I read a story on Associated Press earlier this week about the former Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota Al Franken.

I actually put the story in the Times-Union.

It said that Franken “absolutely” regretted resigning from the U.S. Senate after he was accused of groping women.

The Associated Press story was gleaned from an article in The New Yorker magazine by Jane Mayer.

After I read the AP?story, I took a look at the article in the New Yorker, too.

In the article, seven former and current senators say they regret calling for his resignation.

Franken asserts that he was wrongly accused and Mayer uses more than half of her article to cast doubt on the accuser. Mayer suggests the accuser may have misremembered being forcibly kissed and having her breasts touched by Franken. (It was all part of a USO show. It was scripted.) She took controversial political stands – conservative, of course. She made misstatements about her life. She was friends with Sean Hannity.

Never mind that there are pictures. (The photo of Franken pretending to grab the breasts of the sleeping victim was just a gag and the victim knew it, Mayer asserts.)

Never mind that after the initial accusation, seven other women came forward and accused Franken of similar behavior.

Never mind that Franken apologized for it all. His statement at the time was that he was “ashamed and disgusted. ... It’s been clear that there are some women – and one is too many – who feel that I have done something disrespectful and it’s hurt them and for that, I am tremendously sorry.”

Mayer’s piece in The New Yorker  runs to more than 12,000 words. It’s basically an apology to poor Sen. Franken because he wasn’t afforded “due process.”

One of the senators who called for Franken to resign told Mayer as much.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., told Mayer, “We needed more facts. That due process didn’t happen is not good for our democracy.”

Ah the irony.

Isn’t that precisely what Democrats told us all along about the #MeToo movement. That it wasn’t a matter of due process? That every woman must be believed? That as long as it’s not a criminal trial, there is no presumption of innocence?

Didn’t Hillary Clinton say in 2015 that “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported?”

Yeah, she did.

Except, of course, if the person being accused happens to be a liberal.

Liberals hate it when the standards they set for our culture get applied to them.

But an even bigger, juicier irony is the fact that Mayer is one of two New Yorker reporters who broke the story of Deborah Ramirez.

Ramirez was the woman who accused then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a drunken party in high school decades earlier.

From Mayer in The New Yorker: “She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

OK, the FBI is going to launch an investigation into this? They’re going look into whether a drunken high school boy dropped his trousers at a party 30 years ago, based on a victim who concedes she was too drunk to fully remember and had to take a few days to decide if it really happened and whether it was really Bret Kavanaugh.


The New Yorker even conceded that it: “... has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident. Many did not respond to interview requests; others declined to comment, or said they did not attend or remember the party.

But that didn’t stop them from running the story, did it?

Of course not.

They had a Supreme Court nomination to torpedo. If it takes a little shoddy, unethical journalism – a thinly-sourced hit job of accusations that no one can corroborate – to get the job done, so what?

(It should be noted here that the New York Times also had the story, but refused to publish it because of a lack of credible evidence.)

But comes now the same reporter pointing out how very wrong it was to treat Franken in such an unfair manner.

Mayer ends her article about Franken by quoting Debra Katz, a lawyer who represented Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford and other sexual harassment victims.

“All offensive behavior should be addressed, but not all offensive behavior warrants the most severe sanction.” Katz sees Franken as a cautionary tale for the #MeToo movement. “To treat all allegations the same is not only inappropriate,” she warns. “It feeds into a backlash narrative that men are vulnerable to even frivolous allegations by women.”

Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

If only Mayer and The New Yorker would have felt that way before they published their piece about Ramirez.