The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: Mike Pence Was Right About Being Alone With Women

Karen Pence attends a speech by her husband, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Sexual misconduct continued to dominate discourse on the right on Friday. National Review’s David French argued that the recent wave of controversies suggests the wisdom of the Pence Rule against dining alone with women:

[W]hen men and women are alone — especially at night, especially with drinks — there is a far greater chance of mutual or one-sided attraction (not assault) than when they’re in groups or in professional settings. Even if they don’t intend the attraction. Even if they’re happily married. If you doubt this reality then, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Spend any time in professional settings, and you’ll understand that workplace attraction happens, and when it happens it tends to happen not in the midst of conference calls but rather in those settings that get far more personal and less professional.

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Second, variations of the Pence rule protect both sides from reputational harm. It’s a simple fact that observing a married man alone at dinner with a woman other than his wife can start tongues wagging, and it’s also a fact that leaders of Christian ministries have often had to take extreme measures to protect against intentional sabotage of their reputations. I know leaders who never travel alone in part because of actual past hostile attempts to place them in compromising positions (with photographic evidence). If we should understand anything in 2017 it’s that our politics is vicious and poisonous. The more high-profile you become, the more careful you should be.

Rush Limbaugh argued that relations between men and women are becoming as tense as race relations:

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I’m just spotting a trend, and I know you have too. I’m sure I’m not the only person in this crowd. But you know, this business of sexual abuse is quickly approaching the same dynamics as racism in our culture.

And just as racism is a horrible thing to be accused of, and depending on how it’s done it’s sometimes hard to disprove it, it’s the same thing here with being accused of all kinds of improper behavior against women, especially blind allegations, they can be really tough to defend, especially the way the table is being set today. That women never make it up, that women don’t lie about it, that women must be believed. This is not an anti-woman screed. Now, don’t anybody misunderstand me here.

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I’m addressing this as though we’re all human beings. Forget sex, gender, and all of that. I’m just assessing where our culture is going. And it’s because of the politicization of everything, because we have politicized relationships now. We have politicized the way men and women interact.

The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra wrote a post about images purporting to show Joe Biden touching people inappropriately while being photographed that have circulated on Twitter.

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“Imagine for a moment what the media’s reaction would be if the following photos and videos featured President Trump instead of Biden,” he wrote. “Those video clips and photographs represent only a fraction of the content available on the internet that clearly shows a disturbing pattern of behavior by the former vice president which the Democrats have continued to ignore.”

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NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock criticized MSNBC’s Mika Brezinski for belatedly calling Bill Clinton a “predator.” “The Morning Joe co-host declared, ‘I think the days of sort of tip-toeing around the Clintons are over and I’m fine with it,’” he wrote. “Too bad that journalists weren’t this shocked at Bill Clinton when he was actually running for president in 1992 or running for reelection as president in 1996. Better late than never?”

In other news:

Several outlets wrote posts about an exchange between Sarah Huckabee Sanders and reporter April Ryan during Friday’s White House press briefing. The Daily Caller’s item, by new reporter at large Benny Johnson, was titled “Sarah Sanders Asked About Hillary Condemning Trump’s Sexual Behavior—Her Response Is a Flamethrower”:

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The president has vociferously denied any wrongdoing. During Friday’s briefing, Sanders was asked about Trump’s 2016 presidential adversary, Hillary Clinton, weighing in on the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Clinton ominously said in a recent interview that she “worries” about Trump’s behavior from his past “because it tells you how he behaves in the present and will in the future.”

When a reporter asked Sanders to comment on Hillary’s critique of the president’s alleged sexual behavior Sanders shut down the question cold, saying, “I think Hillary Clinton probably should have dealt with some of those of her own issues before addressing this president.”

Scorcher.

“It was a lob ball, the Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft wrote, “and Sanders hit it out of the park.”

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