Well, we finally did it. We’ve been promising to address the harassment and intimidation claims against Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton and we did on today’s show. Its a difficult topic and hopefully we handled it with the sensitivity it requires.
First, a disclaimer of sorts I suppose. I have been ambivalent about HRC for a good while. Watching this year’s election cycle has changed that and brought me on board. I realize now that a large portion of my ambivalence was due to the coverage of her as I was maturing and my own bias toward how women in power should shake, rattle and roll.
HRC has been in the public eye since I can remember first as Bill Clinton’s spouse and then as a powerful force in her own right. I admitted it before and I will admit it again. I judged her based on how she responded to Bill’s infidelity. Sometimes we unconsciously project our experiences onto others.
Debate coverage has been generally inconsistent at best. This has been true overall and most true in the aftermath of the second presidential debate. From my perspective, the second debate was one of HRC’s finest moments. Yet I saw headlines saying Trump won because he didn’t poop all over himself. The double standard has been incredibly strong in election coverage and has colored much of the perception of HRC.
We finally come full circle back to discuss Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton. First, we discussed abuse and the dynamics of truth and believability. THERE ARE NO PERFECT OR TYPICAL VICTIMS. Victims desperately want to be believed and inconsistencies happen. This doesn’t mean you ignore them but its important that you understand it.
We started with the sexual harassment claims by Jones and Willey. Jones case is the most infamous because it is there that a large part of the dirt was spilled regarding Bill Clinton’s alleged horndoggery ways. It is where the infamous Broaddrick affidavit surfaced which forms much of the basis of the questioning of her claims.
We chose not to focus on any alleged inconsistencies in any of these cases today. Instead, we looked for evidence of intimidation or harassment by HRC personally against any of these women and found litle to none. Jones has never made any but Willey has made such claims, chief among them that her husband who committed suicide was killed by the Clintons.
No evidence has ever been found substantiating her intimation claims but that hasn’t stopped her. In search of evidence we visited Willey’s twitter feed which we found atrocious and gross. Perhaps the most troubling evidence about Willey is that she was paid to make appearances for Trump. You can find a link to the Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey cases here.
Broaddrick was 35 years old when the alleged rape happened. Clinton was Arkansas Attorney General at the time and she was having a meeting with him. The details of what went down and the aftermath are well documented in this Buzzfeed article by Katie J.M. Baker.
Broaddrick’s claim was weakened by the aforementioned affidavit and other issues none of which were focused on today. Instead, we looked at the evidence of harassment and intimidation she has lodged against HRC. It arises out of one meeting between the two shortly after her alleged rape occurred, but before she had come forward publicly. As Jill Abramson relates in this Guardian piece:
“She came directly to me as soon as she hit the door … She caught me and took my hand and said: ‘I am so happy to meet you. I want you to know that we
appreciate everything you do for Bill.’”
Its a stretch to reach an inference of intimidation here but its understandable to want support from another woman, even if the alleged perpetrator is her spouse or significant other.
Kathy Shelton was 12 when she was raped by 41-year-old factory worker named Thomas Alfred Taylor. A young Hillary Rodham was appointed to his defense, against her wishes and despite requests to be able to withdraw. She did her job, including an attack on the credibility of the young complainant, and as a result of prosecution mistakes was able to get a favorable plea deal for him.
Shelton didn’t know for a long time who had represented Taylor and discovered it as a result of an article published in 2008. She didn’t come forward to support Trump until 2016 and has done so because she believes HRC laughed at her.
The evidence concerning this laughing incident can be found in full in this Heavy piece including the audio where the conversation took place. The discussion centers around the absurdity of the legal system within which she was forced to maneuver in order to do her job.
Its understandable why abuse victims would have strong emotions about the Clintons, particularly Bill Clinton. What is less understandable is how these women can support a man whose past contains similar allegations.
In our sports segment, we welcomed Robyn Mundy (@RobynMundyWYO) of The Bills Mafia and The Bills Wire to update us on the Buffalo Bills. We discussed young quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the firing of Greg Roman, Finally, we discussed the addition of Rob Ryan to the defense and the season it is having.
You can listen to today’s podcast here.