Since writer E. Jean Carroll claimed last week that President Trump in the 1990s sexually assaulted her in a Bergdof Goodman's dressing room, the national media has run wild with her "rape" claim.
While Carroll stops short of describing the alleged attack as rape, many in the media are more than happy to do it for her. CNN's Alisyn Camerota, for example, used most of a lengthy interview with the author trying to get her to agree she had been raped. "That's what it was," Camerota told her. Between CNN and MSNBC, the term "rape" has been used in reference to President Trump more than 300 times since Friday, when an excerpt of Carroll's latest book — where the allegation first surfaced — was published in New York Magazine.
These same reporters have also taken to asking why the story isn’t getting even more coverage and and attacking outlets — such as Fox News — for not giving the allegation more airtime. MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid criticized The New York Times for placing its article about the alleged assault in their books section. The New York Times' executive editor, Dean Baquet, subsequently apologized and said the paper was "overly cautious" and should have made a bigger deal of the allegation despite not having independently corroborated the allegation.
But perhaps Baquet's earlier caution was indeed the correct approach. As Carroll has gone on a recent publicity tour for the book, "What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal," she's revealed herself as a rather bizarre individual, with many online wondering if she's suffering from mental illness.
And as the accusation comes down to one person’s account, her credibility is absolutely integral to the allegation’s veracity.
During one of her first interviews about the claim, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell asked if she would bring rape charges against the president.
“No,” Carroll replied. “I would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the border, who are being raped around the clock down there. But for the women down there and for the women, actually, around the world — “ before drifting off into another thought.
On CNN, Carroll seemed to confuse Camerota by describing the alleged assault with very positive adjectives.
Carroll said the incident was “playful” and “it was charming, it was exciting. Remember what Donald Trump was like in ‘95, ‘96?” She also said on CNN that she wasn’t scared at all during the incident.
During an interview with Joy Ann Reid, Carroll got lost on a tangent about the “fancy lingerie boxes” that “they used to have in the 90s.” Turning to Reid, she said: “You wore lingerie in the ‘90s, I’ll bet, Joy.”
In more than one interview, Carroll’s replies have left hosts visibly confused. Anderson Cooper asked her if she was scared during the incident. Carroll said she was not, “I was too panicked to be scared.” In another interview she said she put her life on the line by bringing this story to the public. When asked a followup, Carroll seemed to acknowledge there were no death threats and she hadn’t actually put her life on the line.
Asked about Trump’s defense that she’s “not my type,” Carroll replied: “I love that I’m not his type. … I’m an archer, I have bows and arrows, you know. Fine. I think that it’s just too — never mind. Never mind.”
And in easily one of the most bizarre moments from her publicity tour, Carroll was asked why she doesn’t describe the alleged attack as rape.
“I think most people think of rape as being sexy,” she replied, leaving a nonplussed Anderson Cooper little option but to cut to commercial.
Somehow that’s just a sampling. For more on how Carroll is destroying her credibility the more she talks about this alleged assault, check out the montage above.