Originally created 02/22/99

A credible 'Jane Doe' 022299 - The Augusta Chronicle



Yes, the nation is weary of Bill Clinton and his womanizing. But bear with us. This editorial is about the woman once known as "Jane Doe No. 5" -- one Juanita Broaddrick. We believe anyone who hears the details of her encounter, and the stories of corroborating witnesses, could conclude that Clinton -- then the attorney general of Arkansas -- assaulted her in a Little Rock hotel room in 1978.

In last Friday's Wall St. Journal, writer Dorothy Rabinowitz framed a compelling story of a woman who has been avoiding journalists for 20 years. Finally, she agreed to a wide-ranging interview with NBC-TV's Lisa Myers. Why? She and her family were burned by a tabloid's false story that the president had successfully bribed her husband to keep her rape quiet. (She says Clinton even bit her lip during her losing struggle.)

Her hours-long interview took place Jan. 20, a month after Clinton's impeachment and weeks before the Senate ended its trial. NBC scheduled it for its Jan. 29 Dateline -- but the piece has never aired. As Rabinowitz writes:

"Mrs. Broaddrick understood her position. All she had tried to avoid by refusing all these years to talk to the press, all that she had feared -- that she would not be believed, that she would be passed off as just another bimbo with a Clinton story -- had come to pass, in her view. As soon as it was evident there was to be trouble about airing the piece, she recalls Lisa Myers told her: `The good news is you're credible. The bad news is you're very credible.'

"Mrs. Broaddrick repeats this more than once, as though trying to puzzle its meaning -- but it's meaning, of course, is entirely clear to her. ... It meant that to encounter this woman ... was to understand that this was an event that in fact took place."

Yet the pro-Clinton liberals running NBC killed the piece.

What a sad commentary on a once-great network. It's also a sad day, too, for so-called "women's rights" groups that are still in love with Clinton. Feminists defended Clinton against Kathleen Willey because she told him to stop and he stopped. They pooh-poohed the Monica affair as "consensual." Are there any honest Democrat feminists who'll finally admit that, in this case, this is sexual harassment?