On the set of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night, the host ran full-court defense for Alabama Judge Roy Moore following a Washington Post report in which four women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Moore, the Republican nominee to fill Jeff Sessions’ U.S. Senate seat from Alabama, has denied the accusations — including one that he initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s.
In one particular moment, Hannity invited Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin to cast a broad set of aspersions not just on the women accusing Moore but of all women who bring forth charges of sexual harassment.
“Do people do it for money? Do people do it for political reasons? Is that more common than people think?” asked Hannity. (The woman who said Moore had behaved inappropriately when she was 14 told the Post that she had voted Republican in the last three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016.)
“Oh, definitely,” said Colwin.
“They will lie to make money?” Hannity asked.
“Undoubtedly,” Colwin responded. “There are individuals that would come forward with these outrageous allegations.”
“And that hurts all women who are victims,” said Hannity with indignation.
Colwin, a managing partner in the New York office of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani said that if there wasn’t any “damage” women didn’t have a real case.
“Sexual harassment, that term is coined everywhere,” she said. “Frankly, there are the laws are very clear in order to be a violation of the law. You have to have some sort of damage and these individuals, a lot of these women, it’s all about money.”
The sweeping claim appeared even too much for Hannity, who backpedaled a bit .
“This is where you thread the needle because there are women who are victims of predators,” he noted.
“There are, there are,” said Colwin, “but very few and few between.”
It was a bad day for Hannity overall. Both at the top of his show and on Twitter the host apologized “when I misspoke and was not totally clear earlier today” regarding comments made on his radio show in which he appeared to agree with a claim that the relationships between Moore and the accusers were “consensual.”
Hannity’s decision to confront the Moore allegations full bore contrasts sharply with with his primetime colleague Tucker Carlson, who confined his thoughts on the matter to a brief news item at the end of the show.