Sean Hannity augmented his “Don’t Rush To Judgment About Roy Moore (and forget what I said about Harvey Weinstein enablers)!” campaign on the teevee last night with a blatant effort to discredit the four women who have accused Republican Senate candidate Moore of what amounts to pedophilia. As a right-wing bonus, Hannity’s effort helped exonerate his new BFF Bill O’Reilly, too.
Media Matters caught the exchange between Hannity and Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin. It just so happens Colwin is also a defense attorney who “regularly defends corporate executives from Fortune 500 companies accused of wrongdoing including claims of sexual misconduct.”
Notice how Hannity and Colwin tried to disguise this attack on women as concern for the victims.
HANNITY: This goes back what you said. Do people do it for money, do they do it for political reasons? Is that more common than people would think?
MERCEDES COLWIN: Oh definitely. They’ll do this –
HANNITY: They will lie to make money.
COLWIN: Undoubtedly. I mean there are individuals that’ll come forward with these outrageous allegations and –
HANNITY: That hurts all women that are victims.
COLWIN: Yes, I used to work in sex crimes in the DA’s office, it was very pitiful to see that because some jurors don’t believe it because they’ve gone, in their own lives there are people who have made these accusations for money. You see this time and time and time again. And sexual harassment that term is coined everywhere. Frankly the laws are very clear as to what it takes in order to be a violation of the law. You have to have some sort of damage. And these individuals, a lot of these women, it’s all about money. And they bank on the fact that these corporations have a reputation that they want to save.
HANNITY: And this is where you thread the needle because there are victims of predators.
COLWIN: There are, there are. But very few, far between.
Overlooked in this entire discussion is that The Washington Post, which broke the story, spoke to four different women, none of whom were found to have worked for or donated to Moore’s opponents, none of whom knew each other and none of whom sought out the Post. Each told similar stories of predatory behavior by Moore when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers.
Nevertheless, Colwin deliberately cast the women as non-credible because they waited so long to come forward. Hannity played the “good cop” but his choice of guests (Trumpster Sebastian Gorka, a supposed “national security strategist,” not any kind of expert on any subjects covered by the Moore scandal) revealed the agenda. Here’s another telling piece of the discussion from the Fox News transcript not in the clip below:
HANNITY: What about the cases that end up getting settled? How often do people lie? I don’t know the truth. I don’t know the answer. I can’t say. It seems suspicious, because we’re a month out of an election. And it’s 38 years ago.
COLWIN: You do. Sean, a lot of people are going to say what we said before, the allegations are so stale. Why coming now? Why are we just weeks before this election?
HANNITY: Can’t you understand a woman traumatized sees a guy running for senate. Finally says, I’m not going to be silent. I can understand that.
COLWIN: There is that argument. That a lot of Jurors say wait a minute. You’re going to wait 30 years to come forward and say this happened to you. Did you talk to anybody? Did you call the police?
HANNITY: If this went before a jury, where would it go?
COLWIN: Depends on the credibility of these accusers. If they seem credible and Judge Moore does not, obviously there’s a tipping balance. But a lot of jurors are going to be very suspicious of these accusers saying we waited decades before coming forward.
Notice how Colwin, also a former prosecutor, (but now on the Fox “sexual harassments R US” payroll) dodged the question about the veracity of sex-crime accusations. It's a complicated issue but Colwin ignored the facts weighing heavily in favor of the women's allegations. In short, the Post’s examination of the four, separate but similar stories was exhaustive, compelling and credible. What's really hard to believe is that Colwin didn't know that.
Watch Hannity and Colwin below, from the November 9, 2017 Hannity, via Media Matters.
They have nothing to lose by demanding that he steps down. Alabama is not a swing state. They can easily still win by putting roadkill as their nominee, as long as it has an R next to its name.