Anyone who thinks that Megyn Kelly is some kind of “new Fox” anchor who is a serious voice for women should watch her jaw-dropping bias in a discussion that suggested the only problem of sexual assault on campuses is that men are wrongly accused.
On Friday night, Kelly interviewed a Colorado State University-Pueblo student who has sued the school after being indefinitely suspended over a dubious accusation of rape.
Kelly was nearly breathless in her introduction that left no doubt where she stood on the issue.
KELLY: Tonight, we have the story of two college students who had consensual sex, a third student who decided it was really a case of rape and a campus system of so-called justice that kicked the young man out of school despite the fact that there is no evidence of any crime.
For details, we heard from Fox's Trace Gallagher “in our west coast newsroom.” In other words, Gallagher was nowhere near Colorado and probably did no independent investigation. Nevertheless, Gallagher declared in his “objective” report, “The alleged victim made it clear she wasn’t a victim.”
There is a bit more to the story, as CBS Denver found when it did some actual reporting: For example, the young woman who said she thought CSU-Pueblo had overreacted also said "she felt 'wronged' by what happened between her and Neal. More importantly, CBS interviewed a real expert in sexual assault and relayed the following:
Brie Akins of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault said she would not discuss the specifics of the Neal case but told CBS4 victims of sexual assault often try to protect boyfriends from punishment. She said sexual assault victims often feel guilt and change their stories, but that doesn’t mean nothing happened.
“Someone can acquiesce and give in to pressure but that doesn’t mean that’s what they want to do,” said Akins.
She said one in every five women experience sexual violence while on campus, ranging from unwanted advances to rape.
But there was no such context from either Kelly or Gallagher, leaving the viewers with the impression that cases like Neal’s are the norm and that there is no real problem of sexual violence on campus. And that the whole thing is one more reason to hate on the Obama administration.
The interview with Neal and his attorney included commentary from Kelly that didn’t quite fit the “straight news anchor” description Kelly likes to give herself. It did, however, signal attorney Andrew Miltenberg, she was 100% on his side.
KELLY: Andrew, we have been covering this repeatedly. And what has happened in these cases, from college campus to college campus is, the [Obama] administration has set up young college men to have the book thrown at them and, basically, to be convicted without a lawyer and under a standard that no court would accept. Isn’t that true, Andrew?
MITTENBERG: […] The Obama administration has laid a very heavy hand […] such that it’s virtually assured that an allegation will turn into a finding of responsibility and expulsion.
KELLY: Just so the viewers understand, we’re talking about the administration, which has stuck its nose into college campuses in a way unprecedented. They wanted to help rape victims which is a laudable cause. But in doing so, they have eliminated due process for any accused man on college campus, which brings us to you Grant, and this ridiculous situation where, for a couple of moments, which you then rectified with the woman with whom you were having consensual intercourse, you have been deemed a sexual predator who was suspended from the university and now you cannot go to another university because of this label!
You really have to hear Kelly’s tone to fully get how far she dialed up her histrionics.
Just in case anyone missed the larger point, Kelly explicitly painted Mittenberg as a white knight fighting the Obama administration axis of evil.
KELLY: We’ve seen this happen repeatedly on many universities. But now you’re trying to do something about it, file a lawsuit against the Department of Education, saying this has got to stop! We want to support the rights of victims on college campuses, absolutely. But not everyone who makes an accusation is in fact a victim. And in those cases, it is the accused who becomes the victim, as we saw in the Duke rape case
Far from being some kind of iconoclast – a woman who takes on Donald Trump and feminists! – Kelly has fallen right in line with the Fox News meme of downplaying campus assault and suggesting that false accusations against men are common when, in fact, sexual assault is both common and underreported.
That's not to say that Neal does not deserve our sympathy nor that his situation doesn't warrant some reconsideration of current policy. But the only real information to be obtained from this segment is just how biased Megyn Kelly can be.
Watch it above, from the April 22 The Kelly File.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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