Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Everyone knew about Harvey Weinstein


In another life, long ago and far away, I covered Hollywood.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that. Yes, I’ve led an unusual and surprising life.

I spent 10 years in journalism in Los Angeles. If you don’t cover Hollywood in some way as a working journalist in Los Angeles, then you are in the wrong town. It’s just that simple.

It was one of my “beats.” The other one was the Middle East. I could tell you what they have in common, but it would be a digression from what I’m writing about today – the “shocking” Harvey Weinstein.

In response to recent reports of sexual harassment and assault, all his friends, even his own brother and business partner, are “shocked, shocked,” to paraphrase Claude Rains’ famous line in “Casablanca.”

I haven’t lived and worked in L.A. since 1990, but it was no surprise to me that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator. Everyone knew it, but dared not speak about it except in hushed tones. It was dangerous to do so in Hollywood. He was powerful.

One thing you have to understand about the press corps in L.A. is that it is not so much a group of journalists, as it is a collection of wannabe screenwriters. With few exceptions, that’s why they are there – to write a story they can option as a screenplay. That’s the goal – the only goal.

So, which enterprising, investigative reporter in L.A. would you expect to burn down quite possibly the biggest entertainment mogul in recent decades?

No one.

And that’s why Weinstein got away with behavior that would make Bill Clinton proud. (Notice I didn’t say blush. Bill Clinton doesn’t blush.)

Long after I left L.A. in the dust, I still heard plenty of gossip about Harvey Weinstein – gossip I wasn’t even interested in or seeking out.

So, that’s how it is possible for this kind of behavior to go on for so long without any accountability.

There’s another obvious reason. You didn’t have to live and work as a journalist in L.A. for 10 years to figure this out.

Harvey Weinstein bought protection against accountability from the very people and the very political party that exuberantly proclaim to be the guardians of the universe when it comes to women’s rights, women’s equality, women’s dignity, women’s safety and women in the workplace.

Oh yeah, Hillary Clinton is denouncing him now. But she would have you believe she was totally ignorant of what he was all about, just like she didn’t know about her husband. She would denounce sexual harassment and sexual assaults as long as it didn’t hit too close to home or her campaign coffers.

She would have you believe this was all a big shock to her. This was the same woman who claimed any allegation of sexual harassment or sexual assault had to be investigated – except, of course, if it affected her life in any way. Did she stand up for Paula Jones? No. Did she stand up for Juanita Broaddrick? No. Did she stand up for Kathleen Willey? No. Did she stand up for any of the dozens of women who made claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault against her husband, or, more precisely, what she thought was her ticket to the White House? No.

This is how sexual predators get away with rape, harassment, coercion and assault.

It happened with Clinton, and it happened with Weinstein.

If you pay patronage to the gods of liberalism, if you say the right things and make the right kind of movies and have money and/or power, you can get away with a lot of stuff for a long time.

What disgusts me almost as much as Weinstein’s outrageous victimization, though, is the super-hypocrisy of the political left. They turn a blind eye to this kind of outrageous behavior whenever one of their own is the perp.

Even now, when confronted with the actions of her own husband, Hillary has the audacity to say: “Well, that’s all been litigated.” Litigated? Where was any of it litigated? I know Bill Clinton lost his law license for lying under oath about it. I know he got impeached because of it. But has it changed any of his behavior – even in his old age? No.

And, believe me, nothing will change in Hollywood. The casting couch has been around since the earliest days of the movie industry. So, where’s the change?