Monday's HOT MIC

HOT MIC is PJ Media's daily liveblog, where you can join our editors and contributors for news updates and conversation throughout the day. We hope you'll add your thoughts to the mix in our comments section at the bottom or by clicking on the comment bubbles on individual posts. Scroll down to read Liz Sheld's Morning Update or click here.

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The plot is thickening in the Debbie Schlussel-Sean Hannity sexual harassment incident. Schlussel was interviewed this morning by Lawnewz and said she was never "sexually harassed" by Hannity, that he invited her back to his hotel, not his hotel room, but that she thought Hannity "weird" and "creepy."

Debbie Schlussel, a former Fox News guest, appeared on a local radio show on Friday and recounted an incident where Sean Hannity purportedly asked her to a hotel, and when she rebuffed his advances, she claims, she was ostracized by the network star. The story has since gone viral garnering headlines like “Sean Hannity Accused of Sexually Harassing Fox News Guest” in publications like The Daily Beast and The Huffington PostNow, in an interview with LawNewz.com on Monday morning, Schlussel is denying that she was ever sexually harassed by Sean Hannity. While Schlussel stands by her description of the incident, Schlussel told us that she doesn’t believe what happened between the two amounted to sexual harassment by any legal definition.

“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel, an attorney herself, said.  Schlussel said the interaction happened in the early 2000’s when Hannity was in Detroit taping a show.

“He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show after he and his executive producer Bill Shine treated me horribly,” she said on the radio program. Schlussel later clarified that it wasn’t his hotel room, but rather his hotel. She told LawNewz.com that she did go on the show following the incident, but after that was “banned from Fox News.”

“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” Schlussel said.

Note that anti-conservative media leaped to the conclusion that Schlussel was sexually harassed by Hannity despite her never using that term in her interview.

This incident says a lot more about those wanting to smear Hannity using spurious charges of sexual harassment than it says about Hannity himself.

 

It couldn't have been easy to cut off this list at just ten.

The 10 retailers most likely to fail in 2017.

This is one of those awful "listicle" articles which forces you to click through 11 pages of pictures to get through maybe two pages worth of text. So I'll spare you and just list the ten here.

Sears.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores.

Tailored Brands which includes Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank.

Fenix (auto) Parts.

Perfumania.

Destination XL big & tall men's clothing.

Bebe Stores.

Bon-Ton Stores.

Appliance Recycling Centers of America.

DGSE Companies, dealing in "jewelry, coins and other valuables."

Everybody knows about Sears and its trouble. Back in the '90s, they could have converted their massive and popular catalog sales to the internet, and become Amazon before Amazon did. But they didn't, and the rest is (soon to be) history. And they'll take K-Mart with them.

The writing has been on the wall for general brick & mortar retailers for a long time now. And it's no big surprise seeing men's clothing stores failing, given how little most men seem to enjoy going out and shopping.

But look at those niche women's retailers who can't seem to cut it. Dying anchor stores are taking the rest of your local mall with them.

When was the last time you went to the mall just to shop? Not to run in and run out for that one thing you need right now, but to walk around and see what's new, and maybe come home with a few bags of things?

A couple years? A decade? Longer?

Twitter is having a collective nervous breakdown over this ad from Shea Moisture. See if you can figure out what the problem is:

If you guessed "it has white girls in it," award yourself a SJW gold star.

From the site Blavity: "The prominent brand in our community has spurred major criticism for straying away from its target demographic -- black women."

Oh, the injustice of a company trying to expand its brand by marketing to a new demographic! What will racist corporate America think of next?

Demanding racially segregated products is what passes for PROGRESS in 2017 America, kids.

Will immigrant criminals get special treatment in New York City?

Brooklyn ADA Issues Crime Policy That Could Privilege Immigrants Over Citizens

Is this consequence intended or unintended?

On Monday, Acting Brooklyn Defense Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced a new policy to defend illegal immigrant and non-citizen criminals from potential immigration consequences for their convictions. While the policy might prevent unnecessary deportations, it also has the potential to privilege non-citizens over citizens when it comes to criminal prosecution. ...

In other words, non-citizens may be given a more lenient charge which might be less damaging for long-term considerations like job prospects, merely because they would face the threat of deportation. This may be compassionate, but it seems to suggest a double standard that harms lawful U.S. citizens more than illegal aliens and legal immigrants.

Read more here.

The feel-good story of the day comes to us via the Daily Mail:  Three ISIS fighters "are killed by rampaging wild BOARS" near Iraqi farmland

Three Islamic State jihadis have reportedly been killed by rampaging wild boars near Iraqi farmland.

The three Islamic State militants were cut down by the feral boar known to inhabit Kirkuk in the the al-Rashad region, a local news site claims.

Perhaps the Pentagon should look into forming elite fighting units using these feral hogs. They seem to know how to get the job done without any instructions.

Who would ever put Saudi Arabia on a commission for women's rights? Oh yeah, that's right — the United Nations. Paul Crookston has the story over at National Review's The Corner:

It’s hard to fathom the scale of the U.N.’s hypocrisy on human rights, but electing Saudi Arabia to the Commission on the Status of Women gives some indication of its depth. In ascending to the body, the Saudi government will serve alongside fellow Middle Eastern dictatorship and human-rights luminary Iran, which joined in 2014.

That’s the same Saudi Arabia that bans women from driving, forbids them to associate with men who aren’t family, and chooses for them what they will wear. Over at UN Watch, Hillel Neuer describes the oppression that Saudi women face: “Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death.”

Why aren't Hillary Clinton and Emma Watson protesting them? Oh yeah, they have more important wage gap battles at home ...

Mob robbery of BART train passengers.

BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders

A recent string of robberies on BART trains took a frightening turn when dozens of juveniles swarmed an Oakland station over the weekend and commandeered a train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries, witnesses told the transit agency.

The incident — the first of its kind in recent memory — occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Coliseum Station.

According to a police officials[sic], witnesses said 40 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.

The juveniles “committed multiple strong-arm robberies of bags and cell phones,” said a police summary prepared after the incident. “At least two victims suffered head/facial injuries requiring medical attention.”

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven robberies had occurred — with victims losing a purse, a duffel bag and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said.

The attack was quick, police reported, and the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train that was hit was held for about 15 minutes as authorities investigated the crime and tended to the injured.

Re: Deborah Schlussel, I had my own -- distinctly non-sexual -- contacts with her years back.  As I recall, she accused me of stealing material from her regarding the Rashid Khalidi tape held by the Los Angeles Times.  Some long ago readers may recall I staged a sort of mini-campaign against the paper to get them to release that recording of an Israel-bashing party at which the young Barack Obama was in attendance.  Ms. Schlussel came after me for cribbing from her, although we were on the same side of the issue.  The problem was I never had heard of her or her website until then, so it would have been hard to steal from her in the first place, but that didn't stop her from going on and on.  So when I saw her accusations about Sean Hannity, all I could do was roll my eyes.

The BBC reports that the world's first malaria vaccine will be introduced in Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya in 2018. Unfortunately, the protocol calls for the vaccine to be given once a month for three months and then a fourth dose 18 months later, which may not be feasible in poverty-stricken regions. While the Wold Health Organization estimates that it may save tens of thousands of lives every year, the benefits of the vaccine fall off quickly if the critical fourth dose isn't administered.

Dr Seth Berkley, the chief executive of Gavi, said: "The world's first malaria vaccine is a real achievement that has been 30 years in the making.

"Today's announcement marks an important step towards potentially making it available on a global scale.

"Malaria places a terrible burden on many of the world's poorest countries, claiming thousands of lives and holding back economies.

"These pilots are crucial to determining the impact this vaccine could have on reducing this toll."

 

You know what else is known to eradicate malaria? DDT. But environmentalists are too busy fooling around with their boutique eco-friendly solutions (which basically amount to handing people mosquito nets and wishing them good luck) than actually killing the deadly malaria-carrying mosquitos. Meanwhile, malaria kills nearly half a million people every year.