Tarantino on Weinstein: ‘I Knew Enough to Do More Than I Did’

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he said, citing several episodes involving prominent actresses. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”

.. His own former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, told him about unwelcome advances and unwanted touching by Mr. Weinstein. Another actress told him a similarly upsetting story years later. He also knew that the actress Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer.

.. But Mr. Tarantino said he had failed to consider whether the women he knew were part of a larger pattern of abuse.

.. When he and Ms. Sorvino started dating in 1995, she told him that not long before, Mr. Weinstein had massaged her without asking, chased her around a hotel room and even showed up at her apartment in the middle of the night, a story she recently shared with The New Yorker.

.. But the thing I thought then, at the time, was that he was particularly hung up on Mira.” She had won accolades for her performance in “Mighty Aphrodite,” and “I thought Harvey was hung up on her in this Svengali kind of way,” Mr. Tarantino said. “Because he was infatuated with her, he horribly crossed the line.”

.. Hollywood has been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated,” he said. “We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was.”

.. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.”

The President’s Self-Destructive Disruption

his repeated use of the word “fake” to describe news coverage when he actually means “unpleasant” and his style of rhetoric in front of the United Nations, where he called terrorists “losers” and applied a childish epithet to the head of a nation in whose shadow tens of thousands of American troops serve and with whom nuclear war is a live possibility, are all cases in point. There is no way to formalize conventions of maturity and dignity for presidents. Custom fills that void.

.. When he violates such customs, Mr. Trump is at his most impulsive and self-destructive. It may sound ridiculous to invoke James Madison or Edmund Burke when we talk about this president, but that is part of the problem. Mr. Trump could profit from the wisdom of his predecessor Madison, for whom the very essence of constitutionalism lay not in what he derided as “parchment barriers” — mere written commands there was no will to follow — but rather “that veneration which time bestows on every thing.” The Constitution, in other words, would be only as strong as the tradition of respecting it.

.. Burke is generally seen as the progenitor of modern conservatism, but Mr. Trump, who came late to the conservative cause, is said to be so hostile to custom that his staff knows the best way to get him to do something is to tell him it violates tradition.
.. demagogic campaign rallies masked as presidential addresses
.. because many elements of his base associate these customs with failed politics, every violation reinforces the sense that he sides with them over a corrupt establishment.
.. Historically, conservatism has tended to value light governance, for which custom is even more essential. Aristotle writes that “when men are friends they have no need of justice.” In other words, rules enter where informal mechanisms of society have collapsed. The philosopher and statesman Charles Frankel summed it up powerfully: “Politics is a substitute for custom. It becomes conspicuous whenever and wherever custom recedes or breaks down.”
.. Since Woodrow Wilson’s critique of the framers’ work, progressive legal theory has generally denied that the meaning of the original Constitution, as endorsed by generational assent, wields authority because it is customary. Much of libertarian theory elevates contemporary reason — the rationality of the immediate — above all else.

.. The president’s daily, even hourly, abuse of language is also deeply problematic for a republic that conducts its business with words and cannot do so if their meanings are matters of sheer convenience. The unique arrogance of Mr. Trump’s rejection of the authority of custom is more dangerous than we realize because without custom, there is no law.

The issue that is — unfortunately — uniting Americans on the left and the right

Some of the tenured class that sets the intellectual tone of the left concluded long ago that America was built by oppression, is sustained by white privilege and requires the cleansing purity of social revolution (however that is defined). In this story, capitalism accumulates inequities that will eventually lead the rich to eat the poor. The American Dream is an exploitative myth. Change will come only through a coalition of the aggrieved. And those who are not permanently enraged are not paying proper attention.

.. It is unrecognizable to people — mostly white people — who regard mid-20th-century America as a social and economic ideal. The country has been fundamentally altered by multiculturalism and political correctness. It has been ruined by secularism and moral relativism. America, says the Rev. Franklin Graham, is “on the verge of total moral and spiritual collapse.” And those who are not permanently offended are not paying proper attention.
.. a poll taken last year found that 72 percent of Donald Trump supporters believe American society and its way of life have changed for the worse since the 1950s. And the most pessimistic and discontented lot of all was white evangelical Protestants. Almost three-quarters believed the past 70 years to be a period of social decline.

Those of us who remember politics in the Reagan era have a mental habit of regarding conservatism as more optimistic about the American experiment and liberalism as more discontented.
.. They are united in their belief that the United States is dominated by corrupt, self-serving elites. They are united in their call for radical rather than incremental change. While disagreeing deeply about the cause, they see America as careening off course.
.. What group believes that American society has gotten better since the 1950s? About 60 percent of African Americans and Hispanics.
.. Many conservatives have failed to appreciate the mixed legacy of modernity. In recent decades, the United States has seen declining community and family cohesion, and what former U.S. surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy calls “a loneliness epidemic.” “We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization,” he says, “yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s.”
.. elevate and praise American ideals while courageously applying them to our social inconsistencies and hypocrisies.
.. And this might be matched with a spirit of gratitude — for a country capable of shame and change, and better than its grievances.

What happened: Hillary’s view

The more serious, systemically, is the Russians. Clinton pulls together the most complete account of what we know or should believe, and the story is truly terrifying. Terrifying, not just for what the Russians did — which is terrible enough—but more for how pathetically the public, meaning journalism, reacted.

.. the most terrifying bit of the Clinton account is just how pathetic journalism in America has become.

.. Had this been the Bush administration warning about Russians trying to flip the election against Obama, that would have been heard and believed. The Obama Administration was probably right that its fears would have rendered political.

.. it all ties to the weakness of relying on commercial media to provide America with what America needs to perform its democratic function.

..  No producer is passing the list of stories to be covered on the evening news by the advertising department. But in the discipline of ratings reporting, and the judgments executives make, it is clear to everyone what stories should be covered because it is clear to everyone what stories will sell.

.. It’s not clear American democracy can survive commercial media

.. When you know why you’re doing something and you know there’s nothing more to it and certainly nothing sinister, it’s easy to assume that others will see it the same way. That was a mistake.

This is a perfect account of her — or anyone’s—own psyche. Yet if true, it is a perfect indictment of a campaign. Because of course, no one could have “assum[ed] that others” saw Clinton in the way Clinton and her staff saw Clinton. Everyone in that campaign must have known that way too many in America were incredibly suspicious of her. That suspicion was partly her fault, partly not

.. the consequence of the never-ending attack on her integrity by Sanders, and then Trump was completely predictable. What Clinton faced was an enormous trust gap. And the fundamental question for the campaign should have been, how do we address that gap?

.. How do we convince America that we — certainly more than Trump—want to remake the corruption of DC? How do we become the reformers, at a time when Americans desperately wanted reform?

.. This fact — that Americans desperately wanted reform — is the single most denied fact of DC insiders in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

.. found Americans (both Democrats and Republicans) more dissatisfied with their government than at any time in polling history.

.. Even though her platform on this issue was the most progressive of any major candidate, including Sanders, the fact that she could never make it central to her message convinced me she either didn’t see it or didn’t care about it.

..  Even her book lists reform nowhere on the top issues the Democrats should pursue.

.. This is the core mistake — not just of Clinton, but of too many in the Democratic Party. America is with Reagan—“Government is not the solution. Government is the problem”—not because they believe, like Reagan, that the private market can solve every public problem, but because they believe their government is fundamentally corrupt.

.. They see taxes as a waste — not because the poor don’t deserve help, but because they believe the government is not helping anyone except itself.

.. That blindness leaves the field wide open for the party of no — no taxes, no immigration, no health care, no (more) social security, no protection for privacy, no network neutrality, no family planning, no dreamers.

.. we need to give America a reason to believe there is good in yes. And we will only do that when we convince them that their government works for them—and not the funders, and the lobbyists, and the corporations