E. Jean Car­roll is ac­cus­ing Trump of rape, but is any­body lis­ten­ing?

Lodi News-Sentinel - - NATION/WORLD - By Stephen Battaglio

Au­thor E. Jean Car­roll’s al­le­ga­tion that she was raped by Pres­i­dent Trump 23 years ago is hav­ing trou­ble mak­ing its way to the top of the news food chain.

In a forth­com­ing mem­oir by Car­roll, she de­scribes an en­counter with Trump in 1996 — when he was still a high-pro­file New York real es­tate mogul — at the Bergdorf Good­man de­part­ment store in Man­hat­tan. Car­roll wrote that she was as­saulted by Trump in a store dress­ing room af­ter a friendly en­counter.

Car­roll is among more than a dozen women who’ve ac­cused Trump of sex­ual as­sault or mak­ing un­wanted ad­vances. Trump has de­nied the claims.

But Car­roll’s story, which first ap­peared in a New York Mag­a­zine ex­cerpt re­leased Fri­day night, got lit­tle trac­tion on a busy week­end for po­lit­i­cal news — which in­cluded Trump’s re­sponse to Iran shoot­ing down a U.S. mil­i­tary drone and Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date South Bend Mayor Pete But­tigieg deal­ing with a po­lice shoot­ing cri­sis in his city.

As of Mon­day, Car­roll had done in­ter­views on two MSNBC pro­grams with Lawrence O’Don­nell and Joy Reid — both staunch crit­ics of Trump — and an ap­pear­ance on the CNN morn­ing pro­gram “New Day.” Car­roll also gave an in­ter­view to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” and her story was re­ported on “CBS Evening News.”

(Trump has said he never met Car­roll. But a photo in the New York Mag­a­zine piece shows them chat­ting at an event around the same time as the al­leged in­ci­dent.)

Car­roll’s ap­pear­ances were not enough for a num­ber of me­dia crit­ics who started weigh­ing in on Mon­day that the story had got­ten short shrift — most no­tably by not get­ting dis­cussed on the in­flu­en­tial Sun­day morn­ing public af­fairs pro­grams. (Trump taped an in­ter­view on NBC’s “Meet The Press” be­fore Car­roll’s story broke Fri­day night.)

“Car­roll’s story got about as much cov­er­age as the av­er­age Trump tweet,” Ryan Cooper wrote in The Week.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of CBS, ABC and NBC de­clined to com­ment.

“I can’t say I know what the cor­rect amount of press cov­er­age for this story should be,” added Jonathan Bern­stein in Bloomberg Opin­ion. “I can say that if the pres­i­dent is a rapist, it should have scream-from-the-moun­tain­tops im­por­tance.”

Ma­jor newspapers were cau­tious as well. The story did not ap­pear on the Satur­day print front pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Jour­nal or the Los An­ge­les Times, which picked up a New York Daily News re­port on the al­le­ga­tion.

Af­ter hear­ing com­plaints from read­ers, New York Times edi­tor in chief Dean Ba­quet is­sued a note on Mon­day say­ing Car­roll’s story “should have been pre­sented more promi­nently, with a head­line on the Times’ home page.”

ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHO­TO­GRAPH

Jour­nal­ist E. Jean Car­roll at­tends an Elle event on Nov. 17, 2015 in New York City. Car­roll said Don­ald Trump raped her in the 1990s.

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