Sexual harassment claims against yet another powerful man in media inspired New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush to post an impassioned note on his Facebook page in October, calling on his fellow journalists to stand by women entering the field.
In the post, which linked to an article about the latest accusations against political journalist Mark Halperin, Thrush wrote, “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”
It was a noble statement — but some Washington journalists I spoke to say it rings hollow, given Thrush’s own behavior with young women in the industry.
“He kept saying he’s an advocate for women and women journalists,” a 23-year-old woman told me, recounting an incident with Thrush from this past June. “That’s how he presented himself to me. He tried to make himself seem like an ally and a mentor.”
She paused. “Kind of ironic now.”
TORONTO, November 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Euthanasia has been legal in Canada for just over a year and pediatricians are already “increasingly” being asked by parents to euthanize disabled or dying children and infants, a survey by theCanadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has found.
American anti-euthanasia activist Wesley Smith said the results of the survey prove the morally slippery slope that a nation slides down when it agrees that “killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering.”
“Once euthanasia consciousness is unleashed, it never stops expanding,” he wrote in the National Review.
“I guess Robert Latimer–a Canadian farmer who murdered his daughter because she had cerebral palsy–was a visionary,” he added.
The CPS surveyed its members in light of the possibility Canada will expand euthanasia to children.
Indeed, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government wrote that possibility into the law it passed in June 2016.
Bill C-14 permits voluntary euthanasia for individuals of at least 18 years of age assessed to be suffering intolerably from a grievous and irremediable medical condition, and with natural death reasonably foreseeable.
But the Commons Justice Committee added an amendment to the bill directing the federal government to review expanding euthanasia on three further grounds: for children, or “mature” minors; solely for mental illness; and allowing advance directives in the case of those with degenerative diseases such as dementia.
The Liberals have asked the Council of Canadian Academics to research these questions, and report to Parliament by the end of 2018.
The CPS surveyed 1050 pediatricians on their experiences with “medical aid in dying” or MAID, and released a report at the end of October.
Forty-five doctors reported receiving explicit requests from parents to euthanize 91 children, it said. More than half of these requests were for “neonates or infants under a year old.”
A further 118 pediatricians had “exploratory” discussions about euthanasia with parents of 419 children.
As for requests from the children themselves, 35 paediatricians reported discussing euthanasia with 60 minors. Nine reported receiving direct requests for euthanasia from 17 minors.
While “such consultations may be rare, minors in Canada are contemplating MAID-related concepts and approaching health care providers with MAID-related questions,” noted the CPS survey.
“Given the evolving legislative landscape, it is reasonable to anticipate that such questions will increase in the near future.”
The CPS also conducted an attitude survey on euthanasia, with 574 of a possible 1,979 members, or 29 percent, responding.
Of these, 46 percent supported euthanizing mature minors who have “progressive or terminal illness or intractable pain.”
Thirty-three percent opposed euthanizing mature minors for any reason.
Mature minors are children who are allegedly capable of understanding the nature and consequences of treatment, and so judged competent to request death by lethal injection.
The CPS study suggested non-voluntary euthanasia for non-competent dying “and/or severely disabled” children is not far off.
Canada’s federal law, and Quebec’s law currently prohibit involuntary euthanasia for anyone, it said, adding:
However, given the human rights framework advanced in Carter v. Canada, the parents of a dying and/or severely disabled child who is deemed to be suffering may, in the near future, be looking to the courts to support a right to end their child’s life. Decision-making for treatment of never-competent children is based on the “best interest standard”: choosing among options that reasonable persons, acting in good faith on another’s behalf, would consider acceptable in similar circumstances.
“All this is very problematic,” says Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
Euthanasia lobbyists shift the argument for legalizing the killing of children by lethal injection from the autonomy of the individual to “why do you want to allow them to suffer,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“So the idea is, well, this isn’t fair, the law has an inequality because you’re allowing adults who are capable of requesting this, but not children or mature minors.”
Parents and guardians in Canada currently can authorize no treatment or the withdrawal of treatment for non-competent minors, Schadenberg added.
“If you had a child with a significant disability, then the question at birth would be, do you want that child to receive treatment or not, and you would have the right to say yes or no,” he said.
“So the argument is well, because we already have that, therefore, what’s the difference between that” and euthanasia.
Schadenberg echoed Smith’s warning that once euthanasia is allowed, the grounds for legally killing people keep expanding, as has been demonstrated in other jurisdictions.
The Netherlands adopted the Groningen Protocol in 2004, he pointed out.
It gives doctors impunity to lethally inject disabled infants, such as those spinal bifida or hydrocephalus.
The CPS study “shows us that the parents were the ones to ask about euthanasia. Rarely did the mature minor or child consider euthanasia,” Schadenberg said.
“The concept of euthanasia for children should be simply rejected based on the fact that children cannot consent.”
Radio host Leeann Tweeden’s apparently well-founded claim that Democrat Sen. Al Franken, the professional vulgarian and former comedian who has a long, well-documented track record of making crude remarks about sexually assaulting women, kissed and groped her without her consent, is sending shock waves through Democratic Party circles and the mainstream media.
President Trump, who himself has faced plenty of sex-related accusations, took to Twitter to mock Franken. Last night at 10:06 Trump tweeted, “The Al Frankenstein picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?”
“And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?” he tweeted nine minutes later.
Franken has apologized profusely for wronging Tweeden but he has a history of faking remorse.
The Franken saga is the latest in a still-expanding mushroom cloud of allegations of sexual abuse hurled largely at left-wing elite media and entertainment figures. But politicians like Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, also stand accused of sexual improprieties. Republican Jeff Hoover resigned as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives weeks ago after being accused of sexual harassment.
The dam burst wide open weeks ago when woman after woman after woman began accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and outright rape. Weinstein was forced out of his own company. Reverberations from the revelations continue to shake up the entertainment industry though it is unclear what the legal impact on Weinstein will ultimately be.
The problem, it appears, is more with left-wingers than conservatives.
Among left-wing media figures accused of sexual harassment or worse are: Lockhart Steele (Vox Media); Leon Wieseltier and Hamilton Fish (New Republic); Mark Halperin (NBC); Michael Oreskes (NPR, New York Times); Rick Najera (CBS); Jann Wenner, Matt Taibbi, and Mark Ames (Rolling Stone); and David Corn (Mother Jones).
Among entertainment industry figures accused of the same are: comedian Louis C.K.; actors Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, and Ed Westwick; Terry Richardson (fashion photographer); Chris Savino (Nickelodeon); Roy Price (Amazon Studios); James Toback (screenwriter, director); Eddie Berganza (DC Comics); Andrew Kreisberg (Warner Brothers); David Guillod (Primary Wave Entertainment); and Brett Ratner (producer, director).
The process set in motion by the endless Weinstein allegations seems to be causing a fascinating epiphany and outburst of historical revisionism on the Left.
At Vox, the verbose left-wing pontificator Matthew Yglesias now writes two decades after the fact that it was wrong for Democrats to let serial sexual predator Bill Clinton off the hook. His piece is titled, “Bill Clinton should have resigned: What he did to Monica Lewinsky was wrong, and he should have paid the price.”
Back then “[w]hat we should have talked about was men abusing their social and economic power over younger and less powerful women.”
The United States, and perhaps the broader English-speaking world, is currently undergoing a much-needed accountability moment in which each wave of stories emboldens more people to come forward and more institutions to rethink their practices. Looking back, the 1998 revelation that the president of the United States carried on an affair with an intern could have been that moment.
Whether this change of heart in leftist circles is sincere remains to be seen.
In the current case, model and broadcaster Leeann Tweeden complained in a blog post this week that in 2006 Franken groped her chest while she was sleeping and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in Afghanistan before he became a senator representing Minnesota as a result of a tainted 2008 election Republicans say was stolen from them. The unwanted osculation left her “disgusted and violated,” she said. Tweeden also tweeted a photograph from the period that shows a mischievous-looking Franken grinning and touching her breasts while she is apparently unconsciousness.
Tweeden told Jake Tapper of CNN that incident 11 years ago left her “so angry, I was in disbelief.”
“To this day I talk about it and my hand clenches into a fist,” Tweeden said. The kiss was “persistent” and “uncomfortable.”
Franken pressed Tweeden hard to practice the stage kiss for their performance and wore her down. She reluctantly agreed to it and Franken “puts his hand on the back of my neck and comes in so fast,” she said. “There was not finesse to it at all — let’s put it that way. And he just mashes his mouth to my lips. It was wet and he puts his tongue in my mouth and I push his chest away with my hands.”
In her earlier blog post she wrote of the kissing incident, “I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time. I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.”
Franken promptly apologized Thursday, telling reporters, “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,” Franken said separately. “There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.”
In damage-control mode, Franken said:
I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.
But Franken’s act of forced contrition to Tweeden isn’t worth much. After a previous incident when he apologized for his awful behavior he later admitted the apology was fake.
As a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” Franken was working on a skit that involved drugging and raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl.
“’I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then when Lesley is passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out. I put her in various positions and take pictures of her,’” Franken was quoted saying in a 1995 New York magazine article.
But in his recent book, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, he wrote that he faked the apology so he wouldn’t mess up his political career.
“To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career, to sell out who I’d been my entire life,” he wrote. “And I wasn’t sorry that I had written Porn-o-Rama or pitched that stupid Lesley Stahl joke at 2 in the morning. I was just doing my job.”
“I learned that campaigns have their own rules, their own laws of physics, and that if I wasn’t willing to accept that, I would never get to be a senator,” he added.
“Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive,” Franken wrote in his statement yesterday. “But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and a chorus of Democrat senators playing up to their voting base are demanding an ethics investigation into Franken’s conduct. But there aren’t too many Democrats demanding he resign from office.
With a Franken probe, this means two sitting Democrat senators are now facing ethics investigations in Congress. After a jury deadlocked in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey yesterday, leading the judge to declare a mistrial, McConnell called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Menendez. Menendez “is one of only twelve U.S. senators to have been indicted in our history. His trial shed light on serious accusations of violating the public’s trust as an elected official, as well as potential violations of the Senate’s Code of Conduct,” McConnell said.
Complicating matters for Franken, the senator is fine with denying others proper due process when they face sex-related misconduct allegations.
Franken “is a major proponent of Title IX policies that would get college students in trouble and strip them of due process when facing investigations for the exact same kind of misbehavior he seemingly committed,” tweeted Robby Soave of Reason magazine.
U.S. Department of Education rules created by the Obama administration encouraged the creation of kangaroo courts to try college and university students, overwhelmingly men, for sexual misconduct. Accused students were generally presumed guilty and the appallingly unfair panels passing judgment on them denied them due process by applying the relatively weak civil law standard of the preponderance of evidence, instead of the tougher “beyond a reasonable doubt” criminal law standard. In September, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama policy and issued guidelines encouraging schools to adopt a stronger “clear and convincing evidence” standard.
Nobody expects the Senate to do much of anything to Al Franken. He won’t be tried under the Kafkaesque system he supports for students.
But this orgy of left-wing hypocrisy is showing Americans what these people are really about.