundreds of interviews conducted over the last 20 years that entirely ignored Clinton’s past in hitting on subordinates and being accused of physical assaults against women? Now one interviewer finally pushed Clinton (as opposed to asking a feeble questions and then moving on in the interview). It is being treated as long overdue by the very people who did nothing for decades of favorable coverage.
His co-author James Patterson has also testily dismissed all of the allegations by all of the women as old news and chastised the reporter by saying “stop already.” So Patterson believes that it is sufficient that a matter was “20 years ago”? If that were the standard for Harvey Weinstein, he would still be making movies rather than facing a rape charge.
Nevertheless, the long and concerted effort to protect the Clintons has been evident for years. Clinton is only now being questioned when there is no alternative due to the coverage. Notably, the exchange of the reporters in the clip above gave credit to Clinton for “acknowledging that the standards had changed.” The standards haven’t changed. It was an outrage then as it is now. Clinton was simply not held to the same standard by Democratic supporters and media. Indeed, none of this has stopped his supporters from flocking to his events and buying his new book. In that sense, not much has changed.