Nearly 80 years later, that aroma of perversion and maladroit du seigneur clings to Hollywood. Now we are inundated with grotesque tales of Harvey Weinstein pulling out his penis to show to appalled and frightened young women, enlisting the pimping help of agents and assistants to have actresses delivered to his hotel rooms, where he pestered the women to watch him shower or give him a massage or engage in intimate acts.
“The ill will towards him for getting away with it all for so long has unleashed something so primitive,” a prominent male Hollywood producer told me. “If people could rip him apart, they would
.. a man trusted by the Obamas to have their daughter intern at his company.
.. Often the actresses scrambled, trying to figure out how to get out of the room without having their futures shredded by the vindictive satyr, who also threatened to destroy actresses who balked at wearing dresses designed by his wife Georgina Chapman’s fashion label on the red carpet... Min recalled attending the $400,000 speech Barack Obama made as an ex-president to an A&E Networks advertising upfront at the Pierre hotel in New York in April.
.. “There probably needs to be some introspection about how certain people who engage in horrendous mistreatment of women can co-opt the media,” she mused. “The fundamental predatory nature of Hollywood is young, attractive people — largely females — putting themselves in front of men to be judged and appraised and chosen.
.. In Hollywood, unlike at other Fortune 500 companies, the one-on-one meetings take place in hotel suites and bars. It’s an exploitative and oddly personal process.”
.. Harvey had proven time and again he could get you the Oscar that could make your career. It’s the difference between being in the reboot of ‘Saved by the Bell’ or getting 15 million for your next role.”
Hollywood is a culture that runs on fear. And it is not like other professions, one top entertainment executive said, because “no one comes with a résumé. It’s about what you look like and who sent you.”
.. There was resentment against Weinstein in Hollywood, not only for the stories bubbling around about women, but the way he humiliated men who worked with him. He even berated a 15-year-old girl at a screening because her parents supported a political candidate he opposed.
.. Like Trump, that other self-professed predator, there were complaints that in business deals he stiffed people on bills (advertising and public relations payments), and he had a reputation for lying, cheating, taking advantage, acting like a thug. Many in the film community felt he besmirched the Oscars by turning it into a marketing race rather than a contest of quality.
What the Next Round of Alt-Right Rallies Will Reveal
White nationalists all generally agree white people should be in charge, but they have many different competing beliefs about why that is the case, and how white rule should be implemented. These differences are not trivial, and for decades they have prevented a broadly concerted campaign of action by white nationalists in America.
.. Prior to Fields’s attack, Charlottesville was on track to be a clear victory for the alt-right. While attendance of 500 people is a pittance compared to most mainstream political events, it represents a marked upswing from 2016. Simply turning out that many people in one place was an unqualified win.
The fact that few participants sought to conceal their identities was a bold statement about the mainstreaming of white nationalism, which did not go unnoticed during an ominous torch-wielding event the night before the formal rally. Even after the “Unite the Right” rally itself was shut down by authorities as an unlawful assembly in the face of escalating violence, the event was seen as a show of strength.
.. When “Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler attempted to hold a press conference on Sunday in Charlottesville, he was chased away by a crowd of people shouting “murderer” and “shame.”.. The question now is how the alt-right will process the backlash, and an early indicator will be seen in Saturday’s marches and rallies.Terrorism is a double-edged sword. While it can help mobilize the most radical segments of an extremist movement, it simultaneously alienates the least radical, including people who are loosely supportive of an extremist movement, or tolerant or dismissive of its rhetorical excesses.
.. it is unclear how those within the alt-right will process its meaning. In the first 24 hours, online adherents responded predictably, with a mix of
- disavowals of Fields, and
- the advancement of conspiracy theories to explain the problem away.
.. If attendance is high and the participants include more of the same Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacists in garish costumes and armed to the teeth, it would be hard to interpret that as anything less than extremely alarming.
.. An aggressive showing by antifa groups looking to meet violence with violence could lead to further escalation
.. Some portion of the alt-right is more enamored of Trumpism than of white nationalism.
.. The only certainty is that the week ahead is bound to be interesting and consequential. By the time we reach the other side, Americans will likely have a much clearer picture of the shape and direction of white-nationalist extremism in America.
Trump has been making ominous threats his whole life
The crisis we now find ourselves in has been exaggerated and mishandled by the Trump administration to a degree that is deeply worrying and dangerous.
From the start, the White House has wanted to look tough on North Korea.
.. In the early months of President Trump’s administration, before there could possibly have been a serious policy review, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that the era of strategic patience with North Korea was over.
.. Last week, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that North Korea’s potential to hit the United States with nuclear weapons was an “intolerable” threat. Not North Korea’s use of weapons, mind you; just the potential.
.. So why do it? Because it’s Trump’s basic mode of action. For his entire life, Trump has made grandiose promises and ominous threats — and rarely delivered on any.
When he was in business, Reuters found,
- he frequently threatened to sue news organizations for libel, but the last time he followed through was 33 years ago, in 1984.
- Trump says that he never settles cases out of court. In fact, he has settled at least 100 times, according to USA Today.
..In his political life, he has followed the same strategy of bluster.
- In 2011, he said that he had investigators who “cannot believe what they’re finding” about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and that he would at some point “be revealing some interesting things.” He had nothing.
- During the campaign, he vowed that he would label China a currency manipulator,
- move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,
- make Mexico pay for a border wall and
- initiate an investigation into Hillary Clinton. So far, nada.
- After being elected, he signaled to China that he might recognize Taiwan. Within weeks of taking office, he folded.
- He implied that he had tapes of his conversations with then-FBI Director James B. Comey. Of course, he had none.
Does he think the North Koreans don’t know this?.. When it saw a far more threatening leader, Mao Zedong, pursuing nuclear weapons, it was even more cautious. Mao insisted that he had no fear of a nuclear war because China would still have more than enough survivors to defeat Western imperialists. And yet, successive U.S. administrations kept their cool... The secretary of state seems to have been telling Americans — and the world — to ignore the rhetoric, not of the North Korean dictator, but of his own boss, the president of the United States. It is probably what Trump’s associates have done for him all his life. They know that the guiding mantra for him has been not the art of the deal, but the art of the bluff.
Fears of Missiles, and Words
But Mr. Trump is president of the United States, and if prudent, disciplined leadership was ever required, it is now. Rhetorically stomping his feet, as he did on Tuesday, is not just irresponsible; it is dangerous. He is no longer a businessman trying to browbeat someone into a deal. He commands the most powerful nuclear and conventional arsenal in the world, and any miscalculation could be catastrophic.
.. This is a president with no prior government or military experience who has shown no clear grasp of complex strategic issues.
.. his inflammatory words were entirely improvised and took his closest associates by surprise. Intentionally or not, they echoed President Harry Truman’s 1945 pledgeto inflict a “rain of ruin from the air” if Japan did not surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped at Hiroshima, which made them seem even more ominous.
It is hard to believe that they would condone Mr. Trump’s risky approach, and on Wednesday, the damage control began.
- While Mr. Mattis reinforced his boss’s belligerent tone and expressed confidence that North Korea would “lose any arms race or conflict it initiates,” he more prudently focused on the North’s concrete “actions” rather than on vague threats and voiced support for a diplomatic solution.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he saw no reason to believe that war was imminent.
- Meanwhile, some White House aides reportedly urged reporters not to read too much into the president’s remarks.
.. Since Truman, presidents have largely avoided the kind of militaristic threats issued by Mr. Trump because they feared such language could escalate a crisis.
.. Mr. Trump has again made himself the focus of attention, when it should be Kim Jong-un, the ruthless North Korean leader, and his accelerating nuclear
.. Engaging in a war of words with North Korea only makes it harder for both sides to de-escalate.