On June 17, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto wrote an essay deeming McCaskill’s hold “an effort to criminalize male sexuality,” calling the senator’s description of the victim as a “survivor” “more than a little histrionic,” and suggesting the “hanky-panky” came about because the assaulted woman “acted recklessly” by drinking and then getting into a car with a man. Efforts by McCaskill and others to address the issue of military sexual assaults, he wrote, amounted to a “war on men.”
Below, McCaskill’s response:
I had reservations about responding to the multiple columns from the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, in which he makes a lengthy and spirited defense of a convicted sex offender.
But, the sad fact is that Mr. Taranto’s disregard for the severity of sexual assault is not nearly as uncommon as it should be—in either civilian or military culture. That one of the most respected and widely read papers in the country saw fit to repeatedly offer Mr. Taranto such a large platform is a reminder of how important our efforts, and those of many of my colleagues, to tackle the prevalence of sexual assault in our military, have been—and of how far we still have to go.
It’s notable that Mr. Taranto spends little time discussing the actions of Lt. General Susan Helms—the commander in question, whose lifetime of service to the U.S. Air Force is worthy of our gratitude and appreciation. Instead, he re-litigates the facts of a case he didn’t witness, comparing the recklessness of sending a text message or having a drink, to the “recklessness” involved in sexually assaulting another person. [Rest.]
- Senator Claire McCaskill takes on rape culture in rebuke of Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto (rawstory.com)
- McCaskill waging ‘war on men’? She responds. (stltoday.com)
- Claire McCaskill Shoots Back At WSJ Columnist: There Is No War On Men (huffingtonpost.com)
- In Which the Thoughtful and Intelligent Sam Wilkinson Smacks Down the Odious James Taranto of the Despicable Wall Street Journal, Saying: “Be a Man!” (delong.typepad.com)
- Claire McCaskill Will Not Be Trolled by James Taranto (nymag.com)