WASHINGTON — As I ponder the lengthening list of alleged sexual offenders drawn from Hollywood, the arts, the media and politics, I am moved to wonder why the overwhelming majority of the accused are prominent luminaries of the left. Those accused on the right claim utter innocence including former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who nonetheless paid a fortune to accusers — go figah, as they say in Brooklyn. At any rate, the lefties constitute the growing multitude.
At the top of the list — at least for me — is former President Bill Clinton, who was aided and abetted by his lovely wife, Bruno. In the 1990s many of the same people who are out for the blood of today's sexual assailants were among Clinton's proud defenders, but I will bet that he is not sleeping easily today. When The American Spectator was on the prowl in the 1990s, we had dozens of other women, shall we say, under surveillance quite aside from those we did report on. What if those taciturn ladies from yesteryear were to step forward now to join Juanita Broaddrick (she claims rape by Clinton), Kathleen Willey (she says he groped her) and the loquacious Paula Corbin Jones (she says he asked her to "kiss it")? Of course, today's list of accused assailants began with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose problems, incidentally, began just months after he sat down with the Clintons postelection to plot a documentary about how Donald Trump stole the election from Hillary Clinton. Weinstein was very tight with the Clintons, though in a few months Hillary would banish him, saying she was "shocked and appalled by the revelations" — ahem.
Now, Weinstein is leading a parade of shamefaced leftist luminaries in public abasement for their wrongs against women, wrongs that they say did not take place, or were exaggerated or misunderstood. All Weinstein or Matt Lauer or Charlie Rose or many of the rest wanted to do was slip into a comfortable bathrobe or a bubble bath or play with their rubber duckies during business hours. Weinstein sports the chic unshaven look that leaves his face looking like an armpit. So do dozens more. If these sexual degenerates had to rely on their good looks, charm or savoir-faire, they would be lifelong celibates.
Sen. Al Franken has a face that looks distinctly anthropoid and was sufficiently stupid to lose control of a picture of himself with his hands over a sleeping woman's breasts. Had she awakened, she might have charged him with bestiality. Louis C.K. looks no better than Franken, and his name is, I presume, an inside joke. Conductor James Levine is 74 years old and conducts from a wheelchair; he is not a matinee idol. Nor is Charlie Rose, who was over the hill two decades ago and whose Botox is providing him no help. Lauer should at least purchase a decent hairpiece before appearing in public ever again. On I could go. These preposterosities apparently have to grope, fondle and bully women because they are as bereft of charm as monkeys on Monkey Island at the zoo.
But hold! That does not mean we should deny them due process and the rule of law. In all the rush to judgment by their goody-goody corporate or institutional employers, the accused are being denied a fair process, a process that would be extended even to a mass murderer. Not since McCarthyism have I seen anything like the #MeToo hysteria. Just the other day, New York Public Radio's WNYC station suspended two suspected Romeos: 79-year-old Jonathan Schwartz and 77-year-old Leonard Lopate. It seems neither knows what he is charged with. Lopate said the New York station "didn't even give me a clue." Are these public-radio stalwarts going to go the way of NPR's Garrison Keillor, who's 75, 88-year-old former Rep. John Conyers and, forget not, 75-year-old Rose? Are they going to be cast into a legal limbo and roam around like ghosts of a bygone era, the era of the Sexual Revolution, as it was known?
As I hope I have made clear, I hold no brief for any of them. In fact, I looked over the list of the accused and, as luck would have it, I have had run-ins with at least six of the louts. Yet all deserve their day in court. That is to say that all should be put on notice of what they have been charged with or why they were fired. Those appearing in court should have the right to counsel and the right to present evidence. They should be notified of the dates and the times and the places of the alleged incidents. They should have the right to confront witnesses and accusers. They should have the opportunity to defend themselves against the charges brought against them before a neutral decision-maker. Of course, they should be given adequate time to prepare their defense, and that means Matt Lauer should have time to get a hairpiece.
All of which still leaves unanswered why the vast majority of sexual harassers are on the left. Is it possible that is where the greatest number of hypocrites feels comfortable?
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.