“It’s pretty embarrassing when you have to take your children out of the room to report the news,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, whined Monday.
Mr. Graham, longtime pal of Sen. John McCain, was complaining about President Trump’s alleged use of the word “s—-hole” to describe Haiti and some other nations in Africa and Latin America in a meeting Thursday.
Both Mr. Trump and the White House said he didn’t say the word, but the media and liberals (along with “Republicans In Name Only” like Mr. Graham) had already gotten their undies in a wad.
Mainstream news outlet CNN reveled in the toilet. “NewsBusters staff combed through CNN transcripts on Nexis for the S-hole word in the 24 hours of January 12 — the first full day after The Washington Post reported the controversy — and found CNN staffers and CNN guests uncorked the profanity 195 times in one day,” Newsbusters wrote.
The network flashed it on the screen — with no censoring — and morning host Chris Cuomo wrote it on a white board (“this is who he is: s—-hole” he wrote, without the dashes). The morning show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. used the word 33 times.
Amy Siskind, head of the New Agenda and an LGBT activist, bemoaned the word. “Thing is, if a middle school student said ‘s—-hole’ in class, he or she would face consequences — and yet, yet again, Donald Trump faces none. Think of the lessons he is teaching our children in bullying, bigotry, lying and hate. Will take decades to repair,” she tweeted (dashes inserted).
But here’s the thing: Parents had to explain a lot more to their children — and literally cover their ears (I did) — when there was another guy in the White House: Bill Clinton.
Every night for a year or more came reports of Bubba’s sexual escapades with a White House intern young enough to be his daughter. The Starr Report, compiled by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, was filled with all kinds of words not exactly appropriate for children or young teenagers. “Oral sex,” “ejaculation” and “masturbation” were bandied about often, as were other much cruder terms and far more graphic practices (one involving a cigar in the Oval Office).
That fiasco, though, was nothing to liberals or the MSM. They contended that the whole scandal was merely about sex (it wasn’t; Mr. Clinton would be impeached and disbarred for committing perjury). And they scoffed at the notion that parents should be offended by the new words their children were learning, thanks to the President of the United States.
Liberals and their friends in the media gave Mr. Clinton a pass on everything, accepting even the most skeevy behavior by the accused serial sex-abuser, because they agreed with his policies. Even today, in the #MeToo era, few have cast a spotlight on all the charges against Mr. Clinton, which ranged from unwanted touching to demands for oral sex to rape. Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey became household names — but liberal women didn’t take their sides, not by a long shot.
And liberals continue to make light of the egregious things Mr. Clinton did to sully the Oval Office. “Remember When the Worst Thing We Had to Worry About Was the President Getting a Blow Job?” The Root wrote in August.
Mr. Trump is, of course, a crude man. He’s been caught on tape saying some very foul and graphic things. But the whole of politics has taken a detour into the gutter, too. “The discourse right now is pretty low,” Mr. Graham rightly said.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said last April that Trump “doesn’t give a s—- about health care.” He called Trump’s budget “s—-ty — and the DNC even began selling a T-shirt that read, “Democrats give a s—- about people.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York upped the ante last June, saying, without dashes, that “if we’re not helping people, we should go the f—- home.” Of Mr. Trump, she said: “Has he kept his promises? F—- no.”
Democrats are hypocrites in all this. They don’t bat an eye when then-Vice President Joe Biden leans in to tell President Barack Obama that passing health care reform is a “big f—-ing deal.” They didn’t care a whit that Ms. Lewinsky said under oath that Mr. Clinton told her he had had “hundreds of affairs” before “turning 40,” when he began making a “concerted effort to be faithful.”
Nope. For liberals, the ends always justify the means. And they only get incensed when a Republican uses graphic language. Or mistreats women.
But in today’s climate, this is The New Way. And in some ways, Mr. Graham may be right after all. Maybe watching “the news” isn’t appropriate for youngsters any more.
And that’s a real shame.
• Joseph Curl has covered politics for 25 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent at The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.