Former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, jumping back into the ring after losing his 2012 Senate bid in the firestorm over his "legitimate rape" remark, said he was the victim of a media and political double standard that overlooked former President Bill Clinton's "history of sexual assault" to make him a national hero.
“I merely had poor word choice, nothing I said was demeaning to women or in any way diminishing the seriousness of the crime. But it was simply words, whereas you had somebody with a history of sexual assault and indecency. There is a lot of difference between doing something, and somebody saying something,” Akin told Secrets.
The former St. Louis area Republican this week is releasing his memoir titled, “Firing Back: Taking on the party bosses and media elite to protect our faith and freedom.” In it he blasts party leaders including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and GOP guru Karl Rove for selling him out. He also lumps Politico, Media Matters and Daily Kos together as a "left-leaning blogs … whose purpose is to feed information to their mainstream media allies that advances their shared ideological agenda."
In the book and interview, he said said that Clinton got off easier during his multiple scandals.
“It's a dual standard in the media and I think that's a strong underestimation of what's really going on. And to illustrate that point, and I think in a way my life illustrates that point, you had somebody who made a poor word choice. But put that in perspective: It's just talking,” he said in an interview.
“Two weeks later, you have a keynote speaker at the Democratic convention [Clinton] who has a history of sexual assault and indecency and he is applauded at the convention, obviously given a place of honor,” he added.
Also worse in his eyes: Hillary Clinton's defense 40 years ago of a man she felt guilty of raping a 12-year-old.
Comparing the “tsunami” of coverage over his remark to the limited coverage of Hillary Clinton’s case, he accused the media of practicing “a censorship of the truth and a protecting of the guilty and I think that’s a violation of a sacred trust of the public and that is to present the truth. It’s intentional deception to advance a very anti-American liberal media and democratic media agenda.”
He said that he hopes to change the media’s approach to conservatives, but didn’t have high hopes, claiming that media attacks on conservatives go back to when former Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy was ridiculed for hunting down alleged communists in government.
“They made fun of him, the media made him a laughing stock and then he died. And years passed and then we got hold of the KGB records and it turned out that everything he said was true, except it was understated,” said Akin, 67. “This is a trick that’s been going on in the media for some time. I don’t think we can get rid of it over night but we can alert people to how dangerous it is.”
Early in his book, published by WND Books, Akin addresses his “gaffe” in answering a question about whether abortion in cases of rape should be legal. It came in a TV interview as he was reading his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child,” he said in the much-mocked comments.
By legitimate rape, he writes, Akin meant if it was certified by police or was “an excuse to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.”
At the time, his claim that women can reject pregnancy after rape was ridiculed. But he sticks to it in his book, writing, “Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject. The research is not conclusive, but there is considerable evidence that stress makes conception more difficult. And what could be more stressful than rape?”Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.