Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/13/17: All Aboard The Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck!

Good Morning, Hollywood!

I’m sorry to bombard you with this ugly topic again first thing, but I’d like to stop having to think about it as soon as possible.

1 My sister, a committed Democrat who naturally prefers that damning stories about her favorite politicians go down the memory hole as soon as possible, complained yesterday that she didn’t understand why Harvey’s demise was such a long-running story. He’s a pig, we’ve seen it before, he’s fired, big deal, she protested. There are more important things going on.

There are undoubtedly more important things going on, but from an ethics perspective, the importance of the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck and who boards it (and who has been riding it for decades) is as significant and chock full of lessons as a story can get. The Penn State-Jerry Sandusky-Joe Paterno scandal was important for some of the same reasons. It exposed the tendency of organizations to become corrupted when non-ethical considerations, usually money, freeze the clappers on multiple ethics alarms. It showed how “virtuous” people with power and influence can betray their values, admirers and supporters in the pursuit of personal or organizational goals. It showed how even usually complacent and biased journalists will suddenly become responsible when the details are juicy enough…and how some won’t. The Sandusky saga also was one more clue to how inherently warped an entire industry’s culture—in that case, big time college football—was (and is).

The Weinstein Train Wreck is worse, however, and also more significant. Weinstein is typical—extreme, perhaps, but typical—of  a popular and glamorous industry that has abused power to debase and exploit women for a century. The trade-offs and incentives turned many of the abused women into accessories of future crimes against other women, while some women, too powerful to have to fear the consequences of doing the obviously right thing, chose to protect the community and the industry rather than human beings. That they, and complicit men in the industry as well, did this while spending the past six years making angry public speeches about the sexist and misogynist attitude of Republicans flagged the kind of hypocrisy that demands substantive consequences.

It also demands reform. Anyone who  thinks Hollywood is going to retire the casting couch because of one especially disgusting and prolific predator is kidding themselves. Sexual harassment and gender discrimination is rampant at every level of the performing arts, from high school theater up through Broadway, and on to Hollywood. I question whether that culture will ever change significantly. At least this episode might educate the public that if they take moral grandstanding from the likes of John Legend, Meryl Streep and Jimmy Kimmel seriously, they are asking to be betrayed and disillusioned.

And that doesn’t even reach the political hypocrisy exhibited by the Democratic Party and progressives, which embraced and celebrated a sexual predator from Hollywood because he gave them money, just as they have been giving a sexual predator from Arkansas the King’s Pass on similar conduct because he gave them power. As long as the only voices calling attention to this are from the Right,  count on progressives to ignore or minimize the issue. After all, conservatives and Republicans accepted the devil’s bargain in allying themselves with Roger Ailes. Still, the criticism of the party and predator enablers like Hillary Clinton needs to come from the Left to do any lasting good. So far there has been some criticism from that direction, but not nearly enough.

2. Weinstein’s contract with The Weinstein Company  included a clause that allowed  his sexual harassment as long as he paid the costs of settlements out of his own pocket, TMZ reported yesterday. So much for the sham posture that the company was shocked and disgusted at his conduct. Poor Donna Brazile, desperately trying to join the futile virtue signalling by hypocrites who have been cheering on Hillary and her husband for decades, tweeted her admiration for the TWC board thusly

…only to have to delete the tweet later. Did Donna really believe that the TWC board, including Harvey’s brother, didn’t know what Weinstein was doing? Is she that stupid?

3. A lot of contentious debate on this topic at Ethics Alarms has arisen regarding the complicity and obligations of various Hollywood actresses. There are different categories, and conflating them only leads to confusion. Here are the categories and subcategories:

A. The powerless victims of harassment These are the young, aspiring actresses who were propositioned or assaulted by Weinstein, and convinced, rightly or not, that they would never have a chance if they complained

These are the equivalents of Bill Cosby’s victims, who only came forward after their abuser was wounded and vulnerable.

A 1. Powerless victims who accepted cash settlements. This means that since other remedies were unavailable to them, they at least triggered some kind of punishment and compensation. This required, however, allowing future victims to go unwarned, since the pay-offs were accompanied by confidentiality agreements.

B. Victims who were not powerless, due to connections in the industry. I place actresses like Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow in this category.

C. Victims who, over time, became powerful, wealthy, popular and influential enough that they could have exposed Weinstein, if they chose, but didn’t.

C 1 Victims who received cash settlements when powerless but whose careers  progressed to the point that they could forfeit the cash and accept any legal consequences of breaking the contractual agreements.

D. Rape victims. Sexual harassment is a civil offense; rape is a crime. Many rapes can be substantiated by medical examinations, and rapists are dangerous. Accepting a cash settlement for not reporting one’s rape when the rape could have been substantiated—this is what Rose McGowan did—is a breach of multiple civic duties.

E. Women in the industry who became aware of Weinstein’s conduct and did nothing about it.

F. Women in the industry who became aware of Weinstein’s conduct,  did nothing about it, and continued to praise him in public.

G. Actresses who accepted Weinstein’s proffered bargain, and exchanged sexual favors for roles and contracts, turning what is laughably regarded a a meritocracy into sexual commerce. We don’t know who these women are, but it strains credulity to think there were none.

Of course, many male Hollywood figures also fall into categories E and F.

Categories C, EF and G are the most unethical categories. D is problematic as well.

4. Jane Fonda revealed to Christiane Amanpour that she is in category E. She “found out about Harvey about a year ago,” said the certified Hollywood royalty, outspoken feminist and progressive champion.  “I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything right then,” Fonda said. 

Well, that’s nice. As long as she is ashamed.

We can proclaim our principles and values all our lives, but if we don’t act according to them when the lives of others are at stake, all of what went before is meaningless. How many women suffered at Weinstein’s hands after Jane knew?

5.  The news media is implicated in this scandal too. Here is the  Huffington Post  on NBC’s refusal to report on Weinstein’s conduct when Ronan Farrow brought them his investigation into the matter:

At an NBC News town hall Wednesday, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said: “The notion that we would try to cover for a powerful person is deeply offensive to all of us. We were on that long list of places that chased this thing, tried to nail it, but weren’t ultimately the ones who broke it.”  Then he struck a rueful tone, suggesting that the NBC iteration of the story had died of natural causes. “We reached a point over the summer where we, as an organization, didn’t feel that we had all the elements that we needed to air,” he said. Yet interviews with 12 people inside and outside NBC News with direct knowledge of the reporting behind Farrow’s story suggest a different cause of death. All of the sources who spoke to HuffPost asked not to be named, either because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media about the story or because they were fearful of retribution from NBC News executives. These sources detailed a months-long struggle within NBC News during which Oppenheim and other executives slow-walked Farrow’s story, crippling it with their qualms and irresolution….
You (and I) can speculate on why the story was rejected. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that it is embarrassing to the Clintons, President Obama, and Democrats….6. Hillary Clinton issued a statement that said,

“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”

The level of hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness, as well as the contempt for her ayudence’s intelligence and gullibility, required for Hillary Clinton to say this is mind-boggling. Sentence #1 is manifestly unbelievable (but then, so is Hillary). Sentence #2 is hilarious, coming from the woman who rose to  power by helping her husband crush women who made the same kinds of charges against her husband. #3 is infuriating, or should be, to anyone who cares about integrity.

7. Here is Weinstein invoking Rationalization  #19. The Perfection Diversion: “Nobody’s Perfect!” or “Everybody makes mistakes!”

This is a legitimate defense if, in fact, an individual has been accused of not being perfect.  Usually, however, it is an attempt to minimize the significance of genuine misconduct. When an act suggests that more than an honest mistake or single instance of bad judgment was involved, and that an individual’s conduct indicates a broader lack of character or ethical sensitivity, “Nobody’s perfect!” and “Everybody makes mistakes!” are not only inappropriate and irrelevant, but are preemptively efforts to change the subject. The fact that nobody is perfect does not mean that it isn’t necessary and appropriate to point out unethical conduct when it occurs. It also does not argue for failing to make reasonable assumptions about the ethical instincts of the actor if and when the unethical nature of conduct strongly suggests that it is not an aberration, but a symptom.

Though nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, we are all still accountable for the mistakes we make.

 What exactly were the “mistakes,” Harvey? The rapes? The hundreds of propositions? The cover-ups? Getting caught? I’m a bit surprised he didn’t use his friend Hillary Clinton’s favorite version of this dodge, 19A The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice.”
8. It is nice to be able to report that some Hollywood men are being outed as hypocrites, enablers and worse as a direct result of the Weinstein scandal. After director/writer…and also lionized Hollywood progressive Oliver Stone defended  Weinstein, an actress was emboldened to come forward and say she was sexually assaulted by Stone. Batman himself, Ben Affleck, took what seemed to be the safer route of condemning Weinstein, who was largely responsible for Affleck’s early success, while claiming he never suspected such horrible things were going on . This got him called a liar by McGowan on Twitter, and then sparked scrutiny of Afflecks’s own  history of harassment and supporting harassers….like his brother, Casey.9.The Train Wreck now includes Amazon. Rose McGowan was involved in this boarding too, as she went after Jeff Bezos (let’s see how much the Washington Post, which ne owns, covers this) on Twitter:Then this…

Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios and global content at Amazon Video, was put on a leave of absence Thursday following a report that the executive made obscene comments to a TV producer.

The key comment: “You’re going to love my dick.”

Sounds like something Harvey might say. Or Roger Ailes.

Or Bill Clinton.

10. Finally, this administrative ethics note. Democrats are now trying to distance themselves from their previous beneficial relationships with Weinstein by giving his donations to charity. Hillary, as she has a talent for doing, found an especially deceitful approach, saying that while Harvey’s money was already spent, she would consider it as being included in the 10% she customarily gives to charity. (Think about it.)

Grandstanding, virtue-signalling, deception. Weinstein’s money is as good as anyone else’s. He didn’t steal it or make it selling drugs. It wasn’t earned by illegal  influence peddling, like, say, Hillary’s. He’s just a terrible person. Politicians accept money from terrible people routinely, and know it. So does every charity. Some of the most prominent charitable foundations were established by terrible people. The issue isn’t the money. The issue is Democrats knowingly allying themselves with people whose conduct they publicly condemn in others.

 

56 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions, Social Media

56 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/13/17: All Aboard The Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck!

  1. Chris marschner

    How was his money already spent. If she doesnt know what fungible means she is demonstrating absolute ignorance. Again HRC shows her contempt of the intelligence of Americans who know Harvey Weinstein does not have his name on our currency.

    • From Althouse:

      She says she can’t give the money back, but whatever she got should be deemed included in the 10% of her income she always gives to charity anyway. I’m paraphrasing — to make it clearer. What she garbled out was:

      “What other people [how got money from Harvey Weinstein] are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that. I give 10% of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that. There’s no — there’s no doubt about it.”

      Think about it: she was the MORE articulate of the two Presidential candidates…

      • Chris marschner

        Jack:
        I get your point. What I was saying is she is merely ducking the issue and hoping cognitive dissonace via “articulate BS will trump any claims of hipocrisy.

        I often wonder why people who deliberately construct their language to suggest multiple meanings are considered articulate. I’m more likely to believe one who is clumsy with words and undiplomatic than those who are deemed articulate. Being articulate means conveying a single meaning message that is clearly understood. Her words were truly deceitful.

        • Chris marschner

          Followup:
          Here is a translation: Screw you all for demanding I give money back that I got through my relationship with HW. He gave it to me and I give 10% to charity so if you want shame me into giving it to charity then I’ll reduce what I planned to give and tell you dumb asses that the 10% that I did give was HW’s money

          • See, I don’t understand a person’s income and political contributions. Did she spend her political contributions on charity? Aren’t political contributions accounted for in how they are spent?

            She might give 10% of income to charity, but did Harvey contribute money to her income or to her political campaign?

            • Even if it was given to her as income (which it most certainly wasn’t, so she’s being extra deceitful), then the full value of Weinstein’s contribution could in NO WAY be called a significant portion of the 10%. If 10% of her income is given to charity, then ONLY 10% of the Weinstein contribution would be considered as having been given to charity. That’s how percentages in this topic work.

              That being said, of course it’s a lie. His contribution is part of her campaign money. Unless the FULL amount of his donation to her campaign is removed from the campaign and given to charity…it is a lie that she gave his donation to charity.

              • As long as the Clinton Foundation exists, all of the distinctions are moot. Just moving money pocket to pocket.

                • Chris

                  I’m more concerned about the graft going on in the White House.

                  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/355244-secret-service-paid-tens-of-thousands-to-trumps-mar-a-lago-club

                  But by all means, let’s keep on focusing on the corrupt liar who *isn’t* also President of the United States.

                  • Chris. That’s not graft. Not even close. It’s not illegal, and it’s not unethical. Obama went to Hawaii, the Secret Service has to go and pay for its accommodations. The President has a right to stay at his own facillity—which, by the way, does not forward payments to him. It’s a corporation.

                    This comment shows a regrettable failure to distinguish between substance and static. In your search to find impeachable misconduct, look elsewhere.

                    The “Look! Squirrel!” tactic when the Left soils itself is transparent and tired.

                    • Chris

                      Where did I say it was impeachable? It’s unethical. Can you clarify why you object to this but not the digs at the Clinton Foundation? What is the difference?

                  • crella

                    I had scrolled down just far enough that the name of the commenter was not visible, but when I read this I thought ‘It has to be Chris’.
                    Tell me how the Secret Service paying for rooms it stays in is unethical. Should they stay a couple miles up the road? It would defeat the purpose of the Secret Service, wouldn’t it? Should Trump stay somewhere less secure than his private club with its security (I don’t mean that they protect the President directly, but they vet visitors as it’s a members-only club)? Why?

                    The President’s company makes money when people stay there. It’s a business. ‘Emoluments’ means the President making money directly from the act of being President, parlaying the office itself for profit. Trump’s hotels and resort condominiums have been making money for decades (we looked at one of his properties 5-6 years ago in Hawaii, no openings for 3-5 years, they seem to be really successful). If he forced all foreign dignitaries who come to the US to stay in one of his hotels or some similar demand, a deal like that would be unethical and maybe violate the emoluments clause (I’m not a lawyer, and so cannot state unequivocally that that would be true…).

                    ‘ let’s keep on focusing on corrupt liar who *isn’t* also President of the United States.’

                    The only liar that matters is the President? You have reached zombie-level infection with Trump Derangement, Chris, if you can ignore a director raping/fondling/propositioning HUNDREDS of women because it isn’t Trump. I can’t believe you said that. Hollywood is rotten to the core and it’s time to do something about it, not try to shove it under the rug because it’s on the wrong side of the aisle.

                    The Clinton Foundation. I looked into it. Took my time….read 80% of the donor list. Have you? A Secretary of State is not supposed to take money from foreign heads of state. Hillary was told that and said she’d stop accepting the money when she ran for President, again bending the rules to suit herself. Saudi Arabia, Australia and Norway are in the $10,000,000 to $25,000,000 category. Other governments are in the $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 category. She was told to stop as it creates a impression of impropriety. The Clinton Foundation is run by the three Clintons! Of course she should have refused foreign donations, especially as it’s not chump change we’re talking about but tens of millions of dollars. She also took donations from almost all of America’s major banks. She should not have been, as Secretary of State, or as a Presidential candidate. And this is the same as running a hotel chain?

                    • Chris

                      The only liar that matters is the President? You have reached zombie-level infection with Trump Derangement, Chris, if you can ignore a director raping/fondling/propositioning HUNDREDS of women because it isn’t Trump. I can’t believe you said that.

                      Happily, I said nothing like that. The comparison was between Hillary and Trump, not Weinstein and Trump. I do not object in the slightest to the focus on the enormous ethical scandal of the Weinstein revelations. I do object to the constant attempts to beat the dead horse that is Hillary Clinton while ignoring the many, varied and weekly ethical scandals of the Trump administration.

                    • Chris

                      Although the Secret Service routinely pays private businesses for costs that arise while protecting the president, government ethics hawks argue Trump may personally profit from his visits. Or worse, they allege, he’s violated the Constitution.
                      The payments appear to overlap with some of Trump’s weekend visits to the club in Palm Beach, Florida. After his inauguration, Trump spent a total of 25 full or partial days at the Mar-a-Lago between February 3 and April 16.
                      Trump transferred Mar-a-Lago and his other business holdings into a trust while he serves as president. But he refused to follow precedent by divesting his holdings, and he stands to accrue any business profits when he leaves office.
                      His financial disclosure forms for this year show that Mar-a-Lago made $37 million in revenue between January 2016 and April 2017. The club raised its membership initiation fee in January to $200,000, double what it was a year earlier.

                      http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/12/news/secret-service-mar-a-lago/index.html

                    • Yup. And some deranged law profs claimed that Kellyanne Conway breached legal ethics rules, and some professors argued that Trump could be impeached the second he was elected, and some partisan scholars claimed that the Electoral College wasn’t bound by the popular vote. “Some” unethical, biased, disgraceful professionals aregue all sorts of things, because they are no longer capable of rational and objective thought.

                      This is nothing, Chris. NOTHING. Move on.

                    • Chris

                      I agree the “unconstitutional” argument is weak. But I have no idea how you can see the behavior described as ethical.

                  • crella

                    My apologies for getting two different topics mixed up in my reply. You were not talking about Weinstein, I’m sorry! I take that paragraph back and make a note to myself to not get angry.

          • dragin_dragon

            If you can’t blind ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit.

      • joed68

        Maybe she’s giving it to the Clinton Foundation?

          • Chris

            So a politician donating to her charity is awful, but a politician using a government agency to make payments to his own corporation is fine?

            I really don’t understand what ethical principles this conclusion is based on. Enlighten me.

            • One is influence peddling and quasi bribery. The other is a President who happens to own property staying at his own. There is no law or ethical principle against the latter. A rule that required a President NOT to use his own property would be absurd. If he were staying there to enrich himself it would be something else…and good luck proving it. Yes, the President chooses his destinations so that the Secret Service will have to pay properties he owns. Sure.

              It is only through the Trump-haters’ obsession that they presume bad faith. I never assumed that Obama was trying to enrich his home state when he went to Hawaii. A president has the same rights we do: they can go and stay where they choose. Emoluments, the 25th amendment, Russian collusion, “Obstruction of justice”, all in rotation as a divisive and irresponsible opposition party refuses to accept the result of a lawful election.

              • Chris

                Clinton donating to her own charity is “influence peddling” and “bribery?” In what possible way?

                What you appear to be saying is that it’s OK to presume bad faith on the part of Clinton but not to presume bad faith in the part of Trump.

                What I am saying–in no uncertain terms–is at this point, anyone who does not presume bad faith on Trump’s part, in any and all matters, is a moron.

                • 1. You said “politicians” not Clinton. Clinton obviously can contribute to her own foundation.
                  2. Clinton illegally allowed her Foundation to accept contribution with foriegn countries and corporations with business before the government, after signing a document promising not to, and pledging the same under oath. I don’t need to presume bad faith. That IS bad faith.
                  3. The latter is an uninformed,biased, uncivil, and unjustified opinion. There is no reason to presume that anyone who becomes President wants to do what is best for the country.
                  4. Such a statement renders you inherently irrelevant to any analysis or discussion involving Trump. It is just hate, nothing else.

                  • Chris

                    1. How did you lose track of the subject of a conversation you were involved in? “A politician donating to her charity” clearly referred to Clinton donating to her own charity, because that’s what you and joe were talking about before I jumped in.
                    2. Not what we were talking about.
                    3. I assume you meant “there is no reason to presume anyone who becomes president *does not* want to do what’s best for the country.” Which is not what we were talking about. I’m sure Trump does want to do what he thinks is best for the country. Im also sure Hillary Clinton did, and does. Has that ever stopped bad people from being corrupt before? Using a government agency to increase his own family’s wealth isn’t what’s best for the country, and yet, here we are.
                    4. There is no analysis necessary here. The actions are corrupt on their face. You just don’t care.

                    • Chris, with all due respect to your ridiculous opinion, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. You have lost it, I guess. You really think a billionaire who is giving up infinite business opportunities to serve his nation is conspiring to make money for his club by making the Secret Service stay there. I repeat what I said earlier. You’re discrediting yourself and sounding like the most unhinged and desperate of “the resistance.” Hve a drink, watch a Disney movie, take a break. I say this with love.

                    • Chris

                      “Conspiring?” He *is* making money by having the Secret Service stay at his hotels. That is a fact. That doesn’t have to be part of some grand evil plot to be unethical, Jack, and I don’t know why you seem to think that it does.

                    • Chris. Unless he is staying at his own hotels specifically to make money, which is a ridiculous claim, then there is nothing corrupt, venal, illegal or unethical about it. he has every right to stay where he chooses, and the government is charged no more money for the Secret Service if he stays there than if he stays at a Four Seasons. Flogging this silly theory is proof positive of Trump Derangement.

                    • Chris

                      It’s like you can’t even remember the phrase “appearance of impropriety” when it comes to Trump.

                    • Appearance of Impropriety is a given with Trump, almost perpetually. It’s unethical. It is not, however, even a breach of government ethics Rules, much less law, because the Executive Order laying out ethics standards for the Executive Branch doesn’t apply to the President.

                      I’ll stipulate that it’s an appearance of impropriety, because it appears to be to people like you. Nonetheless, the appearance isn’t impropriety itself. As with conflicts of interest, which are the essence of the AOI, the Founders realized that a President couldn’t avoid them, because of the scope of his office.

                    • Chris

                      This is one the president could easily avoid. He just doesn’t care to.

  2. Wayne

    The Clinton Dynasty is over. Good! Bill and Hillary Clinton not speaking after blow-up over memoir, author says
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/13/bill-and-hillary-clinton-not-speaking-after-blow-up-over-memoir-author-says.html

  3. Arthur in Maine

    She gives 10 percent of her income to charity? Fine. Was Weinstein’s money given to Clinton personally, or was it given to her campaign(s)?

    The answer, obviously, is that it was given to the campaigns. What she gives of her own income is irrelevant.

    God almighty. And progressives still can’t understand how Trump got elected.

    • Isaac

      The funniest thing about it is that in her own words, she isn’t giving one dime more to charity because of this and is still somehow trying to grandstand about it. She’s just reckoning that Weinstein’s money can be part of what she already regularly gives. And that’s even assuming that by “charity” she doesn’t just mean her Clinton Foundation slush fund, which would make it even worse.

      I know that these ruling class types normally don’t feel any obligation towards the teachings of Jesus, but there’s some good advice in the Sermon on the Mount: “When you do your acts of charity, do not do them in front of people, to be seen by them.”

  4. Other Bill

    My theory on the entire affair d’Weinstein is that he’s being taken down now, and not previously, because there’s a bit of coup going on the the Democratic Party. It may be headed up by the Obamanites. If Hill and Bill were still forces in the party, Weinstein would never have been (pardon the use of the term) exposed. The Clintons were too powerful to take on and he provided the money for them. Now that the Clintons are yesterday’s news (except in their own minds) Harvey was there to be taken down and doing so would embarrass the entire Clinton operation and help push it into the ditch. Again, note that Lanny Davis, the Clinton’s primary fixer and paid liar, was employed by Weinstein, at least until Lanny decided to bale to protect his own crisis management consultancy. I’m sure the Clintons put Davis in touch with Weinstein (and probably Allred Junior) and may have even paid Lanny’s fees. But in any event, I think the far left of the Democratic Party called for a hit on Weinstein to get rid of the Clintons. If the Clintons still had any clout in the party, Weinstein would still be untouchable. Rose McGowan would have been paid off and hushed.

    • “I think the far left of the Democratic Party called for a hit on Weinstein to get rid of the Clintons.”

      Whoa Nellie!! Now ain’t THAT something to think about!!

      Why? Because the Clintons are such nice people, am I right?

      Anywho, there’s peripheral scuttlebutt about setting the Lefty Capo di tutt’i Capi (AKA the Clinton Crime Syndicate) on an ice floe and pushing them out to sea.

      Were someone “called” to complete a hit (by whatever means) on someone(s) else, wouldn’t it behoove the former to contact the latter and feel them out to see if they were receptive to a…um…turn-about/return volley.

      At twice the original offering of course, or all of their Weinstein gwob; whichever’s greater.

      Because you know, OB, it’s never personal, just business.

      On the subject of hits, and business:

      Someone whom many feel is eminently deserving, Anthony Weiner? I’m surprised (to date) he’s neither had a weight-lifting accident nor a robbery attempt gone bad, neither chosen to fly in a private aircraft nor stepped in front of a speeding bullet.

    • Isaac

      A purge would be nice. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine it, considering how embarrassing the old guard is to the progressives. The problem is that if you purge everyone who isn’t an extreme, new-liberal progressive, the scandals will just continue. It’s pervs all the way down. You can’t have an entire ideology that celebrates stuff like THIS and not expect oodles of constant sexual misbehavior of all kinds to keep popping up:

  5. Aaron paschall

    Really, regarding number 10, by their logic, the charities should refuse to accept the obviously tainted money from the Democratic donors. Why should they have to accept the corrupted cash?

  6. Gertrude

    I am amazed that in your reasoned logic and analysis of different types of victims, it does not occur to you to analyze the logic of why victims or those who knew the truth would not accuse. The ethical decision of whether or not to report is one that agonizes any victim, whether they are male or female. The most obvious reason is that none of the victims, even if they held great power in the industry, had zero proof that would stand up in court.

    Weinstein made very very sure that all his interactions happened in secluded locations – private meeting rooms, private hotel rooms, private rooms at restaurants where he had “meetings” scheduled. No witnesses to corroborate a claim, no recordings, no video evidence. How sure should an accuser be with nothing other than their word? History is full of examples of people speaking up against a moral wrong, only to be mocked, questioned, and often jailed or fined for their attempts to speak against power. Victims have been accused of being gold-diggers, opportunists, or of trying to bring someone down because they didn’t get the jobs or status they wanted.

    This might work best for you if you imagine, for a moment, someone that you look up to and respect within your industry. A male mentor who is older, published, and maintains some status within your community. Maybe an ethics writer, or journalist, or college professor. Imagine that you met with him one night to chat about an upcoming project, and that at the end of the night, he put his hand on your leg, and asked you to come back to his room with him. You manage to rebuff his advances, but are in shock at this unexpected turn of events. You go home kind of embarrassed, confused and feeling a little dumb for not realizing sooner what his intentions were. Would you tell someone? Who would you tell? What if he was happily married? Would the ethics of worrying about destroying his spouse’s happiness cause you concern? What if he had great credit in the community? Would you feel ethically at risk trying to convince friends that it had really happened, even if it meant they turned on you and took his side, telling you it must have been just a joke? What about all the co-workers and former students who look up to this person, and who have gained jobs and credits under his mentorship? Would you be willing to risk the ethics of calling out a beloved father figure to many, when you might be put on the stand and have your own experience distrusted? What if he and his connections had the money and power to shut down your blog, insure that you never got work again, made doors shut in your face, and resulted in your leaving your current work because it was no longer financially viable? These are questions that I hope you will deeply consider.

    • Are you just ignoring what I actually wrote, or didn’t you read it? Category A 1. Powerless victims who accepted cash settlements. This means that since other remedies were unavailable to them, they at least triggered some kind of punishment and compensation. This required, however, allowing future victims to go unwarned, since the pay-offs were accompanied by confidentiality agreements.

      I do not criticize this group, and at the Bill Cosby tag, you can read my thorough defenses of his accusers, who did not even accept money. I do criticize those who keps silent long after they had the power, wealth and credibility to expose Weinstein. Here: https://ethicsalarms.com/?s=Bill+Cosby

      Now I’ll address your queries in your obnoxiously condescending paragraph:

      This might work best for you if you imagine, for a moment, someone that you look up to and respect within your industry. A male mentor who is older, published, and maintains some status within your community. Maybe an ethics writer, or journalist, or college professor. Imagine that you met with him one night to chat about an upcoming project, and that at the end of the night, he put his hand on your leg, and asked you to come back to his room with him. You manage to rebuff his advances, but are in shock at this unexpected turn of events. You go home kind of embarrassed, confused and feeling a little dumb for not realizing sooner what his intentions were. Would you tell someone?

      Yes. I would make a formal complaint. To his employer, to HR, to legal.

      What if he was happily married?

      Not my problem. What if any criminal is happily married?

      Would the ethics of worrying about destroying his spouse’s happiness cause you concern?

      Nope. None. And that spouse needs to know who she’s married to. I’m not there to be complicit in her husband’s deception.

      What if he had great credit in the community?

      All the more reason to expose him Check the Rationalizations List, and The King’s Pass.”

      Would you feel ethically at risk trying to convince friends that it had really happened, even if it meant they turned on you and took his side, telling you it must have been just a joke?

      “Ethically at risk?” Being ethical always carries risks.

      “What about all the co-workers and former students who look up to this person, and who have gained jobs and credits under his mentorship?”

      See above. Not my problem.

      Would you be willing to risk the ethics of calling out a beloved father figure to many, when you might be put on the stand and have your own experience distrusted?

      Yup.

      What if he and his connections had the money and power to shut down your blog, insure that you never got work again, made doors shut in your face, and resulted in your leaving your current work because it was no longer financially viable? These are questions that I hope you will deeply consider.

      “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” You would have made a great Nazi.

      • Chris

        Of course, you cannot say for sure *what* you would do, Jack, as the situation Gertrude describes can be emotionally traumatic. Which is something you keep downplaying. You can only say what you think victims *should* do in a situation such as this. And I’m all for changing the culture so that victims feel comfortable taking exactly the actions you describe. But lecturing and shaming victims who don’t take action will not do that.

        The Nazi crack is an unfair slur, and beneath you.

        • I don’t think so. Not with this:” What if he and his connections had the money and power to shut down your blog, insure that you never got work again, made doors shut in your face, and resulted in your leaving your current work because it was no longer financially viable?”

          My principles have never been for sale, and like my father, I DO know how I would respond, because I’ve responded.
          Why do you think I have my own business?

          • Chris

            I suppose I shouldn’t have assumed that you personally have not been a victim of this type of abuse. I don’t know if you’re confirming that, nor would I ever ask you to. I’ll leave it at that.

  7. 3) The longer this goes on and more we realize that it seems the ENTIRE Hollywood (and extended media) community reeks of knowing this was just “business” as usual, the ratio of people who have an “excuse” under category A is going to diminish to irrelevance.

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