Ryan Seacrest Was Investigated, Cleared After Harassment Claims – Why Is He Still Under Fire?

What’s going on?

Longtime TV personality Ryan Seacrest is set to host the E! News coverage of the 2018 Academy Awards this Sunday. Why is that controversial? Because old allegations about sexual harassment have resurfaced even though Seacrest was already cleared in an E! News investigation.

Glenn, Pat and Stu talked about this story on today’s show. What happens in a world where people are cleared after allegations, but we’re all still expected to believe the accusers?

Catch me up:

NBC Universal, which owns E! News, said that an independent counsel “interviewed more than two dozen people” following the harassment allegations by former stylist Suzie Hardy. She worked for Seacrest between 2007 and 2013 and accused him of touching her inappropriately, asking sexual questions and otherwise harassing her.

What are people saying?

“E!’s Ryan Seacrest Situation Is Getting Complicated,” Vanity Fair said in a headline, while a Daily Beast opinion piece demanded that “It’s Time for E! to Pull Ryan Seacrest From the Oscars Red Carpet.”

Hardy’s claims resurfaced this week after an anonymous source told NBC News that the stylist’s claims were accurate; however, a video clip of Seacrest and Hardy from the time contradicted that story.

“Over the course of a two-month process, our outside counsel interviewed more than two dozen people regarding the allegations, including multiple separate meetings with the claimant and all firsthand witnesses that she provided,” NBC Universal said in a statement. “Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.”

 

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

Pat Gray, welcome to the program. On your mind today.

PAT: Many things. But maybe the top of my list right now is Ryan Seacrest.

First of all, Ryan Seacrest was accused by his hairstylist or the person that does his makeup at E!.

GLENN: For six years.

PAT: Yeah.

And she claimed that he sexually harassed her on a regular basis. So quietly, E! did an investigation. I think they handled it right. They didn't suspend him. They just waited to see what would happen. They found zero evidence that what she said was true.

GLENN: Zero.

PAT: And he kept going. And Seacrest talked about it. He put it on his Facebook post. Put out a story.

GLENN: And he said, this is not true, but I'm cooperating.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: Whatever the company wants to do, I'll cooperate.

PAT: And he did.

GLENN: He did.

PAT: And they found no evidence.

GLENN: Zero.

PAT: And now it's everywhere all of a sudden. And now they're talking about public relations people are advising their clients not to go anywhere near him at the Oscars because he has the red carpet thing. The interviews that he does.

STU: Oh, jeez.

PAT: And so the PR people are saying, why would you even take that chance? He's been accused. So go to the other person, or go to some other outlet.

GLENN: He's been accused.

PAT: And he's been cleared. And he's been cleared.

GLENN: He's been accused. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? My gosh.

PAT: If this isn't a worse McCarthyism than we had in the '50s -- I mean, it's getting as bad.

GLENN: It's getting as bad. Except that did have the power of the government to put you in jail.

PAT: Very true. So that's worse. That's true.

GLENN: This is just destroying your life.

PAT: And, I mean, witch hunt is appropriate on this. There's an ABC star. Bellamy Young. She's on Scandal. She said, I think this is the time for Ryan Seacrest to step aside and let someone with equal talent that is beyond reproach that is in charge. First of all, the guy has every job in the world. There is nobody of equal talent.

GLENN: I'm sincere about that. I think he's one of the most talented, smartest guys around.

PAT: He's really good. He just is really good.

GLENN: Yeah, he's really good.

PAT: And how -- aren't you above reproach if you've been cleared of any wrongdoing? That seems to be --

GLENN: No, you never get to go back.

PAT: I guess not. I mean, you're just totally tainted now forever because somebody accused you.

GLENN: It's wrong.

PAT: Anybody can accuse anybody else of wrongdoing. And then --

GLENN: I have a llama in the wings right now that will swear out of testimony about Pat. And you want me to bring the llama out, I will.

PAT: If you actually had a llama, I would be nervous.

GLENN: But once that llama does what llamas do.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Baas or barks or whatever they do. It can't be unbarked, Pat. It can't be unbarked.

PAT: Scary.

STU: You know what's interesting. You're talking about how people can be accused. And it's always -- they're always tainted with it. And it's over.

PAT: And it's over.

STU: We're in the me too era. Right? It's over. You know what's one accusation that has had no attention since the me too movement has started?

GLENN: I bet I'll say the same thing.

STU: Are you really? I was going to say Al Gore's second chakra. Remember?

PAT: Oh, wow. That's a good callback.

GLENN: Oh, wow.

STU: Remember the accusation by the masseuse who said that Al Gore was constantly trying to get him to touch her.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: To --

PAT: I want you to adjust my second chakra.

STU: Right. Remember this?

PAT: Because of our SUVs that my chakra is out of place. So, yeah, he was trying to get her to do things to him in regions she didn't want to touch.

STU: And she complained about it. And it was brushed off by the media completely. He has not faced word one of a second thought on this over that time. And Bill Clinton has. Right? There have been a lot of people on the left, who said, okay. We handled that Clinton thing wrongly. But one accusation has been enough for almost everybody.

PAT: And that wasn't 30 years ago. That was eight years ago. That was in 2010.

STU: Was it 2010? I knew it was late 2000s.

PAT: Yeah. Yep.

GLENN: Let me go where I was going to go.

Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the Oscars. Not outside like Ryan Seacrest. He's hosting the Oscars.

PAT: Has he been accused?

GLENN: Have you seen any of the videotapes of what he's done?

STU: He used to host a show called The Man Show.

PAT: Oh, man. Wow.

GLENN: Yeah, he did a, I'm going to put something in my pants, and you can feel around to see what it is. You might want to use your mouth.

Okay?

PAT: Oh, yeah. Wow.

GLENN: He's on video doing that.

STU: Yep. Over and over. It was part -- that show -- look, and I defend that show at that time. And, you know, they did things --

PAT: No way.

STU: It was funny, right? It was funny. And it was totally fine --

PAT: Sorry. It's retroactively inappropriate.

STU: It's retroactively inappropriate, however.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: Remember, this is the show that ended every episode with girls jumping on trampolines in their underwear. Every episode end the same way. That was literally --

GLENN: And he's --

STU: Now girls jumping on trampolines.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: And he's the guy that's totally okay to host the Oscars.

PAT: Yeah. Nobody said a thing.

Has anybody else noticed how politicized sports have gotten? The NFL is practically three berets away from a socialist revolution. They seem more concerned with dismantling social norms and protesting than with playing football. The Minnesota Vikings announced yesterday they will host a summit and fundraiser for LGBTQ inclusion in sports.

According to LifeSiteNews, the LGBTQ inclusion summit will "include speeches, interviews, and panel discussions with a variety of athletes, coaches, and activists who are homosexual or transgender" and "will be hosted at the team's recently-completed TCO Performance Center."

The summit marks the latest in the NFL's continued advocacy for LGBTQ rights and initiatives. Last year, the league launched NFL Pride, in a bid to "heighten sensitivity to the LGBTQ community" and reinforce "commitment to an inclusive environment in which all employees are welcome."

RELATED: New NFL policy will punish players who protest the national anthem

Fair enough. No one should be harassed or discriminated against in the workplace, but is that really what this is about? Because it kind of seems like there's more going on here. Kind of seems like there's a political, ideological slant to it. At the very least, it's virtue signaling.

The summit is "part of a settlement agreement the Vikings made after [former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe], who is straight, filed a lawsuit against the team in 2014 for allegedly creating a hostile work environment for homosexual and transgender people."

So, yeah, virtue signaling.

Ultimately, the NFL is a private business and, as we saw with the National Anthem kneelers, they can conduct their business however they like, and in turn the consumers can decide whether or not to keep giving them their money.

Mostly, the situation is just strange. Can you imagine how well this partnership would have gone over in the 1970s? Moreover, at what point does being LGBTQ come up during sports? How have we landed in this strange place, where politics and gender and race must be represented within every single interaction?

It's also worth mentioning that most people don't care if an athlete is gay — with the possible exception of transgender athletes, but that's another topic entirely. This tolerance has actually been confirmed by studies and surveys throughout all kinds of sports, in various countries throughout the world. Even countries with, shall we say, a far less tolerant view of the LGBTQ community than we have here in the USA — even people in those countries believe that it doesn't matter. People watch sports to see athleticism, to enjoy the unpredictable fury of sports at its finest.

People watch sports to see athleticism, to enjoy the unpredictable fury of sports at its finest.

Overwhelmingly, regardless of the sport, people do not care about the athletes' sexuality — in fact, most of us would rather not know. We don't watch golf to muse the social significance of gender norms and sexuality. We don't go to a baseball game to meditate on the evils of the patriarchy and the terrors of cultural appropriation. If an athlete is good, who cares what their orientation is? It's certainly not a new idea that LGBTQ can perform in sports. Typically, what sports fans care about is talent. Is the athlete good?

I guarantee that if Liberace rose from the dead tomorrow morning and was suddenly able to play basketball as well as 90s-era Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls fans would not complain if he joined the team. I think it's fair to say that most people like sports better when they aren't swamped with politics. Keep the politics elsewhere, especially these days, when it's nearly impossible to escape the increasingly intolerant politics of the Left.

Perhaps they could learn a lesson from our friends, the Ancient Greeks. It's no secret that the Ancient Greeks indulged in, well, LGBTQ activities. They were quite fond of the various activities. But they also built a civilization of tremendous importance to humanity as a whole. Philosophy, art and, yes, sports. When they were charged off to war, they didn't slap a Rainbow flag bumper sticker on the back of their chariot. Their sexuality did not define their identity. They were multifaceted human beings, able to go to war or to the theater or to the town hall as a citizen, because citizenry was what mattered, personhood and selfhood. More importantly, they lived in a time when people cared about self and tribe over sexuality and gender. Identity was selfhood, not sexuality.

At the end of the day, who cares if the Minnesota Vikings want to host an LGBTQ event? But they should expect to see an increase in shoulder-padded men traipsing across the stage on Broadway.

UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Most people like sports better when politics aren't involved

Breaking down the announcement that the Minnesota Vikings will be hosting a summit and fundraiser for LGBTQ inclusion in sports.


Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.