Remember when personal conduct did not affect your job?
Back in 1998-99, many Democrats and liberals defended President Clinton. My favorite defense was that President Clinton's private behavior did not affect his job – i.e., "look at your 401-K!" – and the unemployment rate was something I heard about on TV back then!
I find this interesting, because Bill O'Reilly's alleged personal conduct did not affect his job, either. After all, his ratings never dropped.
This is why I've grown so skeptical of any public figure accused of sexual harassment, especially when we hear about them on The New York Times.
Back in the summer of 1998, when many of us were caught up in the McGwire-Sosa home run chase, this is how some women of the left reacted to the allegations against President Clinton.
This is how the late Marjorie Williams explained it back then:
Their excuses range from the procedural stonewall ("What is important for the American people to know is that there is a process in place to deal with these allegations," in the words of Senator Barbara Boxer) to the creative inversion (What about Ken Starr's "humiliation" of the women he dragged before the grand jury?, fumed Representative Nancy Pelosi) to the truly fanciful twist on gender politics ("Not so many years ago, a woman couldn't be a White House intern," said a straight-faced Senator Carol Moseley-Braun on Meet the Press).
As Miss Williams wrote further on:
The chief reason for feminists' continued support of Clinton is clear: Clinton is their guy. Clarence Thomas was their enemy. Bob Packwood, a liberal Republican who was the next habitual boor to walk the plank, was a harder case for feminists, but in the end they tied the blindfold. Clinton, though, is the hardest case, because he is the most reliably supportive president they've ever had.
It wasn't long ago that we made excuses for men who engaged in bad behavior.
Why is Mr. O'Reilly different? Could it be his pro-life position? Or his support for marriage? Or the War on Christmas?
Put me down as a total skeptic.