Harvey Weinstein and the problem of collaborators

Dworkin helped to popularize the speak-out as a way of combating sexual violence by breaking the silence that surrounded it. Since the 1970s, speech has been a traditional feminist weapon against sexual violence: It was women telling their stories, and other women agreeing to believe those stories, that first brought rape, incest and other forms of violence against women out in the open and on to the policy table.

.. Dworkin developed her theory that men “collaborated” with each other to maintain gender supremacy through violence against women.

Dworkin employed a sweeping definition of what men did to deliver women into the hands of their abusers, acts that were both active and passive

.. This loss had consequences for Dworkin’s reputation. Her activism left her, and other feminists, stigmatized as anti-pleasure and anti-sex. MacKinnon, to this day a distinguished law professor with numerous achievements, survived the smears, but Dworkin did not. A woman whose first books had been supported by major presses in the 1970s scrambled to find anyone willing to publish her in the 1990s.

.. But were Dworkin with us today, her sharpest criticism might be reserved not for Weinstein himself, but for his collaborators.

.. There were those who actively collaborated, and those who, for their own calculated reasons, colluded through their silence.

  • There were the people who claim not to know that the “casting couch” is alive and well in Hollywood.
  • There were the assistants who delivered young actresses to suites where Weinstein waited for a “massage” in a bathrobe.
  • There were the agents who accepted these assaults as just another rite of passage for their female clients.
  • There were the husbands and boyfriends who shut up, even after confronting the producer.
  • There was his brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, who claims to have been completely in the dark about his brother’s “depraved” assaults on women.
  • There were the politicians who accepted campaign contributions.
  • There were the lawyers who negotiated the hush money.
  • And there were the editors who killed stories that they knew were true.

What To Do With “Shitty Media Men”?

The body of the email contained an anonymous Google spreadsheet labeled “SHITTY MEDIA MEN.” On the top, it said, “DISCLAIMER: This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations and rumors. Take everything with a grain of salt. If you see something about a man you’re friends with, don’t freak out. Men accused of physical sexual violence by multiple women are highlighted in red.” I saw some of the names and thought: fucking finally. Finally, the grossest men in media will be exposed.

.. But things do get complicated when you start lumping all of this behavior together in a big anonymous spreadsheet of unsubstantiated allegations against dozens of named men — who were not given the chance to respond — that, by Wednesday night, seemed to have spread far and wide. At various points on Wednesday, dozens of anonymous accounts were looking at the spreadsheet. This was by design; because of the way the document was structured it meant that anyone could look at it, download and share it

.. In the coming days, as aggregated lists of men are created, it’s important to distinguish who are dogs and who are sexual assaulters.”

.. the fact of the spreadsheet’s existence is itself a feature of this new social media age, of email hacks and document leaks, and a time when things that had just been whispered about are put into digital form, and shared, and take on a life of their own.

.. the consequences almost never outweigh the price that women pay for coming forward. Our motives are suspect, our reputations are maligned, our victimhood called into question.

.. the thing that stuck out to me, and sickened me, the most on the list was the men about whom it had been written “rumored sealed settlement.” Because most of those men are still working in media

.. The hypocrisy of performative allyship has been well documented. But what of the hypocrisy of media organizations themselves?

The accused work at some of the most well-known places in the industry, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, Mother Jones, and BuzzFeed.

 

 

The Ezra Klein Show: How the Republican Party created Donald Trump

Mitch McConnell promised bipartisanship in his speech about healthcare and delivered the exact opposite.  The speech had very little “truth content”.  (38 min)

The Koch brothers announced that they had 360 million dollars to spend on the next election if the Republicans passed healthcare and tax cuts.  (48 min)

Tucker Carlson condemned the right wing media ~6 years ago and said the right needs its own institutions comparable to the New York Times.  He started the Daily Caller which now makes money putting up bikini pictures, and then plays a host on Fox News that does nothing to challenge his audience, preferring to embarrass guests and make its visitors feel good. (1 hr 25 min)

Ezra: I think many of the criticism of the mainstream media are right.  It has a cosmopolitan bias.

Tucker Carlson is all about business model.  Dinesh D’hsousa is doing well because the Ann Coulter principle — the more extreme you are, the better you do.  Authors always check their Amazon ratings.

Many Conservatives don’t consume mainstream media.

The media knew that the John Podesta leaks were coming from the Russians, but the business is comptetitive and people were concerned about appearing biased.  (1 hr 38 min)

 

Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have studied American politics for more than three decades. They are the town’s go-to experts on the workings of Congress. In 2012, they rocked Washington when they published It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, a book that marshaled their considerable authority to argue that the dysfunction poisoning American government was the result of “asymmetric polarization,” notably a Republican Party that “has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

This was a controversial diagnosis then. After Trump, it’s closer to the conventional wisdom.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist at the Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of the classic book Why Americans Hate Politics. He’s one of the sharpest political observers alive.

And now, like a Canadian indie-rock supergroup, the three of them have come together to write One Nation After Trump, a dive into how the Republican Party created Trump, how Trump won, and what comes next.

As Dionne says in this interview, the American system was “not supposed to produce a president like this,” and so a lot of our conversation is about how the guardrails failed and whether they can be rebuilt. Mann, Ornstein, and Dionne may be political sages, but they’re also a lot of fun, and they have a lot of fun together. You’ll hear that in this conversation.

Books:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal by William Leuchtenburg

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The First Congress by Fergus Bordewich

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Democracy for Realists by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels

Scalias All the Way Down

The president is stocking the courts with a class of brilliant young textualists bearing little relation to even their Reagan or Bush predecessors. Mr. Trump’s nastygrams to Bob Corker will be a distant memory next week. Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett’s influence on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could still be going strong 40 years from now.

.. Mr. Trump has now nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year. There are another 160 court openings, allowing Mr. Trump to flip or further consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes.

.. Harry Reid’s 2013 decision to blow up the filibuster for judicial nominees has freed the Trump White House from having to worry about a Democratic veto during confirmation. Mr. McGahn’s team (loaded with former Clarence Thomas clerks) has carte blanche to work with outside groups like the Federalist Society to tap the most conservative judges.

.. The result has been a band of young rock stars and Scalia-style textualists like Ms. Barrett, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras.

.. Because Mr. Trump’s picks have largely spent their careers focused on administrative law and constitutional questions, few have gotten bogged down by controversial cultural rulings. They do have paper trails, but mostly on serious and technical issues. This helps reassure Republicans even as it deprives Democrats of the fodder they’d need to stage dramatic opposition.

.. Conservatives praised Mr. McConnell last year for refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland, whom Mr. Obama had nominated to the Supreme Court. Less well known is the sheer number of federal judgeships Mr. McConnell sat on as the Obama administration wound down. Mr. Trump took office with 107 lower-court vacancies

.. The Trump judicial reset was never guaranteed. Mr. McConnell just happens to have a steely passion for remaking the judiciary. Previous majority leaders Trent Lott (best friends with trial lawyers) and Bill Frist (nice, nice) would never have gotten Justice Gorsuch confirmed. Those guys were the “establishment.”

The Trump judicial reset was never guaranteed. Mr. McConnell just happens to have a steely passion for remaking the judiciary. Previous majority leaders Trent Lott (best friends with trial lawyers) and Bill Frist (nice, nice) would never have gotten Justice Gorsuch confirmed. Those guys were the “establishment.”

..  Mr. Trump will keep baiting the media with shiny objects. In the background, government is being redone.