Rep. Jim Jordan’s summer has gotten off to a rough start. The Republican congressman from Ohio has been accused by eight former athletes at Ohio State University, where Jordan coached the wrestling team, of ignoring years of sexual abuse committed by a former team trainer. Two more accusers and you’ll have enough to field an entire collegiate wrestling team.
Each fresh accusation has been met with vehement denial by Jordan and his congressional staff, but those denials have so far only begotten more accusers. Former friends — and even a few campaign donors — have come forward to share their disappointment that Jordan continues to deny having any knowledge of the pervasive culture of abuse that festered inside the Buckeyes’ locker room and athlete housing on campus.
Naturally, reporters are closely following the story as it unfolds. And as any half-decent reporter will tell you, part of her job is to speak to as many people as possible to get the most accurate and complete portrait of a story as possible. This is known in the English language as Journalism™.
In whatever tongue Jim Jordan speaks though, it’s a deep state conspiracy by the fake news cabal.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 11, 2018
A few things. First, what Jordan tries to portray as nefarious misconduct by a malicious press is the literal definition of journalism. While he may subscribe to The Daily Caller school of reportage — which stipulates that a story’s facts be selectively curated (or entirely fabricated, if needed) to support a preordained conclusion — actual journalists make every effort to speak with as many people as possible in search of the truth. That the truth is an inconvenient one to Jim Jordan is entirely the fault of Jim Jordan, not CNN or NBC News.
Second, while reporters are pursuing new details now, it wasn’t the investigatory prowess of journalists that uncovered this story. Jim Jordan’s former athletes reached out to his congressional office in an email back in April, after Ohio State announced they were opening an investigation into former team trainer Richard Strauss. In it, Mike DiSabato simply requested Jordan use his sizable platform to assist in Ohio State’s investigation into Strauss, and bring attention to the plight of his former teammates. Jordan never responded to the email, so DiSabato and two other teammates went to the media.
Meanwhile, Jordan’s defenders have leapt into overdrive this week. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) defended sexual abuse by arguing that it can’t happen to anyone over the age of 18, and claimed — falsely — that Jordan’s accusers were all in the midst of “ongoing legal and financial troubles.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) suggested Jordan’s accusers were working in tandem with the Democratic National Committee. And Eric Trump, whose father is a serial harasser of women, preemptively dismissed any future accusations, arguing that one instance of overlooked sexual abuse shouldn’t tarnish an otherwise respectable white man’s reputation.