Let’s start with the real story. Two Congressmen were formally rebuked by the House Ethics Committee on Friday for sexual harassment related offenses. One man, Democrat Ruben Kihuen (NV) was rebuked for making “persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities.”
The second man, Republican Mark Meadows (NC), “was reprimanded for failing to take prompt and decisive action to deal with the alleged sexual harassment in his congressional office.” Meadows himself was not accused of sexual harassment, but was called out for his mismanagement of a now-former staffer who had allegedly sexually harassed several female employees.
One of the women who filed a complaint was Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah.
When Farah noticed how deliberately deceptive the CNN and NY Times had been in their reporting, she sent out a tweet to set the record straight.
This headline is misleading – so let me clear it up: Meadows never sexually harassed anyone. His former staffer did. I know, I am 1 of the women in the report. I respect the Ethics Cmte but my experience was that Meadows had my back, took me at my word, & respected & protected me https://t.co/domQmTsohf
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) November 17, 2018
CNN’s headline for the story:
House Ethics Committee chides Meadows, Kihuen over sexual harassment allegations
And opening sentence: (CNN) The House Ethics Committee admonished two male lawmakers Friday related to investigations of alleged sexual harassment.
CNN unfairly presents the story as if the two men had committed the same offense. The reality is far from that. They name the Republican, Mark Meadows, first even though he did not sexually harass anyone. He was rebuked for failing to take decisive action with a former employee, who had sexually harassed several women in the office.
The Democrat, Ruben Kihuen, has been accused by three women of sexual harassment in the form of “persistent and unwanted advances.” Kihuen did not seek reelection because of these accusations. He has been disgraced.
The authors of this story, MJ Lee and Ashley Killough, are deliberately trying to make readers believe that Meadows and Kihuen are equally guilty when, in fact, the charges against the two men are entirely different.
The NY Times headline:
Ethics Committee Rebukes Mark Meadows Over Aide’s Sexual Misconduct
The NY Times headline leaves out Ruben Kihuen’s name altogether. And the article doesn’t even address Kihuen’s offenses until the tenth paragraph.
A reader would glance quickly at this headline and see “Ethics Committee,” “Mark Meadows” and “Sexual Misconduct.” They would think “Mark Meadows has been charged with sexual misconduct. Those Republicans!” They would know nothing about Kihuen, the man who actually engaged in sexual harassment.
By injecting political bias into the headline, writer Catie Edmondson, is distorting the facts, misleading the reader and smearing Mark Meadows. Essentially, this is lying.
Edmondson reports the details of the Meadows case for the first nine paragraphs. Finally, in the tenth paragraph – and for one paragraph only, Edmondson addresses the charges against Kihuen. In the eleventh paragraph, she reports on measures the House is taking to increase awareness of sexual harassment and discrimination and thankfully, the article ends.
Unfortunately, many Americans receive their news from mainstream media outlets such as CNN and the NY Times. Is it any wonder President Trump is hated by so many? It’s understandable why so many people believe he really did collude with the Russians to steal the presidency. This is not journalism, it’s propaganda. It’s the reason why Americans have become so polarized.