Most Voters Say the Media Treats Those Accused of Sexual Assault as 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent'
Most American likely voters think the media rushes to judgment in public cases involving sexual assault. This seems particularly unfair involving the turbulent accusations surrounding Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
A full 56 percent of likely voters said that the media presumes the guilt of anyone accused of sexual assault, according to a Rasmussen Reports telephone and online survey released Monday.
Rasmussen Reports asked voters, "When a public figure is accused of sexual wrongdoing, which is more likely — that the media will regard him as innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?"
Only 28 percent said the media will regard an accused public figure as "innocent until proven guilty." Another 17 percent said they were not sure.
Ironically, the claims often have a partisan dimension. In recent weeks, Christine Blasey Ford (herself an anti-Trump activist) accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of having abused her 36 years ago, and Karen Monahan accused Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) of abusing her.
Liberal groups have weaponized #MeToo against Kavanaugh, while largely ignoring the accusation against Ellison.
On Sunday, the Women's March tweeted that "it is past time for Kavanaugh to withdraw. The Republicans who have championed him will pay in November. You don’t get to be a rape apologist and stay in office. Not on our watch."
The Women's March tweeted this despite the fact that Kavanaugh is accused of attempted rape, not rape, and that not only has he denied the allegation, but each of the alleged witnesses has denied any knowledge of the incident. As the evidence seems to pile up against Ford's claims, Democrats continue to insist that "survivors" should be "believed."
Conveniently, they seem to leave Monahan out of that list of "survivors" to be "believed."
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has called on men to "shut up and stand up" in these matters. She insists that men should believe accusers — seemingly with or without evidence — and has wondered why men would be "offended" by her demands that they "shut up."
Worse, Hirono actually suggested on Sunday that Kavanaugh should not enjoy the presumption of innocence — to be presumed innocent until proven guilty — because she disagreed with his judicial philosophy. Democrats are willing to jettison the time-honored principle of innocent until proven guilty just to win one political battle, regardless of the fact that another woman (Monahan is a Democrat) claims to have been assaulted by a Democrat.
Words can barely express how disgusting this is.
Importantly, some members of the media — CNN's Jake Tapper in particular — have challenged Hirono on her claims. Also importantly, The New York Times decided not to publish the most recent — and extremely flimsy — sexual assault allegation against Kavanugh coming from Deborah Ramirez, after being unable to corroborate her story.
Whether or not the media as a whole is too credulous about sexual assault allegations, it seems Democrats have decided to reverse the presumption of innocence, and consider the accused guilty until proven innocent.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.