Trevor Noah, the current Daily Show host who is more thoughtful than funny, made the same points Ethics Alarms did regarding Hillary Clinton’s weasel-like response to the New York Times exposé revealing that she protected a top adviser of hers, Burns Strider, Clinton’s faith adviser and founder of the American Values Network, when he was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing one of Clinton’s young subordinates during her 2008 campaign.
“Hillary’s Grammy cameo came at a weird moment for her,” Noah said, referring to the “Fire and Fury” skit at the Grammys Sunday that featured Clinton reading excerpts from the book. “Because last night’s theme was #MeToo, Time’s Up, which is a message Hillary found herself on the wrong side of over the weekend. Look, there’s a few areas where I don’t necessarily expect Hillary Clinton to nail it,” Noah continued, “managing emails, visiting Wisconsin, you know, weaknesses. But I won’t lie, I expected standing up for a woman on her staff to be one of her strengths. So the story is disturbing.”
“It’s possible that Hillary Clinton had a good explanation for why she kept this guy on over the objections of her top campaign advisers but instead of an explanation, all we got was this,” Noah said, regurgitating Hillary’s nauseating tweet,
“A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008. I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed…I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard,”
“Yeah, ‘women deserve to be heard,’ and then quietly reassigned,” Noah said in reaction to this. “‘Thank you for speaking up — now into the closet…It feels like Hillary’s not only trying to dodge all the blame, she wants to present herself as having always been on this woman’s side, which doesn’t fly, because not only did the woman get reassigned, but this guy, Burns Strider, he went on to get another job in Democratic politics, where he got fired for doing the same thing to other women,” Noah said, correctly. “So you could argue that if Hillary had fired him, she would have been protecting many women, instead of just herself.”
I almost gave Noah an Ethics Hero for this, but thought better of it. The fact that none of his All-Trump-Bashing-All-The-Time comic colleagues, like Colbert, Kimmel, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live lack the integrity to criticize Clinton doesn’t make him a hero. It’s a little like giving a medal to the only soldier who doesn’t run away as soon as the shooting starts. We should respect consistent standards and integrity instead of hypocrisy, not treat them like they are qualifications for sainthood.
However, the criticism Noah received on Twitter for stating the truth was an education in how people delude themselves and pollute their values with rationalizations to avoid facing uncomfortable facts:
- “We don’t actually know what was said in her call, so once again the critics attack HRC without the facts.”
A classic straw man. Noah wasn’t criticizing Clinton on the basis of the call, but because of what she did, and her double-talk attempt to claim that she treated a victim of sexual misconduct as she has been lecturing us for years, when in fact she did not.
- “No the part of the problem is people saying it’s OK for Trump to do what he did and to keep doing it. Please don’t blame her thanks.”
Trump derangement. “But Trump!” is the rebuttal for everything. I don’t know why Larry Nassar didn’t use the “But Trump!” defense, especially with a female judge. Malpractice, if you ask me.
- “And the Daily Show continues the media obsession with smearing HRC.”
Yes, reporting in what Hillary Clinton actually does, rather than the platitudes she espouses, is smearing her.”
- “A man is telling a woman that she is on the “wrong side” of #MeToo? Thanx for mansplaining, of course an American female former Secretary of State needs the advice of a male South African comedian.”
dindingdingdingding! There is it is! The notorious, unethical, galactically idiotic “mansplaining” dodge.! Yes, a man, a woman, a space alien, a talking dog or anyone with the power to tell right from wrong can and should tell a woman she is a flaming hypocrite when she is a flaming hypocrite.
- “Hillary’s issue happened years ago. In the meantime, we have a sexual predator in the WH. FOCUS!”
This one requires special mental gymnastics. The last sexual predator in the White House was Hillary’s husband, in part because of her efforts to allow him to duck accountability. Meanwhile, Noah is told that he should focus on the only topic the “resistance” believes is worthy of a comic’s attention: attacking Donald Trump. I also love the “years ago” excuse in the context of “#MeToo. Many, if not most, of the powerful men fired or forced to leave positions of power have been accused of misconduct that occurred years ago, on the theory that the events alleged were permanent stains on their character. “It happened years ago!” was one of Roy Moore’s defenses.
- “Shut up, Trevor Noah. You’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of things…But more importantly, you idiot, you are perpetuating a divide in the group of people fighting strongest to stop everything wrong with this country. Yes, HRC should be addressed – just not now.”
Got it: the only people who can criticize wrongful conduct that needs to be pointed up are those who have never been wrong! This is Rationalization #6, the lazy and ignorant “judge not” and “glass houses” dodge. (The ethics ignorance being exposed in by these comments are beginning to make me depressed…) When should HRC’s phony feminism be addressed? She’s been at it as long as she’s been in public life!
- “Yet again, let’s hold Hillary accountable for the actions of men. Her response went a step further than what was normal for 2008. Stop judging her harsher than her male colleagues & by today’s standards.”
This is the winner, I think. Yes, employers are accountable for how they handle sexual harassment complaints, both legally and ethically. The second sentence is pure Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing.” Her handling was not “normal” for 2008, or if it was, “normal” was not legal or ethical. I was teaching companies that sexual harassment has to be handled better than that TWO decades ago. Hillary was and is a lawyer. She had cheered Anita Hill. She knew what the right thing to do was when an employee complains about sexual misconduct, and it isn’t “transfer the victim.” Her campaign manager understood that in 2008: what, was she a visionary? “HARSHER THAN HER MALE COLLEAGUES???” Men in politics, business and everywhere else have been crucified for their wrongful conduct in allowing predators to continue in their positions. Funny, I don’t recall the “it was a different time” excuse being accepted as a defense for Penn State (Jerry Sandusky), or the US Women’s Gymnastics Team (Larry Nassar), or Cardinal Law (the Boston Archdiocese predator priests), or NBC (Matt Lauer) or the Weinstein Group.
Today’s standards for the ethical and legal obligations of employers who receive a complaint of sexual harassment are exactly, exactly, the same as they were in 2008.
Those attacks on Noah show how thoroughly Hillary Clinton has corrupted her supporters, how they have enabled her, right into giving the Presidency to Donald Trump, and why she is one of the most damaging ethics corruptors in our nation’s political history.