Is the World of Journalism More Like Hollywood Than it Wants to Admit

It’s cynical but not so rare to assert that the highest tier of the realm of journalism is starting to resemble Hollywood. Halperin’s latest show, The Circus, ran on HBO, not a news network. Journalists play themselves in cameos in television shows and movies, and the White House Correspondent’s Dinner increasingly resembles Oscar Night for Washington. Some journalists have become full-scale “personality celebrities,” performing a drama of their own. The cover of Vanity Fair usually features a movie or music star; in January, Megyn Kelly stared out at viewers. Would anyone today launch a McLaughlin Group style-show of ruffled, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time middle-aged print reporters with more inside scoops than good looks?

How Roy Moore Met his Wife

.. Kyle Whitmire reads Moore’s autobiography, where he describes meeting his wife: “Many years before, I had attended a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College,” Moore wrote. “I remembered one of the special dances performed by a young woman whose first and last names began with the letter ‘K.’ It was something I had never forgotten.

Could that young woman have been Kayla Kisor?” Moore later determined that it was. “Long afterward, I would learn that Kayla had, in fact, performed a special dance routine at Gadsden State years before,” he wrote.

. . . In an interview Moore gave earlier this year, he gave a similar account, but for one detail. “It was, oh gosh, eight years later, or something, I met her,” Moore said. “And when she told me her name, I remembered ‘K. K.,’ and I said, ‘Haven’t I met you before?’”

It’s a simple matter of subtraction. When Roy Moore first took notice of Kayla she would have been as young as 15. Or perhaps 16. Moore would have been roughly 30 at the time.

A #MeToo for clueless men

Not all bullies are sexual predators or sexual harassers. But most sexual harassers and predators are bullies.

.. I met Mark Halperin around the time I met Wieseltier. Halperin, too, had a reputation for mistreating women. Until now, I hadn’t heard specific accusations. But I could see with my own eyes that he was a bully who, lacking Wieseltier’s charm, enjoyed power plays over colleagues and other journalists. Our president, likewise, routinely attempts to humiliate aides and opponents alike; is it any wonder that he has also boasted of assaulting women?

Who’s next? A moment of reckoning for men — and the behavior we can no longer ignore.

“Ailes, O’Reilly, Weinstein, Halperin were some of our culture’s key storytellers, shaping our ideas of gender, authority, power & much more,” noted Jodi Kantor, the New York Times reporter who broke the Weinstein story

.. mostly decent men of a certain age (60-plus? 50-plus? What is the generational divide here?) as they realize that the behaviors they perceived as all-in-good-fun were, in fact, only half in good fun — their own half. For decades, the women on the receiving end weren’t having any fun at all.

.. Is this a moment of #MeToo? for George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States? An actor named Heather Lind said she was “sexually assaulted” by the jolly old fellow with the fun socks, who apparently touched her butt while posing for a photo.

.. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner,” said a spokesman for Bush on Wednesday, while noting that the former president’s wheelchair posture keeps his arms at butt-level.

.. the president asked her to guess his favorite magician, and then, as he squeezed her rear end, revealed that the answer was “David Cop-a-feel.”

.. David Cop-a-feel. Ugh. Gabby dad humor mixed with grabby sexual overtones: a cocktail whose taste many women would recognize but that many men would be shocked to learn they had been mixing and serving all along.

..  In journalism, there’s a term called “notebook dump,” the process of throwing together all your reporting — every note taken, interview conducted, scene observed.

.. The women of America are currently engaged in a notebook dump of epic proportions, releasing the anecdotes they’ve been carrying since puberty.

.. women experiencing harassment don’t particularly want to also be in charge of educating harassers.

.. “What we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity,” the actor Emma Thompson told the BBC.

Freakonomics Radio: ‘Faking It’

The episode was also inspired by a fascinating passage about Barack Obama in the book Game Change. So you’ll hear from Mark Halperin, one of the book’s authors, who will explain the dilemma that had Obama faking it. You’ll also hear from Kara Newman, a kosher-keeping food writer, who comes clean on her illicit love for bacon; and from a guy we call Brian, who maintains a series of mirages about his faith and family.

John Edwards took faking it to whole new levels.