Has the Sexual Assault Hysteria Gone Too Far?
It seems that 2017 will go down in history as the year of sexual assault allegations.
Numerous politicians, actors, and other public figures have been accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct in the past several weeks. It seems that there are new allegations surfacing every day, and it is becoming impossible to keep up with them all.
The sexual assault hysteria we find ourselves in is being perpetuated by the news media.
The news media started out by reporting on figures that do not have an impact in their business. They eagerly reported on Harvey Weinstein, for example. Weinstein was a producer in Hollywood, and did not have much influence in the news media. Another example would be Louis C.K., a comedian who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
The media also started to report on Republican politicians. Roy Moore is the biggest example. He was accused of pursuing romantic relationships with teenage women a few decades ago. While most reasonable people would dubious of allegations about events that took place over 30 years ago, the news media heavily covered the story.
One piece of evidence of the media obsession with the Moore allegations is the live timer CNN has until President Donald Trump comments on the allegations.
One should not be surprised that the media is using this hysteria to bring up old and settled accusations against Trump. As with the Moore allegations, any reasonable person would be dubious of these allegations.
After the leftist news media decided to politicize sexual assault allegations, the right decided to respond with allegations of their own.
A woman came forward with allegations against Senator Al Franken. The accuser claimed Franken forcibly kissed her and molested her while she slept. Accompanying the accusations is photographic evidence of Franken grabbing the breasts of the victim while she slept. Franken admitted to his wrongdoings and apologized.
The right decried the behavior of Franken, and spurred a lot of discussion on Twitter. However, the leftist news media and Democrat politicians seemed dismissive of the situation.
There are two risks being revealed in this frenzy of sexual assault allegations.
The first risk is what we have already observed: the politicization of sexual assault allegations. It is not a secret that Democrats are dismissive of the accusations against Franken because he is a Democrat. Sexual assault allegations should not be deemed worthy based on the political affiliation of those accused. Sexual assault allegations must be handled properly regardless of the political affiliation.
The second risk is the potential for witch hunts. We live in a country governed by laws, and people are guaranteed due process. People should not be deemed guilty just because allegations are made against them. These allegations must be dealt with through the proper channels, and it would be an act of bad judgment to “take sides” on such issues. What I mean by that is one should not do what Senator Mitch McConnell did, who said he believed the women who are accusing Moore of sexual assault.
Let’s take a step back and not forget to approach sexual assault allegations objectively and fairly to all parties involved.