Did Brit Hume know? Did Bret Baier? Did Chris Wallace?
His guest, RNC spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany, called out NBC, which employed Ronan Farrow before he took his reporting to The New Yorker. “I just have to say Sean, this is sick,” she said. “This is the media elite covering for the Hollywood elite.” But she wouldn’t know the story save for liberal media elites in L.A. and New York City!
Nevertheless, the segment ended with this surreal exchange:
Hannity: Journalism is dead, Kayleigh, I've been telling people forever. Is this now the final nail in the coffin?
McEnany: It should be!
Tucker Carlson, another Fox News pundit, used his show to attack a long list of liberals for staying silent despite knowledge of abuse, among them magazine editor Tina Brown. She worked for Harvey Weinstein while running Talk magazine starting in 1998. “Brown conceded yesterday that there were whispers about Weinstein’s behavior,” Carlson said. “She admits she saw Weinstein give favorable treatment to beautiful women he was cultivating. She saw him quash negative articles about himself by leaking information about other stars. Yet despite all of that, Brown tells us, nobody really knew for sure. Oh, come on. I worked for Talk magazine at the time. Trust me. Tina Brown knew. She was Weinstein’s business partner for two years and a famously perceptive person. And yet until now she’s never mentioned any of it.”
The condemnation was intentionally vague. Tina Brown “knew” what, exactly? That Weinstein was a creep? That seems obvious. That multiple women had accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting them? That is rather different knowledge. Did she have it? If so, did she have proof those rumors were true? Because there are right-leaning media outlets that savage liberal women who alleged sexual misconduct without proof. And what if Brown had proof but the victim didn’t want to go public?
I don’t know what Brown knew, or when. Neither does Carlson. But I do know that Carlson is sanctimoniously scolding a woman for failing to call out Weinstein, despite all the legal and social risks that doing so would have entailed, even as Carlson explicitly holds himself to a very different standard on the same subject.
Here’s a relevant passage from a GQ profile of the Fox News host:
At Fox, he has a resolute policy of see no evil, hear no evil. “I have few rules, but ‘Don’t criticize the boss’ is one of them,” says Carlson. He offers platitudes of thanks to Roger Ailes, who, like O’Reilly, left the network following widespread accusations of sexual harassment. “He was an amazing guy,” says Carlson. “He was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, a really insightful, deep person and a great guy to talk to.”
For a smart man, Carlson can play dumb with the best of them—he is well informed, except when it doesn’t serve him. Call it Tucker Disassociation Syndrome. Ask where he sees Fox News going after a year of chaos and he chuckles. “I’ve been so busy with my show, I haven’t thought about it at all.” He professes to know little about Sean Hannity’s ludicrous charge that nefarious killers somehow connected to the Democratic Party had murdered Seth Rich, a low-level DNC staffer. I ask Carlson about his take on the Hannity-Rich fiasco. “If I attack Hannity for being a right-winger, I would be adding my voice to a chorus,” says Carlson. “I’d rather express opinions that aren’t being expressed elsewhere.”
Compare how Brown talks about Weinstein now that the allegations against him are public with how Carlson talks about Roger Ailes now that the allegations against him are public; one wonders how the Fox host can be such a sanctimonious demagogue on air without losing all respect for himself when the lights dim. The liberal Brown turns out to be superior by the Swamp-dwelling pundit’s own standards. And that’s to say nothing of how he and his network have treated multiple, credible accusations of sexual misconduct against the president of the United States.