Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson comments on the avalanche of sexual harassment accusations in politics, says good riddance to Al Franken, and discusses the downside of trial by social media.
He also accuses Democrats, especially Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, of hypocrisy on the issue of sexual harassment, saying: "They all covered for Bill Clinton too."
"Very few people who knew Al Franken personally, including me, are mourning his departure from Washington," the Fox News host said. "Good riddance."
"But there is a downside to all of this," he said. "And it ought to worry anyone who cares about justice or due process, or for that matter, living in a free country."
TUCKER CARLSON: Today more than 30 Democratic Senators demanded that Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota resign in response to multiple allegations of sexual harassment:
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Franken's office says he will make an announcement [Thursday]. It is widely believed and it is probably true that he will announce he is leaving the Senate. Many on the right are reacting gleefully, at what is happening to Franken, and you can certainly understand the impulse.
Franken was a mediocre senator and a thoroughly miserable person. Cruel to those beneath him, narcissistic, monumentally self-righteous. Al Franken should have been exposed years ago for the nasty poser he always was.
Instead, he was celebrated by the media, he was protected by a Democratic establishment that found him useful. Very few people who knew Al Franken personally, including me, are mourning his departure from Washington. Good riddance.
But there is a downside to all of this, and it ought to worry anyone who cares about justice or due process, or for that matter, living in a free country.
Today's calls for Franken's resignation were sparked by a new accusation that he tried to kiss a woman against her will eleven years ago after a radio interview. It certainly sounds plausible. On the other hand, the accusation is unproven. Worse, it is anonymous. That means Franken can't really answer it.
None of this would pass muster in a court of law, but in a trial by social media, this is what we're seeing, it is enough to destroy a reputation, a career, a life.
So enjoy the Schadenfreude, the pure animal thrill of watching a powerful person knocked from a high perch, but at the same time ask yourself: What if this happened to you?
Imagine being accused by someone, whose name you didn't know, of something that supposedly happened more than a decade ago. How would you respond? How could you respond? What if you were innocent, by the way? And what if nobody cared?
Our entire justice system was designed to prevent moments like this. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to face your accuser, just as Roman law did 2,000 years ago. There is a reason for this: There can be no justice without transparency.
Democrats have abandoned that ancient right, attacking any who assert it, because they sense political gain in doing so. Losing Franken right now costs them nothing, another likely more-liberal Democrat will be appointed to take his place. And a vote to expel Roy Moore from the Senate next year will be a lot easier to hold if Democrats don't have to account for Franken.
This isn't principle, in fact, it is the most cynical kind of politics. And if you don't believe it, look no further than New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was the first to demand Franken's resignation today.
On the subject of harassment, Gillibrand is an opportunist and a phony. And so are many around her. When it was convenient for Gillibrand to give cover to a sexual abuser, she did it enthusiastically.
Unlike Al Franken, former President Bill Clinton had been credibly accused of rape, forcible rape. Gillibrand didn't care. In 2013, she tweeted: "Happy Birthday, President Bill Clinton! Thank you for your friendship and support as well as your incredible leadership!"
In April of last year, she said she was "honored" to campaign alongside Bill Clinton in New York. At the Democratic national convention, she even posted a picture of Bill Clinton with his arm around her. Now, she calls the president a sexual predator who should have resigned 20 years ago.
But we haven't learned anything new about Bill Clinton. Nothing has changed except for Gillibrand's own political calculations. She is a fraud. As are many of her colleagues who came out against Franken today, they all covered for Bill Clinton too.
It would be interesting to know how Democrats making windy statements about the horrors of sexism treat actual women back in their actual offices.
If any Hill staff are watching us tonight, reach out and let us know. Sexual harassment is not the only kind of abuse staffers put up with on Capitol Hill. Just because you are female and claim to be a feminist, doesn't mean you don't throw staplers at the women who work for you. That kind of thing happens regularly, as everyone who lives here knows. Let's stop pretending. And above all, stop the nauseating hypocrisy and the self-righteousness. What goes around definitely comes around, remember that.