Preacher Franklin Graham Claims Brett Kavanaugh Abuse Allegation Is Irrelevant

Rachael Denhollander, an evangelical Christian, was the first woman to speak out against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. In a tweet thread on Sunday, she said that part of the reason she waited so long to come forward was that she had watched friends and family members “eviscerate” victims who spoke out against much-loved candidates, pastors, teams or ministries.

“That showed me what they REALLY thought about abuse and what they REALLY thought about victims,” Denhollander wrote. “I knew it meant if faced with a choice between a survivor and their favorite ‘whatever,’ they’d attack the survivor.”

.. Amy Smith is an advocate for abuse survivors who runs Watch Keep, a blog that tracks reported incidents of sexual abuse in Christian communities. She called Graham’s comments “irresponsible and reckless” — and insensitive toward Blasey.

“The message he is conveying to anyone suffering from sexual abuse is clear: After a number of years, your pain is irrelevant and should be disregarded,” Smith told HuffPost.

.. She said Graham’s argument reflects a mentality she has commonly found among pastors ― that sexual assault is a sin to be handled quietly among the parties involved rather than a crime that should be reported to law enforcement. It’s no longer acceptable for people to wave off abuse allegations as irrelevant, she said, because the criminal nature of a sexual assault doesn’t change, no matter how much time has passed.

Christa Brown, a clergy sex abuse survivor who blogs about church cover-ups of abuse, said that Graham’s dismissive comments send a “dreadful” message to teenage boys and girls.

Sexual assault is not some ordinary “teenage” thing, Brown said. And it’s not appropriate for anyone to dismiss allegations of violent behavior.

Empathy, Accuracy, and Credibility

One wished that Ford could at last have named one witness who could corroborate her allegations that the 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her 36 years ago in a place where witnesses were apparently present, or at least produced convincing evidence that the testimonies of those alleged to be at the party who had no memory of her narratives were sorely mistaken.

Ford might have been deemed more credible had she just been able to locate the scene of the alleged assault, or to explain how and why the alleged gender and number of those at the scene of the alleged assault were not reported by her consistently, or to remember how she arrived and left the scene.

The “process” of memorializing Ford’s testimony involved a strange inversion of constitutional norms: The idea of a statute of limitations is ossified; hearsay is legitimate testimony; inexact and contradictory recall is proof of trauma, and therefore of validity; the burden of proof is on the accused, not the accuser; detail and evidence are subordinated to assumed sincerity; proof that one later relates an allegation to another is considered proof that the assault actually occurred in the manner alleged; motive is largely irrelevant; the accuser establishes the guidelines of the state’s investigation of the allegations; and the individual allegation gains credence by cosmic resonance with all other such similar allegations.

Those assumptions played out as extensive examination of minute details of Kavanaugh’s teenage life with little commensurate inquiry into Ford’s. The premise was that victimizer Kavanaugh thought he had an entitlement to be on the Court, rather than the fact that victimized Ford had initiated the entire line of inquiry, whose aim was to establish that a teenage Kavanaugh 36 years ago was a sexual assaulter and foiled rapist, and therefore now unqualified to take Antony Kennedy’s vacant Supreme Court seat. All that meant that the accuser was exempt from providing substantiation at a level required from Kavanaugh. I don’t think the American people have yet evolved to accept such a line of reasoning or quite yet believe that the U.S. Senate is entirely free from the spirit of the Constitution when conducting confirmation hearings and investigations.

Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers

.. we’re hearing a lot about how the story of his misconduct was “the worst-kept secret” in Hollywood and New York.

.. The real story didn’t surface until now because too many people in the intertwined news and entertainment industries had too much to gain from Mr. Weinstein for too long. Across a run of more than 30 years, he had the power to mint stars, to launch careers, to feed the ever-famished content beast. And he did so with quality films that won statuettes and made a whole lot of money for a whole lot of people.

.. “The unfortunate reality of Hollywood is that if someone has money, then they can generally find some kind of audience of people who are interested in working with them,” said Kim Masters, the editor at large at The Hollywood Reporter. This was particularly true of Mr. Weinstein, who, she said, was known for having “the golden touch” that produced “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

.. She said she wanted to believe that times were changing, given the number of women who have put their names to the words that derailed the careers of Bill Cosby, who faced criminal charges that resulted in a mistrial this year, and Bill O’Reilly. But she also wondered aloud whether trouble had finally found Mr. Weinstein because he was no longer the rainmaker and hitmaker he had once been.

..Ms. Bloom has attributed his missteps to his status as a “dinosaur” who is now “learning new ways.”

.. there is a long tradition of disgusting harassment of women who try to make it in the movie business. (Jack L. Warner, a founder of Warner Bros. studios, was no saint.)

.. Mr. Weinstein paid off his latest accuser in a confidential settlement.
.. he was allegedly harassing women in five-star hotel rooms across the globe even as his company was distributing films like “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. He also helped endow a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers; joined a national women’s march in Park City, Utah, in January; and was a big fund-raiser for and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
.. State Street, the bank behind the famous “fearless girl” statue staring down the Wall Street bull, paid $5 million to some 300 female executives after a federal audit determined it had paid them less than their white male counterparts
.. Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.

.. Every now and then, glimpses of his nasty side spilled out, like when he placed the reporter Andrew Goldman in a headlock and dragged him out of a party in 2000. Someone who was involved in that altercation, Rebecca Traister, wrote in New York’s The Cut on Thursday that it didn’t get the media attention it deserved because “there were so many journalists on his payroll
.. Let’s hope that those in the know did not include members of the Los Angeles Press Club, which this year gave Mr. Weinstein its “Truthteller Award,” calling him an example of “integrity and social responsibility,”
.. Mr. Weinstein has hired the emerging leader of anti-press jurisprudence, Charles Harder, who brought the case that put Gawker out of business last year.
.. what the cost would be and for the editors and reporters who conveniently didn’t bother to look into the tales making the rounds.
.. “I guarantee there are many more rocks to overturn.”