There is a story floating around the Internet that is being ignored by the mainstream press. Normally, this would be a good thing because, le’s face it, information from the Internet is about as reliable as an airline’s baggage handling department. For instance, just last week, I received another e-mail from someone claiming that Bill Gates would give me all of his money if I forwarded the e-mail to ten friends.
Nevertheless, the story in question is 100% accurate. In fact, anyone with a computer and a modem can verify the story by downloading court documents. However, the accuracy of the story does not seem to be enough for the media. Apparently, this story does not meet its threshold of “responsible journalism.”
Fortunately, if you’ve ever read my column, then you know that I am neither professional nor a journalist. Therefore, I will be happy to break the story for you.
President Bush is being accused of rape. This allegation is part of a lawsuit filed by a Texas woman, Margie Schoedinger. According to the complaint filed on December 3rd in Fort Bend County, Texas, the President and his men are accused of repeatedly kidnapping, drugging and raping Mrs. Schoedinger and possibly her husband.
No, I am not making his up. To be honest, I’m not nearly this creative. If I were, I’d be a novelist and not a humorist.
According to the complaint, in the fall of 2000, three unknown assailants attempted unsuccessfully to kidnap Schoedinger. When she reported the crime to the Sugar Land Police Department (remember, I’m not making this up), she was harassed by the police. She was treated similarly by the FBI. To make matters worse, her bank accounts were frozen, her husband lost his job, her academic records were expunged and she became the subject of 24-hour surveillance.
According to the complaint, this treatment was orchestrated by none of than the President of the United States. Schoedinger claims that Bush is attempting to pressure her into committing suicide. Of course, you may be asking why would the President do such a thing?
Well, according to the plaintiff, she personally asked Bush the very same question. Bush allegedly replied that he is concerned that Schoedinger may remember the numerous and repeated acts of sexual assault he has committed against her and her husband. His original plan was to simply kill the plaintiff. But since he couldnt go through with it, he decided to simply drive her crazy instead.
In her lawsuit, Schoedinger is asking for $50 million for “emotional distress, loss of freedom and ability to pursue Plaintiff’s own dreams, alienation of affection from Plaintiff’s spouse, loss of privacy, being disparaged on the Internet, and loss of Plaintiff’s ability to be a Christian writer.”
Now, before you label me as a “crackpot” (although I suspect it’s probably too late for that), let me just say that I am somewhat skeptical of the plaintiff’s claims in this case. For one, the thought of the President repeatedly abducting a woman to sexual assault her and her husband strikes me as far-fetched. After all, we are talking about President George W. Bush not President Dennis Rodman.
The second clue that perhaps these allegations are unfounded is the fact that the plaintiff filed the complaint “pro se” or without the benefit of an attorney. In America, there are approximately 1 million lawyers, 990,000 of whom are desperately looking for work. The fact that Schoedinger could not find even one lawyer to represent her in this matter may something about the credibility of her claims.
Nevertheless, in my view, this does not absolve the mainstream media from its responsibility to cover the news. This lawsuit is not rumor or innuendo. It’s a fact. Sure, the allegations are ridiculous but perhaps no more so than Trent Lott’s claims that Strom Thurmond would have made a great president. Yet, the media has had no trouble covering the Lott story incessantly for the last two weeks.
Of course, some would argue that this type of story unnecessarily sullies the President’s reputation. This is simply not true. Now, that you’ve read this story, do you any less respect for the President?
In fact, if a story like this does anything, it actually makes us more sympathetic towards the President. For instance, in the past, I have made fun of Bush’s almost daily verbal gaffes. And, of course, I’ll continue to do so in the future. But I will feel bad about doing so from now on. After all, if I had women accusing me of raping them and their husbands, perhaps I’d suffer a few lapses in conjugation myself.
In short, the media should have reported the filing of this lawsuit. The media should trust the American people to be able to distinguish the truth from the lies. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to answer this e-mail from an exiled foreign minister in Zaire who is willing to give me $1 million if I help him transfer money from his Swiss bank account.
SEAN CARTER is a lawyer, comedian, public speaker and the author of “If It Does Not Fit, Must You Acquit?– Your Humorous Guide to the Law“. He can be reached at www.lawpsided.com.