Basic requirements for decency

© 2016 Jim Spence  Lost in the sea of coverage this week of the GOP nominating Donald Trump as their presidential candidate, was a story that better illustrates the competing value systems that Americans must choose from in November.

Over the years I have railed at the national media, pointing out that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and the vast majority of the nation’s newspapers are nothing but thinly disguised think tanks for and distributors of Democratic Party propaganda. These outlets essentially run with narratives fed to them by the elected officials and candidates in the Democratic Party 365 days a year.

Fox News is a different kind of entity. Generally speaking it runs with the narratives of the GOP, though the injection of Donald Trump and his bashing of the existing GOP power structure makes it more difficult to know what the narratives of the GOP actually are.

The story I am referring to is much more fascinating than all of the bloviating that emanated from Cleveland. It is the story of the fall from grace of one, Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News. 

A couple of weeks ago, Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America, who was let go by Ailes recently, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and Fox. Her charges were that he made unwanted sexual advances towards her etc. Of course charges like these are always difficult to prove and should be greeted with skepticism. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But of course if Roger Ailes had engaged in sexual harassment he, like any superior attempting to diddle a subordinate, should face severe penalties and sanctions. In the end, sexual harassment is the ultimate form of human exploitation. And sexual harassment goes under-reported for troubling reasons. Often the only recourse for the harassment target is unemployment and litigation. And in the battle of dueling lawyers, the deeper pockets of the male boss usually wins.

Something strange happened with this story. Fox decided to launch an “investigation” into the charges by Carlson. Some speculate that Fox News anchor and superstar Megyn Kelly may have spurred the investigation by making it known that she had a similar experience with Ailes. This is the suspected catalyst, though nobody knows for sure. In any event, it is clear based on the independent investigator’s findings, that Fox reached the conclusion that Ailes was either diddling the help or attempting to use his stature to diddle them. Out goes Roger Ailes. He resigned yesterday. Wow!

Consider the competing narratives here as the election approaches. The irony will be so thick you can cut it with a knife. The Democrats will pony up Hillary Clinton as the working woman’s best friend. The Democrats will cast Fox News as a gigantic pariah in the tank for Republicans, who of course, are against the interests of women.

Think not about the rhetoric, but about the reality of the two value systems. Bill Clinton is a serial sexual harasser. The evidence is overwhelming. The trail of women working under Clinton who he extracted sexual favors from, or at least tried to extract from is longer than a line at the motor vehicles department. And of course those women who have spoken out about Bill Clinton’s predatory behavior in public (Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Genifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, Betty Broderick, etc.) have been crucified by Hillary Clinton with the help of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and newspapers like the New York Times. 

Bill Clinton did not resign his position, even when his conduct, lying under oath and tampering with witnesses, caused him to be disbarred. It is the ultimate disgrace for a lawyer to be disbarred, but not for people like the Clintons who are without a sense of shame.

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and most of the nation’s newspapers have had a grand ole time with the Roger Ailes story this week, especially his resignation. What these Democratic Party “news outlets” did not miss in this story was the juicy scandal. However, these outlets never connected the dots. Ailes was simply rather Bill Clintonian in his behavior. Another aspect of of the story that these news outlets did miss, was all too predictable. They missed the classy way in which Fox cleaned up its stinking mess. Ultimately Fox valued and respected the dignity of the females working at the network. Foxed tossed a CEO predator out on his exploitation-prone ass. This is something that the pro-women Democrats could never bring themselves to do with Bill Clinton, even when they had the perfect opportunity to demonstrate with deeds (not words) just how much they value the dignity of women.

Fox demonstrated that nobody, not even the architect of the greatest surge in new viewership in the history of broadcasting (Ailes), is above the basic requirements for decency.

On the other hand, being above the basic requirements for decency is something the Clintons enjoy every day with the help of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and most of the newspapers in the nation.