Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick “damages her mainstream credibility” by associating herself with right-wing politics, BuzzFeed charged in an extensive profile released on Monday.
“Juanita Broaddrick wants to be believed,” was the title of the piece, which was largely a fair and accurate portrayal of Broaddrick and her story.
However, one highly problematic sentence stands out:
“Broaddrick’s move to the right damages her mainstream credibility,” writes BuzzFeed reporter Katie J.M. Baker.
Here is the context of that statement:
But even if Broaddrick doesn’t want to admit it, she’s become increasingly cozy with conservatives as election day draws nearer. She used to tweet mostly about her own story and other sexual assault–related issues; these days, her feeds are filled with outlandish Clinton conspiracy theories and angry posts about Benghazi. She may have once donated more than $1,000 to Obama, but now she retweets criticism about him and his wife.
Broaddrick’s move to the right damages her mainstream credibility. Liberals may not want to call her a liar, but they don’t understand why she has to back Trump, either, especially since his party has been mostly absent from — if not antagonistic toward — the ongoing national conversation on sexual violence. But the progressives who started that conversation aren’t eager to include Broaddrick in it. The right-wingers may have an agenda, but at least they tell Broaddrick they believe her. That’s all she’s ever wanted.
Firstly, what is BuzzFeed implying here? That only left-leaning rape victims are credible? That a highly-believable rape victim found in her hotel room with a swollen lip and mouth, and ripped off pantyhose loses credibility because she seemingly becomes “cozy with conservatives” 38 years after the incident and 17 years after she first went public?
Is politics really the meter through which the “mainstream” news media assess the credibility of a 73-year old rape survivor whose entire life has been stained by that one traumatic event, as BuzzFeed itself relates?
Does BuzzFeed suggest that Broaddrick should remain silent as her alleged rapist and the wife that Broaddrick charges attempted to silence her try make their way back to the White House?
The same wife, Hillary Clinton, who released a campaign ad exclaiming, “You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you.” Broaddrick was so offended by that statement that she went public in a tweet recalling the alleged rape. BuzzFeed itself revealed in its profile that “in February, shortly after Broaddrick’s viral tweet made headlines, the line ‘you have the right to be believed’ was cut from the text” of Clinton’s campaign website.
The charge that “Broaddrick’s move to the right damages her mainstream credibility” seemingly overlooks that the so-called mainstream has largely ignored, sidelined, or even attacked Broaddrick’s story, leaving her with little choice but to conduct interviews with the “right” to receive fair treatment in the news media.
On my radio show earlier this month, Broaddrick said as much when she commented on her treatment at the hands of the news media: “I just think it’s a double standard. I don’t think that they want to bring out these bad things that Bill Clinton has done. And they are letting the victims of his crimes suffer because they don’t want to go up against him and his machine.”
She further demanded that NBC News Anchor Andrea Mitchell issue a public apology for calling Broaddrick “discredited” during a segment that aired May 19 on the highly-rated Today Show. In response to a retraction demand letter from Broaddrick’s attorney, who is also her son, the network quietly scrubbed the word “discredited” from the online version of Mitchell’s report, Breitbart News first reported.
Neither Mitchell nor the network provided any documentation or evidence to back up the “discredited” claim. As critics pointed out in response to Mitchell’s claim, Broaddrick’s accusation has not been discredited.
NBC itself vetted Broaddrick’s story when she originally broke her silence by speaking to the network’s show Dateline in 1999.
The network also caught up with Norma Rodgers, Broaddrick’s friend and employee, who confirmed Broaddrick’s story of how Norma found Broaddrick in her hotel room in the immediate aftermath of the incident with a badly swollen lip and mouth and that Broaddrick’s pantyhose had been ripped off. Broaddrick had stated that Clinton bit her on the lip during the alleged rape, which she said transpired in 1978 at her room in a Little Rock hotel.
NBC’s Lisa Myers, who conducted the 1999 interview with Broaddrick for the network, stated in a 2014 interview that “[N]othing has come up since that story was reported that in any way undercuts what Juanita Broaddrick said.” Myers has since retired from the network.
NBC’s actions, meanwhile, are indicative of the “mainstream” treatment of Broaddrick.
In January, Broaddrick said that NBC’s Mitchell told her by phone that the network would not conduct a new interview with Broaddrick “because you have nothing new to add” since Broaddrick first went public in an NBC interview in 1999.
An NBC News spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed in January that the network pursued an interview with the rape accuser but decided against running a story after purportedly establishing that there was nothing new.
“When Juanita Broaddrick went public last week, NBC News sent an associate producer to Arkansas to see if there was anything new in her story. We established there was not, and decided not to pursue it any further,” the spokesperson said at the time.
In sidelining Broaddrick’s story, NBC seems to be overlooking a series of new revelations from Broaddrick, including:
- Broaddrick says Bill Clinton repeatedly called her after the alleged rape.
- Broaddrick says that Hillary Clinton tried to silence her.
- Broaddrick told me that Clinton raped her not once but twice during the same infamous encounter in 1978.
- Broaddrick says NBC removed the bombshell charge that Hillary tried to silence her.
NBC has a history of minimizing Broaddrick’s rape story. Imagine how things would be different if my radio show or Breitbart News were around in 1999?
After filming the 1999 interview, NBC waited 35 days until finally airing the exclusive. The timeline is critical. The Senate voted to acquit Clinton in the impeachment case on Feb. 12. NBC’s interview, conducted January 20, 1999, did not run until Feb. 24, and the network placed it opposite the highly-rated Grammy Awards.
Some have questioned NBC’s motivation in waiting to air Broaddrick’s charge of rape. “The 35-day interval between tape and air is now one of the legends of the impeachment process. Why didn’t the American public get to hear Mrs. Broaddrick before the Senate voted to acquit Mr. Clinton on Feb. 12?” wrote Philip Weiss in the Observer in 1999.
Speaking in 1999, NBC News vice president Bill Wheatley vehemently denied the network deliberately held the interview until after the Senate vote. He said NBC took the normal period of time for properly vetting stories. “There was no pressure from the White House, period. Nor as some were claiming was there any pressure from NBC or G.E. corporate higher-ups to kill the story,” said Wheatley.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.