By Brian Flood | Fox News
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who once vilified Justice Brett Kavanaugh, published an article Monday that was criticized as attempting to rehabilitate the image of former Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
Mayer, along with #MeToo champion Ronan Farrow, famously penned a widely criticized Sept. 2018 piece that detailed sexual misconduct allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh. The piece about Kavanaugh was essentially the polar opposite of her most recent work about Franken, who stepped down in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against him that ranged from groping to forcibly trying to kiss women. This time, Mayer defended the man and criticized his female accuser.
Daily Caller reporter Ashe Schow observed what she considers hypocrisy from Mayer.
CRITICS CONDEMN NEW YORKER OVER UNCORROBORATED KAVANAUGH STORY: ‘LAZY AT BEST, SLIMY AT WORST’
“The New Yorker published the [Kavanaugh] article despite its significant flaws, such as the fact that the only corroborating witness said he heard the story from someone who had been there, but that person said they didn’t remember such an incident. The story was published despite the fact that [the accuser] herself was not sure whether the man in question was Kavanaugh, but only decided that it was him after consulting with a Democrat attorney and ‘six days of carefully assessing her memories,’” Schow wrote.
“Now Mayer appears to have changed her tune when it comes to accusations against powerful men, at least powerful Democrats.”
Mayer’s latest piece, “The case of Al Franken: A close look at the accusations against the former senator,” explores the situation that resulted in Franken leaving office. “Almost NOTHING His Main Accuser Said checks out,” Mayer tweeted to promote the piece.
“Franken is short and sturdily built, with bristly gray hair, tortoiseshell glasses, and a wide, frog-like mouth from which he tends to talk out of one corner. Despite his current isolation, Franken is recognized nearly everywhere he goes, and he often gets stopped on the street,” Mayer wrote in the magazine.
“He appreciates the support, but such comments torment him about his departure from the Senate.”
Mayer then reminds readers that Franken regrets stepping down without a Senate Ethics Committee hearing. In fact, the liberal writer notes that many “former U.S. senators who demanded Franken’s resignation” now feel they were “wrong to do so.”
Mayer also said that Franken’s accuser “may well have felt harassed, and even violated” but “he insisted to me that her version of events is ‘just not true.’” Mayer also spoke with friends and old colleagues of Franken who vouched for his side of the story and denied that he was capable of sexual harassment.
Schow slammed the “hypocrisy” between the two Mayer pieces.
The New Yorker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“When Mayer wrote about Kavanaugh, she included his denial before going on to publish every thin source and detail she could to make him appear guilty,” Schow wrote. “Mayer also included a section explaining how Franken was ‘five hundred per cent devoted’ to his wife. Kavanaugh’s wife or his similar devotion to her was never mentioned in Mayer’s article.”
Mayer also quoted far-left comedian Sarah Silverman, who said the allegations, even if true, “are of a different magnitude than the kind of grotesque misconduct that has often been exposed in the #MeToo era.”
“This isn’t Kavanaugh,” Silverman ironically told Mayer.
Many other readers took to Twitter to criticize Mayer’s latest work.
You can believe the New Yorker reporting on Kavanaugh was journalistically responsible and not a poorly-corroborated rush that actually undermined Blasey Ford. You can also believe Al Franken was unfairly railroaded. But believing both requires an awful lot of partisan willpower.
*Seven* other women accused Al Franken of sexual misconduct. That feels worth mentioning sooner than 8,500 words into a story.
I’m a big fan of Mayer but this is an embarrassing piece. she says the case against Franken falls apart when you analyze the finer points — the problem is she gets most of the finer points wrong.
Hard not to note the irony of Jane Mayer of all ppl writing a long defense of Al Franken, arguing he was unfairly forced to resign for an act of sexual harrassment that was actually *caught on film* plus other unverified accusations. She lacks shame.
That very long Al Franken story brings up extremely few exculpatory facts about Al Franken’s alleged behavior.
So apparently Al Franken claims he was just pretending to be a dirty old man and he thought he was being funny so forget all about #MeToo and let’s rehabilitate his image in The New Yorker.
Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report. Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News.