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All Sexual Abuse Isn’t Created Equal. Stop Treating George H.W. Bush Like Roy Moore

And now Charlie Rose, as reported by the Daily Beast:

Eight women told The Washington Post that longtime TV host Charlie Rose sexually harassed them. Those women, who ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged incidents, describe Rose groping them, walking naked in front of them, attempting to stick his hands down their pants, or making explicit phone calls to them.

Sexual abuse charges keep tumbling down

The number of accusations against public figures has accelerated since Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates of the #MeToo movement.

So many people have come forward that several celebrities and politicians have almost gotten lost in the shuffle.

For example, did you notice the story that actor Sylvester Stallone and his bodyguard were accused of raping a 16-year-old girl back in 1986, 31 years ago? You may have missed it, because it came out the same day that the Al Franken scandal was all over the news.

The public can’t process more than one harassment or assault or publicization of a wrongful sexual encounter per day.

New allegations against former President Bill Clinton

There are also new allegations, for instance, about President Bill Clinton. From the UK Daily Mail:

The current accusations against the 71-year-old former president — whose past is littered with charges of sexual misconduct — stem from the period after he left the White House in 2001, say the sources. Attorneys representing the women, who are coordinating their efforts, have notified Clinton they are preparing to file four separate lawsuits against him.

And yet – misleadingly –the Daily Mail accompanied the story about the new allegations with pictures of four other women – Monica Lewinsky, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey.

That gives the impression that these four new accusers are really just four old accusers. Anything for an excuse to ignore yet another rehash of Bill Clinton’s sexual misadventures.

We need a degree of discernment among instances or allegations of sexual abuse

Indeed, that very same day, a woman alleged that President George H.W. Bush had grabbed her behind twenty five years ago during his 1992 presidential campaign.

Since there had been coverage of the aging, ailing former president’s touching of behinds in the past few years, the allegation that he had engaged in this behavior when he was in full control of his faculties became just another background noise.

However, it might have been front page news if it had come out just a few weeks ago. But since it was the third – and not the second allegation of the day – behind Al Franken, the charge against the elder Bush just came and went.

Not everyone accused is as bad as Harvey Weinstein, but they’re all treated that way

The real challenge is putting all of this in perspective. Al Franken forcibly kissed a woman and took a picture pretending to grope her, while Roy Moore allegedly initiate sexual contact with multiple underage girls.

Those are two very different situations. But both men’s names are frequently mentioned in the same sentence in a list of possible predators. The impression given is that each offender is equally guilty of comparably egregious acts.

There’s no real attempt to sift through the accusations to determine which ones are more credible than others, or which offenses are genuinely serious or relatively minor. They’re just all mixed together in the same fetid stew.

This is why we have police, courts, and statutes of limitations

If the current high volume of media-driven accusations and allegations continues it will eventually become so numbing that the American public will disregard them all.

This doesn’t do anyone any good. Each of these claims needs to be investigated on its own merits, with appropriate attention – in criminal cases – according to the statute of limitations.

As far as reporting goes, journalists need to provide enough context to allow readers a chance to put each into its proper perspective.

(Photo of Former United States president George H.W. Bush preparing to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas by David J. Phillip – Pool/Getty Images)


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