Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/6/17: Pigs And Hypocrites

Good Morning!

(and thank heaven THAT week is over with…)

1 There will be a full post on the Harvey Weinstein matter later today, but let’s get his vomit-inducing statement to the Times out of the way. If you are late to this party, Weinstein has been a powerful Hollywood producer and power-broker for decades, as well as a high profile supporter of the Democratic party, the Clintons, and Barack Obama. In a New York Times exposé yesterday, he was also revealed as a serial sexual abuser and harasser, whose conduct and cover-ups his industry and the politicians who received and accepted his checks were almost certainly aware of. More of that later; let’s look at the mogul’s response to the Times story. You can read the whole nauseating thing here. I’ll focus on these lowlights…

I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.

Sexual harassment has been unambiguously condemned in our law and culture for more than 30 years.  This is a weak “Everybody used to do it” excuse. When did he “learn” it’s not an excuse? If he knows it’s not an excuse, why is he offering it as an excuse?

My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more.

I don’t even know how to describe this, except that more blatant BS I have seldom read in my life.  Who is supposed to be convinced by such transparent “Damn! I’m caught! How can I pretend I’m sorry?” blather?

Here’s the pièce de résistance, though:

I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.

Translation: “Remember, Hollywood, I’m one of you! I hate what you hate! I believe in the right things! I want to defeat the bad guys! I’m also Jewish, give money to good causes and loved my mom!”

How desperate, cynical, pandering and shameless can a man get?  Does Weinstein think that kind of blinding virtue signalling works on the Hollywood and liberal elite? My god…DOES it work?

2. Side note: Ann Althouse is mostly concerned that in the statement, Weinstein misquotes a J-Z lyric. She writes,

How could he make such a sloppy mistake? I think I know. Weinstein has people do things for him. I think he dictated the statement he wanted, throwing in the reference to the song, paraphrasing the general meaning, and somebody else wrote up the statement and assumed Weinstein knew what he was quoting. That was a terrible assumption. Why wouldn’t this person check?!

This is Ann being quirky rather than useful. The real question is, why wouldn’t “this person” ask, “Are you kidding Harvey? This whole statement is an embarrassment”?

3. And speaking of Hollywood’s spectacularly hypocritical celebration of criminal, women-abusing sleaze-bags while posing as a bastion of feminism and indignation over what Donald Trump said to Billy Bush years ago: a fourth woman has come out to accuse Roman Polanski, currently a fugitive from justice after pleading guilty to child rape in the US decades ago, of rape. She says he raped her—twice–when she was 16.

Hollywood awarded Polanski the Best Director Oscar in 2003, with many in the Oscars audience, including Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep, standing to honor him. Polanski  couldn’t attend, however, being on the run to avoid punishment for rape. When Polanski was arrested in Zurich in 2009 and the US tried to extradite him, more than 100 Hollywood celebrities signed a petition demanding his release, including Mia Farrow,  Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, David Lynch, Tilda Swinton, Darren Aranofsky, Penelope Cruz, Wes Anderson, and—surprise!– Harvey Weinstein. Cate Blanchett named one of her sons after Roman. In 2010, Johnny Depp said,  “Clearly, very clearly — and he’s proven this — Roman Polanski is not a predator.”  On “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg shrugged off the initial rape charge, claiming that a child star agreeing to sex on a casting couch “wasn’t rape-rape.”

Hollywood’s hypocrisy on feminism and misogyny gives hypocrisy a bad name.

4. AND speaking of despicable hypocrites, we have GOP Pennsylvanian Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocal anti-abortion advocate who is now resigning from Congress after a newspaper acquired text messages from Murphy to his mistress (he’s happily married, of course, like all conservatives) encouraging her to get an abortion. Murphy is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus and voted this week for legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Maybe Harvey Weinstein will write a statement for him…

5. Now, a poll:

15 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/6/17: Pigs And Hypocrites

  1. “Does Weinstein think that kind of blinding virtue signalling works on the Hollywood and liberal elite? My god…DOES it work?”

    Yes and yes. At this point the left has some very easy guiding principles – they all hate Trump, they all hate the NRA, and they all hate the GOP. Anything else means nothing.

  2. How convenient for Harvey to seek to better himself now that he’s old and probably can’t perform. “Eh, the thing’s useless anyway, might as well give up the fight.”

  3. Had you added Roger Ailes and the GOP to the choices in your poll it would have presented a true dilema. There really are more then enough “kings” in the USA to go around.

    • This may be hard to grasp for some reason, but the poll encompassed the three individuals involved in recent stories. Not Roger Ailes, who is dead, and whom I wrote about thoroughly and unsympathetically, and O’Reilly too, here. Or is it the hypocrisy angle you’re missing? See, Hollywood is always crowing about its progressive feminist values, but it tolerates these creeps.That’s materially different from the GOP: they usually embrace the pigs, but at least they don’t constantly lie to the public claiming that they don’t.

      Your implication that I ignore the conservative predators is 1) False, 2) a deflection and 3) unfair. I don’t appreciate it. At all.

      • NBC Nightly News referred to Weinstein as: ‘the latest mogul to be exposed in a high profile sexual harassment case.’

        The others to whom they deftly deflected and pictured?

        The late Roger Ailes & Bill O’Reilly.

        Media bias? We don’t need no stinkin’ media bias!

  4. Tim might not be a hypocrite on abortion, depending on how far along Shannon Edwards thought she was and his exact stance on abortion. I have no qualms about abortion in the first 8 weeks.

    Still a cheater of course.

  5. These are examples of why those with great fame and great power are not trusted by those who are “differently famous and empowered.”

  6. Weinstein & Murphy; heh, talk about yer strange bedfellows!

    Together they have an across-the-spectrum appeal for those that find a certain satisfaction when the hypocritically righteous are caught on the wrong side of town.

    Polanski? He has the lock-steppin’ glassy-eyin’ unquestionin’ support of the talented Whoopi Goldberg, et al; nothing to see there.

    • Funniest thing; Murphy resigns yesterday and ABC, NBC, & CBS all cover it, the Today Show covered it this morning.

      Last year: from the same state (PA) AND the same branch of government (HoR), what coverage did the the same networks (ABC, NBC, & CBS) offer for the resigning-in-disgrace Chaka Fattah?

      Media bias? There ain’t no stinkin’ media bias!!!

  7. Re: Nos 1 and 2:

    Note to Harvey Weinstein:

    Erm, Harvey. . . ? Let me get this straight. Harvey, you came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, when apparently, the rules of conduct between men and women were different. Really. Wait… Really? Isn’t this the time of Happy Days and Leave it to Beaver? Gilligan’s Island? Kirby the Love Bug? I get the idiocy of Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury and the Sexual Revolution, but were times really that different? I don’t think so. I can’t remember my father crowing about harassing women at his office. That’s because he didn’t do it. He was always respectful of women. Similarly, I don’t recall my mother complaining about being chased around the classroom by the principal of her school with a piece of chalk and an erasure in his hands, either. Perhaps her boss didn’t grow up in the same 1960s and 1970s. Oh, but he did. Yeah, he and my father grew up in the same era as you, Harvey.

    Would you like to know something interesting, Harvey? My father, and my mother’s boss, were men, Harvey. Do you know what that means, Harvey? It means that acted like adults and controlled themselves. They didn’t mistreat women because they knew it was wrong, Harvey. My father taught me to respect women – not because they were women, but because they were persons entitled to be treated with honor and consideration. You know how he did that, Harvey? By not demeaning them, cutting them down, or using his influence over them for his sexual desires. But, hey, it was the 1960s and 1970s, Harvey, Times were different, weren’t they?

    No, Harvey, they weren’t and I am not buying that a light suddenly came on in that sex-addled head of yours in the waning months of 2017 that using your position of power and influence as a means of getting what you want from women is morally wrong. That’s right, Harvey. Sexually harassing women is immoral and wrong. They didn’t teach you that when you made your Bar Mitzvah? I am not buying that, either, Harvey. Why? Because I Judaism has a very long tradition of treating women with respect. Remember that whole “Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery” thingy? If I recall correctly, God gave that Commandment to Charlton Heston on Mount Sinai. But, that was in the 1950s, right? Sorry. I forgot. Ancient history. I also
    know many, many Jewish men (see that word, Harvey? look it up) who love and cherish their wives and would never humiliate them by engaging in the actions you don’t deny having done.The same holds true for many Christian, Muslim, agnostic, and atheist men I know. So, no. I am not buying your recent epiphany.

    Here is why: You are powerful, you have the ears of the powerful, and, gosh darn it, you are special. You know that rules don’t apply to you at all because you are a Master of Universe and the world is your playpen. Women are merely your toys.

    Let’s face it, Harvey. You are a pig Admit you are a pig. Embrace your ham hocks. If you need Lisa Bloom (whose mother is Gloria Allred) to put together a team to help you conquer your demons, learn about yourself (at your age), to grasp the magnitude of the damage you have done to women over the years, you are hopelessly lost.

    Your piece in the New York Times was nice, though. I especially enjoyed reading how you were rending your garment over your weaknesses. I almost shed a tear, mostly from the comedic value, after a stressful week in court. I needed a good laugh.

    You, Harvey, give men a bad name. Take your apology back and write something like this:

    “Hey world, Harvey here. The New York Times is writing a hit piece on me that might put me in a bad light. I don’t deny it. I had sex with lots of actresses. You know what? I had a ton of fun and I don’t regret a single thing. No, I do not. If I had to do it all over again, I would do everything exactly the same. You see, I am not constrained by your pedantry or your middle class virtues. I can and will do what I want when I want and, frankly, I don’t really care what anyone says about it. I have made a fortune making stupid, pointless movies and I will make a bigger fortune making stupid, pointless movies in the future. The movie-watching public doesn’t seem outraged, so there you go.”

    As obnoxious as that is, I could at least respect the honesty, Harvey.


    • Whoa Nellie! If you feel strongly about this, don’t mince words…

      “you are a Master of Universe and the world is your playpen.”

      Moot, but don’t take my word for it, let’s toss it over to Meryl Streep.

      “Accepting the Golden Globe best actress award in 2012 for ‘The Iron Lady,’ Meryl Streep took a moment to thank the almighty — ‘God, Harvey Weinstein.’ ”

    • Great work, John. Took the words and rage out of my mouth. As I believe, ours is a pagan or Classical Greek culture rather than a Christian one. The gods and the titans can do as they will.

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