There are two big stories this week, one is fake and the other is real. The fake one concerns Susan Rice, who is being pilloried by the Republicans for doing her job because Trump spent a month trying to dig up dirt on Obama and couldn’t find anything. Now he’s going back to a familiar target, who just so happens to be a black woman, and many are suggesting that this distraction has its own set of dog whistles. They are correct.
It’s working, too. This total bullshit story has reignited the “lock her up” chants on the right, and the National Review is suggesting that this is a Watergate-style scandal. It is not. In fact, I fucking dare Congress and Trump Administration to subpoena her. I’d love to hear what she has to say about who was in the transcripts, and what they were saying.
Tom Cotton: How can you justify unmasking the names in these documents?
Rice: I think the transcripts speak for themselves, Senator. Would you like to know what was said in these conversation and by whom?
Cotton: No, no, no, no!
Rice: Well, how am I supposed to explain my justification?
Cotton: You’re, uh, dismissed. Thank you for your time.
The other story is Bill O’Reilly, who is losing advertisers left and right after the NYTimes reported over the weekend that the Fox News personality has paid $13 million to settle five sexual harassment settlements.
Things are not going to get better for O’Reilly, either. The New York Daily News just dug up some quotes from O’Reilly in a 2004 episode of his own show. Here’s what he had to say about men in powerful positions:
“They’re just barbarians, okay. They see a good looking woman. It’s — they’re not [respecting] their intellect,” he said, according to transcripts of the show.
“If they get a come-on at all by the woman whom they feel is attractive, then they’re in,” he said.
And what about sexual harassment claims?
“I think that the sexual harassment thing is used as a club, as I said, by many women,” he said.
“It’s something they have against men, a threat to keep men at bay in a very competitive marketplace.”
That’s not a good look for O’Reilly.
Anyway, Fox News has been attacking CNN this week for not covering the Susan Rice story. CNN has been covering the Susan Rice story. They’re just not covering it the way that Fox News prefers them to cover it: With Susan Rice as the villain. Bill O’Reilly took specific aim at Don Lemon yesterday on Twitter for not covering the non-scandal.
CNN's Don Lemon refuses to cover Susan Rice story https://t.co/DATs2WMIX2— Bill O'Reilly (@oreillyfactor) April 4, 2017
Lemon — who can be very “problematic” himself — nevertheless had an excellent comeback:
False. I did not refuse to cover the story. But I did cover your sexual harassment allegations. Did you? https://t.co/sJ5mQQgx2E— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 4, 2017
For the record, O’Reilly did not cover his own sexual harassment allegations in last night’s show. Nor in the show the night before. He’s remained silent, as his advertisers continue to jump ship.