Accusations of sexual misconduct continue to rock the mighty realms of entertainment, media and politics — sparking blockbuster stories, melodrama, swift judgments and yes, some authentic introspection among Americans. Longtime NBC host Matt Lauer is the latest high-profile figure to leave his post over such claims, and his case has attracted particular scrutiny by a veteran media analyst.
“This is truly a case of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Matt Lauer has spent decades sanctimoniously lecturing others on the ethics of their behavior, yet clearly has not held himself to the same standards. Sexual harassment in any way, shape or form is absolutely repugnant. These allegations are shocking, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by his behavior. Remember, this is a man who once attempted to dismiss Bill Clinton‘s sex scandals as personal peccadilloes. I am happy to see NBC has taken swift action with Lauer,” says Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog.
“They are ridding themselves of someone whose actions are personally detestable. But a question remains: As with so many other sexual harassment allegations, this did not happen in a bubble. Clearly, there must have been numerous people at NBC who knew about his repugnant behavior. Where have they been all this time? How many people who could have put an end to this actually enabled his abuse of women?” asks Mr. Bozell.
A new Politico/Morning consult poll asked voters to gauge the “credibility” of accusations of sexual misconduct against a number of public figures; respondents said the charges are the most credible against Mr. Clinton and among the least when it comes to Senate candidate Roy Moore. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
MILO’S GOT ANOTHER BOOK
Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is at work on a new book titled “DESPICABLE,” to be published in six months by Dangerous Books — his own imprint — and described as “a tell-all expose on how it became more dangerous in Hollywood to be a Republican than a child molester.”
Advance notes say the book is a journey into “the sordid, sexually abusive, hypocritical world of Hollywood and the connected worlds of music, the media and Democrat politics,” among other things.
“Whether Hollywood can survive will depend on this ossified, narcissistic and ideologically homogenous industry’s ability to accept the only diversity that matters — diversity of thought and opinion,” says Mr. Yiannopoulos. He adds, “If America’s college professors thought I was a waking nightmare, wait until Hollywood publicists get a load of me.”
JEB BUSH EMERGES IN TENNESSEE
Jeb Bush is in Nashville on Thursday to host the National Summit on Education Reform. But wait, there’s more. The former presidential hopeful is also the main draw for an evening fundraiser evening benefitting Randy Boyd, a GOP candidate for Tennessee governor. Tickets are $1,000 each and the venue is a high-profile “steak and chop house” in downtown Nashville where a 28-ounce porterhouse is on the menu.
But wait, there’s even more than that. Fellow Republican Rep. Diane Black is also running for Tennessee governor, and now cites Mr. Boyd’s record of “supporting illegal immigration, supporting Common Core and supporting Democrats” — along with his public distaste for President Trump.
“Jeb Bush and Randy Boyd are a match made in establishment heaven. Their pro-illegal immigration, pro-big government, anti-Trump positions are more suited to the Democratic primary than the Republican primary,” notes Chris Hartline, spokesman for Ms. Black’s campaign.
SOMEBODY’S ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING
Yes, there’s still some bipartisanship afoot. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer will oversee a “Congressional Hackathon” at the Capitol on Thursday.
The four-hour event throws together a bipartisan group of lawmakers, open government and transparency advocates, IT experts, software developers and “civic hackers” — all intent on bettering the digital savvy of Congress.
“We need to modernize our nation’s legislative institutions. New technologies have generated exponential changes in how organizations function across most sectors of our economy, yet government has failed to keep pace with those changes. Software developers, designers and program engineers have a unique opportunity to restore the public’s trust in their nation’s legislative processes,” explains Mr. McCarthy.
“Digital technologies continue to transform Americans’ lives at an ever-increasing rate, and those same technologies should be used by government leaders to make government of all levels and branches more efficient, effective, and transparent,” declares Mr. Hoyer.
For the 17th consecutive month, Fox News Channel is the most watched network across the entire cable realm, besting sports and entertainment providers in total numbers of viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News also remains the most-watched cable news network, as it has been for the last 16 years.
“Hannity” is the top prime time powerhouse, drawing 3.2 million viewers, followed by Fox colleague “Tucker Carlson” with 2.9 million and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow with 2.8 million.
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, scored its sixth consecutive months as the No. 1 provider for business news, besting rival CNBC and delivering six of the top seven rated business news programs. Morning anchor Maria Bartiromo has also made her first monthly win against CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in total viewers.
POLL DU JOUR
• 64 percent of U.S. voters say accusations of “sexual misconduct” against former President Bill Clinton are credible; 69 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.
• 56 percent overall say the accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein are credible; 57 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent overall say accusations against talk show host Charlie Rose are credible; 46 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent overall say accusations against Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat, are credible; 48 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.
• 41 percent overall say accusations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore are credible; 30 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,994 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 21-25.
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