Left-wing activist and Huffpost contributor G.S. Potter has declared that Leann Tweeden, the Los Angeles journalist who was the first to accuse Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of sexual misconduct, has not “earned” the right to claim that she is a victim.
Rather, Dr. Potter says, Tweeden is trying to use “the traumas of the women and children that have been the true victims of sexual violence” for the benefit of the Republican Party and for her own gain.
In defending Franken in an essay published on Medium, Dr. Potter claims that Tweeden was never really a victim of assault, and that she was effectively asking to be abused because of her participation in a USO comedy show:
What Leeanne Tweeden has done is stolen the very real traumas of very real survivors — people like me — and mocked them. What she has done is taken our pain and our bravery and our strength and exploited it on behalf of a network of people that actively prey on the women and children she is pretending to show solidarity with. What she is doing is vile and it is disgusting and it is dangerous on every personal and political level associated with sexual assault in the United States.
Perhaps if she was, in fact, a survivor of sexual assault she would understand the damage that is being caused by her actions. But she is not a survivor. And she is definitely not a victim of Al Franken.
Leeanne was never raped. She was never assaulted. And she was never the victim of sexual violence or harassment. She was a willing and active participant in a comedy show that involved sexualized behaviors. She consented to participating. She actively engaged in and invited similar behaviors with other performers other than Al Franken at the event.
There is no shortage of Tweedens standing in line to gain 5 minutes of fame and a right-wing paycheck to be used as a grenade to blow up the next Democratic target.
While insisting that Tweeden is not a victim, Dr. Potter says, “A very large part of me wishes she had been, though.”
Tweeden’s claims happen to hurt Democrats: therefore, apparently, they are not to believed. And just as only Democrats can be victims, only Democrats are entitled to the presumption of innocence when accused — a point underlined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, when she accused Alabama Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore of being a “child molester” but insisted Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) deserved “due process.”
Potter describes herself in her Huffpost profile as “founder of the Strategic Institute of Intersectional Policy.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
A previous version of this article identified Tweeden instead of Potter in the last sentence.