Right-wing media are defending Rep. Jim Jordan against accusations that he knew about -- and ignored -- sexual abuse at Ohio State University

Right-wing media are defending Rep. Jim Jordan against accusations that he knew about -- and ignored -- sexual abuse at Ohio State University

Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been accused of knowing about, and failing to act on, sexual abuse by the team doctor during his tenure as assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Multiple former athletes have accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexual misconduct and have claimed that Jordan knew or must have known about the abuse yet failed to act.

Jordan, who is also the co-founder of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, has denied the accusations, claiming he was unaware of any abuse. During a July 6 appearance on Fox News’ Special Report, he was quick to attack multiple accusers, criticized CNN for hosting a former wrestler to discuss the claims, and stoked conspiracy theories by claiming that “the timing” of the accusations “is suspect” because he’s about to launch a campaign for speaker of the House. Allies of the conservative congressman have been equally resolute in their defense, with both President Donald Trump and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) backing Jordan, and the entire Freedom Caucus voting to officially support him.

Unsurprisingly, right-wing media have also jumped to Jordan’s defense, suggesting that the accusations are no more than a politically motivated smear. Here are some of right-wing media’s defenses:

  • Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized Ryan for failing to immediately defend Jordan from “suspiciously timed smear campaigns.” He also called the accusations “a smear campaign of the vilest sort” and said Jordan has been “dishonorably attacked by the left."

  • The Daily Caller ran an article attacking some of the accusers, arguing that their “sketchy history” raises questions about their “authenticity.”

  • Fox News contributor David Bossie tweeted that Jordan is “an honest man of unparalleled integrity” and “the scurrilous allegations against him are absurd - perpetrated by the fake news media and liberals with an agenda to stop Congressman Jordan.”

  • Radio host Wayne Dupree claimed the accusations were a “hit job” and argued that the story “seems like an inside job from our side that doesn't want a conservative becoming Speaker of the House.” He also called the accusations a “sex smear” and said that they have solidified his “unequivocal support” for Jordan.

  • Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter called the accusations “sudden” and “convenient,” claimed multiple times that the story was “bullshit,” blamed the victims, and suggested there was a “coordinated” liberal response to the wrestlers’ claims.

  • Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell said the accusations reek of “dirty tricks” and implied that they were made to derail Jordan’s campaign to join Republican House leadership.

  • During Rush Limbaugh’s July 6 radio show -- titled “With Paul Manafort in Solitary, Deep State Targets Jim Jordan” -- the radio host argued that the accusations against Jordan are just the result of “opposition research” and claimed they emerged “because he’s had a successful interrogation period with [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein and is being mentioned for possible speaker.” Limbaugh also attacked the victims’ histories and stoked conspiracy claims by noting that the “the leading Democrat law firm in all of fascist Democrat America,” Perkins Coie, is investigating the wrestlers’ accusations. Gateway Pundit made similar accusations, blaming the deep state, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also told Dobbs that the deep state was to blame.

  • The Daily Wire ran an article that called the “timing of these allegations… suspect,” because they have come out only when “Jordan was considering a run to replace Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker of the House.”

  • Infowars’ Owen Shroyer claimed “intimidation tactics” were being used against Jordan, argued there are “a bunch of holes in this” story, and said, “It seems to me like this is just another case of the Clinton crime machine trying to intimidate Americans who are standing up to them.”

  • Infowars’ Roger Stone rejected the accusations as a “smear tactic” and “a hit piece” and argued that Jordan is being targeted for his criticism of Rosenstein.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.