Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Oprah’s hashtag moment at the Golden Globes

Monday, January 15th, 2018

First published January 8, 2018 in the Toronto Sun

In case you ever questioned the mainstream media’s liberal bias (and why Trump justifiably loathes them), look at NBC’s tweet from the Golden Globes, about Oprah Winfrey.

“Nothing but respect for OUR future president. #GoldenGlobes”

The tweet came from the network’s official Twitter account. Clearly, NBC, which theoretically operates an objective news division, wasn’t even trying to hide its bias in preferring that a liberal be elected president next time around.

A screengrab of the since-deleted NBC Oprah tweet during the Golden Globes.

In an effort to save any shred of credibility it has left, NBC issued a lame tweet on Monday, saying their support of Oprah running for president was — uhh — oh: A mistake!

“Yesterday a tweet about the Golden Globes and Oprah Winfrey was sent by a third party agency for NBC Entertainment in real time during the broadcast. It is in reference to a joke made during the monologue and not meant to be a political statement. We have since removed the tweet.”

Of course, this isn’t new news. During the 2016 election, NBC joined legions of other liberal news organizations in pro-Hillary Clinton election coverage. This loose, unprofessional tweet from NBC revealed the network’s true political colours.

Whether you voted for President Donald Trump, and whether you approve of him or not, NBC’s actions give credence to Trump’s frequent rants that the mainstream media dislikes him, and refuses to report accurately on his presidency.

But let’s get back to that Oprah moment at the Golden Globes, the one that got NBC all giddy about a Winfrey presidential campaign. In receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award, Winfrey seized upon the #MeToo movement raging in Hollywood. She talked about Recy Taylor, a black woman who was gang-raped in 1944 by six white men, and told people what happened to her at the time — rather than remain silent.

According to the New York Times, two all-white grand juries refused to indict the men, so Taylor’s case never went to trial. Alabama lawmakers apologized in 2011. Taylor died last month at age 97.

“A new day is on the horizon …  the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again.”

A righteous and determined Winfrey seemed to want to equate Taylor’s harrowing but empowering story to the new rallying cry for Hollywood women to keep up their hashtag-protest against the climate that has permitted predatory sexual behaviour.

Watching the parade of actresses walk the red carpet in glistening black gowns wasn’t a message of protest at all. Rather, it was a glaring reminder that these women made their fortune and fame off remaining silent about Harvey Weinstein’s crude behaviour.

Sorry, I like you, Oprah, but there’s no comparison between Taylor, a black woman who had no rights and spoke out when it mattered — to the elite, privileged Hollywood actresses who spoke out against abuse when it was convenient (not to mention trendy).

Moore’s Loss Bad News for Trump and the GOP

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

First published December 16, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Though he tried mightily, President Donald J. Trump couldn’t convince Republicans in Alabama to vote predator-over-principles, and elect a man to the Senate accused of pedophilia. In a significant party-affiliation upset, GOP candidate Roy Moore lost the seat held by Republicans since 1992 — to Democrat candidate Doug Jones.

The race, which was supposed to be an easy win for Republicans, jettisoned into national headlines when the Washington Post reported a month ago that six women accused Moore of sexual misconduct. One woman alleged she was 14 when Moore, then 32, touched her sexually. Four other women said they were teenagers at the time that Moore tried to kiss and/or date them.

The melodrama enveloping Moore’s campaign continued into the final hours of the election. His wife Kayla Moore enthusiastically bellowed this insult to a crowd of supporters:

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here,” Kayla grinned, waving to the television cameras.

One of our attorneys is a Jew,” she stated.

Kayla Moore, wife of former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, speaks at a press conference, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

And this is the man who Trump wanted to become Senator. Before the election, Trump tweeted his unwavering support for Moore.

“A big contingent of very enthusiastic Roy Moore fans at the rally last night. We can’t have a Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Democrat, Jones, in that important Alabama Senate seat. Need your vote to Make America Great Again! Jones will always vote against what we must do for our Country.”

After Moore’s embarrassing loss, the president tried to save face (and of course), used Twitter to boast that he never supported Moore in the first place.

“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

The reality is Trump supported two losers: first Strange then Moore.

Does Trump understand that endorsing candidates who support the Confederacy, like Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie — and who have been accused of sexually abusing girls, as in Moore’s case, is a recipe for DEFEAT? And that Republicans who want to win elections need to dump former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon (who campaigned with Moore)? About Bannon, GOP Congressman Peter King told CNN:

“This guy does not belong on the national stage. He looks like some dishevelled drunk that wandered onto the political stage. He does not represent anything that I stand for.”

Jones won 30% of Alabama’s white vote, twice what President Obama received in 2012. He also won 51% of the white women compared to 41% for Moore. Being accused of sexually assaulting women has a way of tanking a candidate’s female support.

Jones’ last-minute pandering to black voters also paid off with 96% supporting Jones. This exceeded the 95% of blacks who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012. Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez thanked black women for helping the party win races in Alabama and Virginia.

Democratic U.S. Senator elect Doug Jones greets supporters during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period.”

Yet, Democrats have taken the black vote for granted for decades, as I wrote exhaustively about in my book Con Job: How Democrats Gave Us Crime, Sanctuary Cities, Abortion Profiteering, and Racial Division. What has the Democrat party done for blacks lately, or over the past 50 years? And of course the Republican Party ignores the black vote.

Making a bad week even worse for the GOP, rumours circled in Washington that House Speaker Paul Ryan is considering resigning, though Ryan denied the rumours. If Ryan resigns, there will likely be an ugly battle among House conservatives and moderate Republicans over who should be Speaker. All spells more bad PR for Republicans.

In this Dec. 14, 2017, photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. Republicans, led by Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, see the tax bill as the answer to their political prayers. It will show Americans they can govern, deliver tax cuts and please Trump. And yet, there are some who suggest that maybe it’s not the all-end and be-all.

Back to Moore…his loss portends bad news for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. Democrat voters are energized, and moderate Republicans can’t be counted on to vote for radical Trump disciples.

When Jones is sworn in, the GOP will hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate 51 to 49. The Senate could very well flip to Democrats’ control in 2018. If Trump likes this trajectory, he should keep backing losers, and banging out insulting.

Senator Al Franken resigns and suggests Trump should too

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

 First published December 9, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Instead of taking responsibility for treating women like pieces of produce, Sen. Al Franken blamed his resignation from the United States Senate on President Trump, GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, and the Republican Party.

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving — while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault, sits in the Oval Office; and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls, campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said in a speech from the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to Salt Lake City, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Mr. Franken should know that if Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is elected, the Senate Ethics committee can conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by several women, and vote to expel him from the Senate.

Instead of pointing the finger at Trump, who’s had no sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him, Franken should ask how former President Bill Clinton got elected and remained in the Oval Office after having numerous extramarital affairs and engaging in a lurid affair with White House intern Monica Lewinksy.

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting then President Bill Clinton at a White House Christmas party on Dec. 16, 1996, submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judiciary committee Sept. 21, 1998.

In the most recent allegation against Franken, levelled by an unnamed — but vetted — accuser who spoke to Politico.com, after Franken unsuccessfully tried to force a kiss, following a taping of his radio show, he reportedly told her it was his “right as an entertainer.”

This statement, not unlike the observation made by then-entertainer Donald Trump, when he told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush that women will let you grab them by the (bleep), when you’re a star.

Why did Franken resign if he was “confident that the Ethics committee would agree” that he did nothing wrong? Could it be Franken resigned because he got exposed, like fellow Democrat legislator representative John Conyers?

After serving 52 years in Congress (a poster boy for term limits), Conyers literally was caught with his pants down. Accusers claim Conyers regularly walked around his House office in his underwear. It was also revealed that Conyers used tax money to settle a sexual harassment claim from a staffer.

At least eight women levelled allegations against Franken and there’s a demeaning 2006 photo of Franken appearing to grope the breasts of KABC radio host Leeann Tweeden. Another woman alleges Franken tried to give her “a wet, open-mouthed kiss” after a 2006 taping of his radio show.

While Franken was campaigning for the US Senate from 2007-2008, two women claimed he grabbed their buttocks; and one alleges that Franken asked her to join him in a bathroom, presumably for more wanton groping. Finally, Lindsay Menz accused Senator Franken of grabbing her buttocks as she they both posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently,” Franken protested.

Perhaps Franken mistook these women’s buttocks for cantaloupes.

Now that he will have plenty of time to reflect on his bad behaviour, perhaps he should sit down in front of the mirror, and conjure Saturday Night Live alter ego Stuart Smalley. But beware Al, he might not give you that daily affirmation you seek.

“Enough is enough,” declared New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who may be angling for a 2020 presidential run.

After first dragging their feet in demanding that Conyers and Franken resign, now Democrats in Congress are backing a zero tolerance for sexual harassment from their colleagues. I think Democrats’ full-throated reaction is more about political expediency — to save the face of the party. There’s oozing irony in the fact that the Democrats nominated Hillary, a woman who remained married to a notorious predator, while campaigning as a champion of women’s rights. The hypocrisy in that speaks for itself.

Sexual misconduct allegations knock powerful media men to the ground

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

First published November 30, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Powerful media men are falling from their perches: First Roger Ailes, then Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, and now “beloved icon” (as gushed his female co-host) Matt Lauer.

The NBC Today Show co-host is the latest cocksure anchor to get fired for alleged “inappropriate sexual behaviour,” or — if you will, treating women like stuffed animals in a penny arcade.

After receiving “a detailed complaint from a colleague,” NBC News leaped-frogged over suspension and swiftly terminated their “beloved” Lauer.

In what’s become standard –nonetheless a bit melodramatic — protocol, the network notified employees of Lauer’s demise in an e-mail moments before Today went to air on Wednesday at 7 a.m.

“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this and I can tell you right now that we do not know more than what I have shared with you,” said Today co-host Savannah Guthrie, her voice cracking.

“But we will be covering this story, as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. And we promise that we will share that with you.”

On the high-heels of CBS Morning Show hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King — who reported on the alleged bad behaviour of their colleague Charlie Rose — Guthrie and Today co-host Hoda Kotbe promised to cover the Lauer story as reporters … regardless of where the cringeworthy allegations lead them.

“For the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said, choking back tears.

(Really, really ladies, you mean to tell that neither Guthrie, nor O’Donnell who used to work at NBC, knew about Lauer’s alleged depravity during their time working at NBC.)

In a statement to employees, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack explained:

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer … As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behaviour in the over 20 years he has been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Sources told The New York Post’s Page Six that Lauer allegedly sexually assaulted a female NBC staffer during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

But it’s hard to fathom that NBC’s top brass (boys) didn’t know about Lauer’s alleged scoundrel-like behaviour over the course of his 20-year employment.  In 2016, Lauer signed a new $20 million two-year contract with the network.

News networks have become the bad news they used to report on. After years of looking the other way, it’s heartening to see the networks finally — er — man up and clean house.  Yet, top news organizations need to do much more to change the workplace culture that has fostered an environment for men like Lauer and Rose to thrive and rise to the top.

Liberal media joining (alleged) gropers’ club

Monday, November 27th, 2017

First published November 21, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more shocking or shameful, more women have come forward to allege that yet another powerful player groped them. This latest accused sexual predator is 45-year veteran journalist and broadcaster Charlie Rose.

In grotesque detail, the Washington Post reported that eight women told the paper “Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”

Yuck!

But no one seems to be more stunned by the revelations than Rose’s liberal media colleagues.

Appearing alongside her ‘CBS This Morning’ co-host Norah O’Donnell, a shell-shocked Gayle King commented on Rose’s alleged behaviour.

“I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night, both my son and my daughter called me. Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I am not OK after reading that article in the Post,” King said Tuesday. “It was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read.”

Before one of their own was accused of behaving badly, the mainstream media — including Rose himself — gloated with glee and wagged their finger at Fox News channel’s culture of harassment. But, as it turns out, conservative media titans Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly weren’t the only foxes prowling around the proverbial hen house.

The Post article reads like something out of a raunchy erotica novel, or Fifty Shades of Grey. From the late 1990s to 2011, the women describe Rose engaging in behaviour you might expect from an adolescent boy — or at a frat party.

In an utterly meaningless boilerplate apology that we’ve seen from the litany of accused rogue men — like Sen. Al Franken — Rose said that he’s been an advocate for women.

“I am greatly embarrassed … I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken,” Rose said in a written statement.

Oh.

I don’t know how groping someone’s buttocks at a staff party, or calling a 21-year-old late at night to tell her you’d like to see her swimming naked in your pool is “shared feelings.”

Rose appears “embarrassed” because he finally got caught after decades.

While I’m not defending Rose’s behaviour or that of the female executive producer of his PBS show, who reportedly ignored the allegations from female employees, I will suggest that some of his accusers need to take responsibility for their own actions. Many of the women, who were between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of the alleged incidents, agreed to do work at (and stay overnight in) his home, or join him for dinner in hopes of becoming employed by his production company or secure future employment with him.

When a boss invites you to work with him at his home, you know that’s not professional. Men like Charlie Rose must be stopped, and fired, for their behaviour — but women, too, must say no to these blatant sexual overtures masquerading as work-related.

Then Politico reporter Glenn Thrush talks with Julie Mason while recording an episode of The Press Pool at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Rose isn’t alone in the liberal media’s own house of cards. Glenn Thrush, the New York Times White House reporter and President Donald Trump basher, has also been accused of lewd behaviour and placed on suspension by the paper. (You might also remember him as the guy who sent his columns for Politico to the Clinton campaign for approval before they were published.)

Let’s see if the liberal Times will be as relentless in pursuing the allegations against Thrush, who has been described as a rising star (hack) as the paper has been in trying to destroy the Trump presidency.

Powerful men everywhere must be shaking in their wingtips, doing mental audits of their behaviour (past and present) now that women have gone feral in their fight against sexual harassment. Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be more men losing their shirts.

Congress also behaving badly

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

First published November 16, 2017 in the Toronto Sun 

Congress is an institution for governing not a body for groping. Against the back drop of Hollywood’s exploding sex scandal of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and other powerful men preying upon female and child actors, America is learning that the men in the hallowed halls of the United States Congress are also behaving very badly.

GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls ages 14 and 16 when he was in his 30s seems to have been the tipping point for women to speak out.

During a House Administration Committee hearing about sexual harassment in Congress, female members described in lurid detail how male members of Congress think its their right to objectify and fondle women like pieces of produce. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) described a chief of staff forcibly kissing her when she worked in Congress as a young staffer.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) explained that someone told her in confidence about a member of Congress who asked a female staffer to deliver documents to his home after work. When the staffer arrived, her boss greeted her in a bath towel wrapped around his waist, which he promptly dropped to expose himself.

Just like the actresses in Hollywood, women in Congress have literally turned the other cheek without reporting harassment to save their careers.

The New York Times wrote about several former Capitol Hill staffers who describe a Lord of the Flies kind of environment reminiscent of pubescent boys. A senior male staffer tried “to tug open a junior aide’s wrap dress at a bar; a congressman grabbing a young woman’s backside.” Another House member told a female staffer “to twirl in a dress for him, then gave her a bonus when he liked what he saw.”

Senator Al Franken has been accused of sexual misconduct before he was elected to the Senate. KABC radio host Leanne Tweeden alleges that during a 2006 USO tour, when Franken was a comedian, he insisted that they practice a kiss for skit he wrote.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she recalled.

Franken didn’t stop there. On the cargo plane ride home from Afghanistan, Tweeden has a picture that a photographer took of Franken groping her chest while she was asleep.

About 1,500 former staffers signed a letter to leaders in the House and Senate demanding that Congress not only require sexual harassment training for all employees and members but also make it easier for victims to report claims to the Office of Compliance.

Current federal law makes it almost impossible for victims to win complaints against members or employees of Congress.

After a three-month waiting period, victims of sexual harassment can file a complaint with the Office of Compliance and then must undergo 30 days of mandatory counselling and complete 30 days of mediation. Many people don’t know the Office of Compliance exists.

In response to this tsunami of complaints, the Senate approved new rules mandating anti-harassment training for employees. The House introduced the Me Too Congress Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at making the complaint process easier. It also would require the Congress to publicize the names of Congressional offices that paid settlements to accusers in harassment cases.

Perhaps these actions may help neuter this “boys will be boys” mentality in Congress.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have also shown leadership by emphatically stating that they believe the women accusing Moore of sexual misconduct and that he should drop out of the race.

But President Donald J. Trump, who is usually a loquacious twitterer on a host of topics, has yet to weigh in personally on Moore’s alleged behaviour or the unchecked culture of harassment raging in Congress.

The president wasn’t shy about tweeting insults at Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker when both announced they wouldn’t run for re-election. I’m sure the women in America are eager to hear where the president stands on sexual harassment and pedophilia.