Donald Trump being accused of sexual assault would seem to be a pretty easy call for America’s major news outlets, but apparently not. Media Matters writes, “several major newspapers didn’t find the story important enough to place on their front pages.”
“This should be an incredibly serious story, deserving of at least the wall-to-wall coverage and outrage that greeted Bill Clinton for his icky-but-consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky. It certainly deserves the same overwhelming amount of coverage that was given to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, as Weinstein is a fading movie mogul and Trump is currently the most powerful man in the world.”
And then there’s Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. The NY tabloid had a story posted online about E. Jean Carroll’s account, then it vanished. CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Marianne Garvey write that:
The New York Post’s former top editor, a supporter of President Trump and an old lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch who returned to the conservative tabloid as an adviser in early 2019, ordered the removal of a story about writer Jean Carroll’s sexual assault allegations against President Trump, two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business.
A wire story by the Associated Press which had been published on the Post’s website was also removed.
And today the New York Times is also reacting to its own coverage of the story. The paper was criticized for burying the story in the book review section. Now, reporters for the paper’s Reader Center says they “took the concerns to The Times’s top editors and sat down with Dean Baquet, the executive editor:”
“He said the critics were right that The Times had underplayed the article, though he said it had not been because of deference to the president.”
The report goes on to say:
“In retrospect, Mr. Baquet said, a key consideration was that this was not a case where we were surfacing our own investigation — the allegations were already being discussed by the public.
“The fact that a well-known person was making a very public allegation against a sitting president “should’ve compelled us to play it bigger.”
The Times wasn’t the only paper that relegated the story to a blip. The Week’s Ryan Cooper writes:
“While Trump has now been accused of sexual abuse by at least 22 women, this is only the second actual rape allegation. But in the big-time press, Carroll’s story got about as much coverage as the average Trump tweet. It’s an astounding dereliction of duty and a demoralizing indicator of how the media still has no idea how to cover an unprecedentedly amoral president.”
A couple of the cable networks have given the story solid coverage, both MSNBC and CNN have interviewed Carroll. And it wasn’t just a one-day story for them. Four days after it broke, CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a lengthy interview with the writer (watch above).
— Bloomberg Opinion (@bopinion) June 24, 2019