- The Washington Times - Friday, October 14, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

NBC is going to make sure America is aware that Donald Trump may be a groper of women.

The network’s “Law & Order SVU” show will air an episode featuring a Trump-like character days before the general election, on Oct. 26.

“I’m a handsome, charming millionaire — women throw themselves at me. Knowing that I have nothing to hide,” guest star Gary Cole, who presumably plays Mr. Trump, says in a promotional clip in the show.

The crime drama will feature Mr. Cole playing a politician whose electoral dreams start to unravel after several women make damaging claims about him. The specific claims haven’t been revealed.

Of note: It was NBC that uncovered a decade-old “Access Hollywood” tape with then-anchor Billy Bush and Mr. Trump bragging about groping women and making advances on Nancy O’Dell. The tape was leaked to The Washington Post ahead of the second presidential debate, where Mr. Trump had to spend the first 30 minutes of the 90-minute session defending his actions.

A TMZ report said NBC executives timed the release of the tape to have “maximum impact” on both the debate and general election.

“Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us … top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election,” TMZ reported. “The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off.”

In an interview with The Washington Post’s media columnist Margaret Sullivan, NBC spokesman Mark Kornblau denied allegations the network sat on the tape, saying they found out of its existence the Monday prior to the debate. However, even after the interview, Ms. Sullivan acknowledged their story still “doesn’t all add up.”

“What if that campaign-changing video — or something equally incriminating — had emerged during the Republican presidential primary, instead of sitting on a shelf at NBC’s ‘Access Hollywood’ ?” Ms. Sullivan questions. “And why did it take NBC News so long to break a story that took The Washington Post only five hours, from initial tip to publication?”

Good questions — still unanswered.

NBC is still sitting on its full-footage interview with Juanita Brodderick, the woman who accused former President Bill Clinton of rape. Michael Isikoff, the reporter that first learned about Mr. Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, says the network should release the full tape, which includes allegations against Hillary Clinton, which were left on the editing floor in 1999.

If the network wants to redeem any credibility this election cycle, it should do just that. But as we all know, it never will.

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