Mark Halperin is kind of a dick:
Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to five women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with CNN and others who did not experience the alleged harassment personally, but were aware of it.[…..] [W]omen who spoke to CNN say he also had a dark side not made public until now. The stories of harassment shared with CNN range in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will. Three of the women who spoke to CNN described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed. Halperin denies grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against the three women.
Jesus. His public side was not his dark side???
Were they wearing those drop-shoulder tops? They’re very provocative.
This probably doesn’t include women on the subway who have no idea who he is.
I’m inclined to say this will be the least surprising thing I read all day, but it’s only 9:30.
Halperin’s defense of Trump
Glad to see this. We’re better out with Halperin off “legitimate” media outlets. What a pig.
What you did there was seen by me..
So Halperin did NOT deny propositioning employees for sex and kissing women against their will.
Sad. You wonder how much of this there is. Still, it doesn’t explain the DISPARATE treatment of Bill Clinton – they were all fucking outraged over that and they blew off the Trump tape. That is still to be explored. Oh, well. If Trump’s past 50 year practice is any indication he hasn’t stopped, so maybe we’ll get to find out.
I’m so shocked by this I may have to go back to bed.
The Steele Dossier Looks More Credible Than Ever
by Martin Longman
October 25, 2017
On January 11th, 2017, right after BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times published a piece called: What We Know and Don’t Know About the Trump-Russia Dossier. What Mr. Shane already knew was that “in September 2015, a Washington political research firm, Fusion GPS, paid by a wealthy Republican donor who did not like Mr. Trump, began to compile ‘opposition research’ on him.” Additionally, Shane knew the following: “After it became clear that Mr. Trump would be the Republican nominee, Democratic clients who supported Hillary Clinton began to pay Fusion GPS for this same opposition research.”
What the Washington Post is reporting today is that the Democratic client who paid for the Fusion GPS research was Perkins Coie, a law firm that was under contract to both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Specifically, their lead election attorney, Mark Elias, made arrangements with Fusion GPS in April 2016 to pay for ongoing opposition research after the original Republican client stopped paying for the work. The way the report is written is vague, but the clear implication is that the Clinton campaign and DNC funded the research indirectly by making payments to the Perkins Coie law firm.
There’s no evidence beyond what we already knew to suspect that Steele had an incentive to skew his reports. And Steele’s behavior is certainly curious if he thought he was working in close cooperation with the Clinton campaign. For example, when he felt that the information he was providing to Fusion GPS was too explosive to leave to them, he made the decision to contact the FBI:
He says he was pursuing a “relationship” – he’s a real charmer!
@Kay: The difference is, the public saw Clinton as a horndog, but also saw him as a seducer, not an assaulter, based on his public persona. This drove the Beltway wild with rage.
I love how no one is pursuing who the GOP donor was. It was breaking news that Clinton used oppo research, because she’s such a sneaky conniving bitch. Why does this only apply to her? They are RIDICULOUS with the Clinton-hate. They need some kind of workplace seminar. God almighty. get help.
I’m horribly conflicted. I am ashamed how Lewinsky was treated, but the truth is that wasn’t just Bill Clinton. It was media too.
I feel she was really treated unjustly. I teared up when Ilistened to her talk. I could not imagine that kind of HUNTING – how it followed her everywhere, for decades. Jesus. Brutal. The whole fucking world owes her an apology.
Gin & Tonic
I really have a hard time understanding this behavior. I mean, I can understand the straightforward quid pro quo: if you want to keep this job, I want a blow job. I can understand flirting or sexual banter which seems benign to the guy but is unwelcome or abhorrent to the woman. But is there a woman in the history of the world who’s ever had a clothed guy with a hard-on (whom she doesn’t have some sexual history with) rub up against her, and said “ooh, I like that”? This seems strange in an anthropological sense, like foot-binding or something.
@Kay: He did always kind look sleazy, ditto with good ol boy, John Besh.
@Kay: Ah, the eternal art of courtship!
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
That guy always struck me as somehow creepy. It doesn’t shock me at all. Once again, though, I can’t begin to understand what would make men do this kind of thing. I’m a straight guy, and I think women are the most spectacularly breathtaking beauty on earth. I look. I do. But I can’t even think what would make me go up and grab a woman I don’t know by the breast or the crotch or rub a hardon up against them. Who does that? Really, I’m at a loss here. What makes low life shitbags do something like this? What’s wrong with these people?
Who could have imagined that the grinning toadie who lapped up his special Trump helicopter ride had pussy grabbing in common with him?
And whatever will Charlie Rose do at his oaken table without the sage blandishments of hackitude Mark dispenses? (Or, how long is decourous before he can be invited back)?
@Kay: I’ll say again, Hillary has become my litmus test for people.
@Kay: Except for her, no one avoided justified damage in that story. Oh, and maybe Alcee Hastings, who began his speech on the House floor before the impeachment vote with the words, “Well, when I was impeached…” Best evidence!
Eventually my Halperin bashing will be freed from moderation. One must not say p—y, as I forgot.
Maybe Halperin was auditioning for a gig at Fox News where all the real pervs hangout.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some men in power use it to control others, and there are those who use sex to control women. Life 101.
So how do we get to Life 2.0? How do we make people in power keep from exerting power through sexual domination? They obviously feel entitled to take whatever they want, in whatever capacity their power lies. Can’t men be powerful without abusing others? Sure they can, but there are still those who do, and they feel untouchable and unafraid of the consequences. Their capacity for power somehow dims their sense of fear of being caught and they believe their victims will never talk.
The problem lies with no one being held accountable and having consequences that don’t match the crime. The other problems include victim-blaming and a code of silence among victims who will be shamed for making accusations. And there are problems with legal standards of proof of abuse. Often those victims who do come forward are dismissed in legal proceedings and their cases thrown out.
Realistically though, I don’t know where we go. If a man who is a self-proclaimed abuser of women is elected president, how can we make any progress? I’ve raised my sons to be decent and respectful of others, but what about those who haven’t learned those most basic lessons?
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 10/25/17
Senate committee splits as Trump behavior warrants scrutiny
Rachel Maddow reports on how congressional committees are splitting along partisan lines in the Trump Russia investigation even as new revelations show Donald Trump’s behavior warrants a closer look by committees like the Senate Judiciary.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 10/25/17
Blumenthal hopes committee split speeds up Trump investigation
Senator Richard Blumenthal talks with Rachel Maddow about the unprecedented nature of Donald Trump interviewing potential U.S. attorneys and what partisan divisions within the Judiciary Committee mean for the Trump Russia investigation.
THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL AMERICAN CITIZENS
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 10/25/17
Alarm over disease as much of Puerto Rico still lacks clean water
Rachel Maddow reports on a frustrating run-around in trying to get answers to questions about the spread of the bacterial infection leptospirosis from lack of clean drinking water in Puerto Rico.
I suppose Michel Foucault would be thinking: “I didnt need more empirical evidence you fucking pigs!”
Trump tries to avoid responsibility for soldiers’ deaths in Niger
10/26/17 08:00 AM
By Steve Benen
For three weeks, Donald Trump wouldn’t acknowledge the deadliest combat incident of his presidency. On Oct. 4, four U.S. Army Special Operations soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger, and the president had said literally nothing about it, and the White House refused to release a condolence statement drafted by the National Security Council.
Yesterday, Trump finally mentioned the attack when a reporter asked whether the president had authorized the mission.
In other words, the president effectively wants to be seen as a bystander. Trump has delegated his powers to military leaders; they make decisions; and the president gets “reports” on what servicemen and women have been up to. He’s “been seeing it just like” the rest of us.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because yesterday wasn’t the first time he’s tried to pass the buck in the wake of a U.S. combat death. Soon after taking office, Trump authorized a mission in Yemen, which claimed the life of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, and when pressed for answers on what transpired, the president said the buck stops somewhere else.
They recycled that story at a very good time for Donald Trump. There’s nothing new in that story. Why was it recycled and why does the GOP donor stay secret? They seem to ride to Mr. Trump’s rescue at such opportune times. Every time he’s really tanking another “Clinton scandal” breaks. Who are we kidding with this? The NYTimes partnered with Breitbart on that Clinton book. They’re so compromised at this point they can’t function. They can’t even let the employees tweet for fear they’ll fight with outraged subscribers. They’re holding meetings with Trump people on a book! I don’t know- isn’t that a conflict? What happens if they lose their “access” to Trump? That book doesn’t get written.
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Seconded. Not that they’ll stop to think about it, but if these creeps would stop to think about it – if they’d picture being grabbed by someone they found gross and unappealing (assuming that anyone is unappealing to them) – they might just restrain themselves once in a while. Of course they won’t, but still.
Is this a last bit of good news for John McCain?
@rikyrah: Also, it’s not [your] generals and [your] military, Trump!!!
For the people that heard “leading from behind” for 8 years this is particularly amusing. The C in C doesn’t take any responsibility if the mission goes bad. He had nothing to do with it!
This is the guy who we are told has “strength” as his brand. He’s a fucking coward.
So did WaPo. It really is a scandal that’s not being talked about.
I think MSM is full of Halperins. He is not the only one.
*Sahil Kapur brings us what rank and file members of the Republican caucus are saying about their party’s tax cut plan.
But her e-mails might have caused the collapse of all civilization as we know it!!!! [Dogs and cats living together, etc.]
Keep going folks.
Expose these fuckers for who they are.
You gotta love how conservatives always manage to get sanctimonious about behavior of others that they themselves are doing at the same time. I mean, seriously, did Halperin think he could pontificate about Weinstein and not one of the women who complained about him to ABC would connect the dots?
and yet, FEMA can’t reach these folks.
I’m heading to #PuertoRico today to address access to clean water and the restoration of their power grid. https://t.co/Yax1BzwTjm
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 26, 2017
On our flight donated by @Delta, we’re delivering water filtration systems, 30,000 bottles of water and deploying 30 State Troopers.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 26, 2017
May 2016: Mercer mulls looking for missing Clinton emails
July 2016: Nix emails Assange, CC’s Mercer, about emailshttps://t.co/JwPqdKM6e2
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) October 26, 2017
Yup. That’s why they were so sanctimonious about Weinstein. They didn’t think that they would ever get caught.
I am appalled that these women had to endure such crap from such an obviously slimy, obsequious creep.
But I have to say, this story is making my day. There are few who I would be more happy to see put in this position.
As if any of that stuff [“Gorsh! We just don’t know what’s in it!”] would cause any of those evil motherfuckers to vote against it.
Feel bad for Halperin’s targets, but thrilled that they have stepped forward.
The sight of his name in print calls to mind that fawning, faux cloak-and-dagger crap about Assange on his HBO segments during the 2016 campaign.
I want him to end up in a cubicle in a low population sunbelt town whining about the lack of leads threatening his shitty, anxiety-filled job.
Of course he did. Wingnuts are nothing if not self-unaware. Remember: with wingnuts, being a clueless, evil moron is a feature, not a bug.
On taxes, Americans aren’t buying what Republicans are selling
10/26/17 08:40 AM—UPDATED 10/26/17 08:43 AM
By Steve Benen
The Republican effort to overhaul the nation’s tax code isn’t proceeding smoothly, but GOP officials, with a degree of panic and desperation, are scrambling to make it happen.
A New York Times report explained yesterday, “The Republican tax plan is a bit like having a baby to save a failing marriage. With divisions roiling the party, the prospect of a once-in-a-generation bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals increasingly appears to be the last, best hope for a fractured establishment desperate to find common ground and advance an effort it has long championed as the pinnacle of Republican orthodoxy.”
There’s no shortage of moving parts to this, but while observers wait for GOP officials to get their act together – there’s still no bill, and we don’t even know for sure if the House will pass its budget resolution – it’s worth appreciating just how little public appetite there is for the Republican plan.
A new Fox News poll, released late yesterday, offered a variety of results on taxes, but among the findings was evidence that 78% of Americans are “frustrated” that “the wealthy are paying too little in taxes.” Another recent Fox News poll found that 59% disapprove of lowering taxes on corporations.
The entire Republican gambit is predicated on the polar opposite conclusions.
The person who takes down Trump will be some low level plodder who looks for documents. It won’t be because of “access” or “tips”,it will be because someone looks for something tangible and undeniable to nail him. He’s in a worse position now than he was in the private sector because they have to document and record and preserve. No more get out of jail cards for the pampered, soft toddler. No more 35 “I don’t remember” in depositions. He has no ethical compass of any kind. It’s just a matter of time.
But her emails!!!
It’s absolutely atrocious.
1. All evidence points to Clinton herself not even knowing about this research until after it was released by the media. I believe she’s on record stating that she wished she’d know about it, because she would have used it.
2. The only new piece of information in all this is that they now know the name of the people who continued paying for the research. We already know it was being paid for by the DNC and others in the Hillary camp.
3. They conveniently ignore that THEY (the New York times and Washington Post) paid for Opposition research provided by the Trump Team. Clinton Cash was a Bannon/Mercer Oppo project. They forked over cash for and treated as credible information that later turned out to be highly misleading if not downright false.
@rikyrah: FEMA can’t but Bethany Frankel from Real Housewives New York City can. MAGA has made Made America Weak.
@Kay: Yep. I hope the new Woodward doesn’t turn into as much of an ass as the original did.
@But her emails!!!: That’s why they say the. “Clinton camp” lied, although I haven’t seen any evidence of a lie yet.
Gin & Tonic
@rikyrah: Andrew Cuomo may be an asshole, but his daddy taught him how to count.
On the contrary, yes it would if they knew, because then they’d think: “there’s not enough of X or Y” there (the variables being either: a) tax cuts/credits beneficial to ultra-high income people, especially passive investment income, or: b) elimination of taxes funding progressive programs (hello, social security, ObamaCare, etc). Whatever is proposed won’t go far enough to be acceptable to them.
To be fair, his heel spurs have been bothering him
mai naem mobile
I am so not surprised . If it had been Heileman I would have been surprised . Halperin comes across as somebody who would take advantage of his power in that fashion
. I wonder if Heileman knew about it .
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
@Kay: I admired David Farnenhold’s (sp?) reporting on Trump’s “charity” because it resulted from just that kind of plodding, documented work. He even posted pages from his notebook as he did it so the public could see what he was doing and see where his conclusions came from.
@mai naem mobile:
Or Mika and Joe.
But her emails!!!
One thing that I have come to realize over the last election is that what many Americans believe or at least say they believe has little to no impact on how they actually vote in general elections. What matters most is that the politician has the right team logo on their jacket. If you could sneak a candidate with Hillary Clinton’s or Bernie Sander’s’ positions through the Republican Primary, 80% of Republicans and Republican leaners would cast their votes for that candidate in the general.
Major Major Major Major
It’s only a conflict of interest if some of their interests are truth and holding the administration accountable…
Major Major Major Major
Good god that was a long election.
Well, Halperin and Trump are members of that club, after all. Halperin must have felt obliged to come to his defence.
What about Charlie Rose, the drunk? He used to have Halperin on all the time.
From the Doobie Brothers song?
The Moar You Know
I’m a male human. Not only have I never done this, I’ve never even thought about doing anything remotely like this. Which brings me to my point – what’s going through your head when you do this to a woman? (the answer should be “a 9mm bullet”) But man alive, I just do not get these people. If somebody wants your dick, they’ll ask for it. In words. Unmistakably.
And if they’re not asking, then YOU are doing something wrong and need to make some adjustments. Take a shower. Quit spewing Republican talking points. Whatever. Odds are someone has told you, directly, what the problem is. Listen. Not start acting like my dog and just humping away at whoever is nearby. Last time my dog did this, he ended up at the ER with a nicely shredded ear (he’s fine now, thanks for asking, no scars). You might too.
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):
I don’t know why, but everytime he tweeted just a picture of his legal pad, it cracked me up. So simple, but effective.
@The Moar You Know: It’s not about sexual attraction or even thinking someone “wants” it. It’s about power. I can rub my dick on you and you can’t do anything about it.
@rikyrah: They won’t, but the NYTimes could learn from Fahrenthold.
Their “access” leads to them being knobsuckers. I don’t trust them on political reporting. I do like them on environment and a lot of other stuff …
@debit: Halperin the frotterer.
He who rubs.
@Chyron HR: He has a PBS talk show and I believe he is on CBS too.
Woman: Why are you rubbing against me?
Halperin: You ASKED for it!
Woman: I ordered cheese.
French waiter: Sir, I must insist you stop rubbing against our customers.
@Kay: It was interesting to read what you wrote here, Kay. Earlier this week I had the thought that whatever it is that will ultimately turn his base against him, it won’t be anything we can predict. It will be some thing that isn’t even 1/10th as bad as the other things he has done.
I am convinced that there will be something that violates their code or their norms – as inexplicable as those things might be to us – and they will turn on him. Maybe not the nazi types, but at least the seemingly decent people who voted for him and give him cover. I hope I’m right.
Who could have known that this smarmy misogynist and rabid Clinton-hater was also a sexual sexual assaulter?
@WaterGirl: He asked them to choose between him and football, and they chose him. There may be nothing left after that.
@WaterGirl: I hope you’re right. I can’t think of anything that would turn his base against him for good. There’s an entire segment of people who don’t care if they’re drowning in shit as long as the libtards drown first.
@different-church-lady: If even one of his followers stops watching football because of this, I will be shocked.
@debit: If I’m right, when the moment happens and they turn on him, it will be inexplicable to us. We will say “it didn’t matter that he colluded with Russia, stole the election, is a serial sexual predator, hates women, hates “mexicans”, hates black people, let the citizens of Puerto Rico die, and THIS (whatever it is) is what upsets them?
Journalism 101. And it’s true for McConnell and Ryan and all the whores.
The FTF NYTimes and cable news are filled with entertainers and clickbait artists.
@WaterGirl: My prediction: a picture emerges that shows him sleeping with cucumber slices over his eyes.
@WaterGirl: Ragging on the recent widow — Sgt. La David Johnson’s valiant partner — with a baby on the way and her husband not even in the ground yet — calling her a liar.
That will be a longterm sucking wound.
J R in WV
Is misogynistic hatred OK if it’s a woman journalist hating on a female candidate? Or is that still sexual harassment? Like Maggie (of the NYT) hating on Hillary (elected President) for the whole presidential campaign??
I’m a naive country boy, so I dunno, but it seems like lying about another citizen over and over, as subtly as possible, should be way unethical if not illegal. It’s there in black and white on the newsprint, after all.
Has not Halperin chimed in yet on this? They spent a lot of time together writing their Game Changer book.
Nope, see, the problem is that no one who voted for him is a decent person. I have yet to run into one and I live completely surrounded by them. I rarely leave my home after work anymore because I hate them so much I can’t hide it .
I really really enjoy this “now I understand” nonsense. What it means is “oh shit, i got caught.”
Everyone knows, by now, that it’s not OK to act like Halperin. And Halperin himself has known for DECADES. This isn’t some new trend: our moms taught us at an early age, “keep your hands to yourself.”
Personally, I hope he gets sued into bankruptcy, and then I hope one of his victims has a REALLy big husband who can punch Halperin’s teeth out, and I mean that literally. No teeth for Mark.
@Elizabelle: I’m not sure that his base sees bullying a young, pregnant black woman as a negative.
It’s not just their gambit, it’s their entire conservative theory. They want to stop time. OK they think they are stopping progress but really it’s time they want to stop. And they have no idea what life was like at the time they wanted to stop it at.
The more he gets attacked with real issues, ones that he’s caused, the more his real base supports him. This is their one chance to be something. It’s a shitty something but it really is all and the best chance they have. To have someone who represents all the crappy people. We always look for someone better. To the end of getting a president elected the republicans always looked for someone better. They’ve never found one but still they looked. Until now. They stopped looking. They went with their real character, the one that best personifies who they are or would like to be. They may or may not watch football but the real base will support him, because he really does represent them.
@Ruckus: Yep, you nailed it. Newsweek just released a report that says Republicans think Trump is the hardest working president ever. I can’t even.
@JPL:Thanks for remembering this.
Mr. Halperin is no doubt, shocked! Very shocked that he has been committing illegal acts.
I have a very strong feeling that Mr. Halperin does not believe it is possible for a white male, in a position of power over a woman, to commit sexual assault or harassment. I believe he would refer to it as a perk.
@debit: Unbelievable, indeed. And when you think about it, there’s only one post-war Republican president who even arguably worked as hard as any post-war Democratic president. That would be Nixon and most of what he did was nefarious.
@debit: But the Newsweek article itself is pretty good in laying out that Trump plays golf all the time.
Won in one.
@ChrisB: Ike was low key but pretty good.
GOP gotta canonize everything Reagan did, because Nixon is problematic, GHWBush is seen as wobbly, and W or Trump … they have challenges.
They console themselves with tearing the Clintons down (he’s a rapist, in their eyes, with 33 accusers — they always have these manufactured data points) and Obama, although that’s a receding target.
@debit: Was that snark? I dunno about Newsweek these days. Who owns that magazine?
I went to elementary school, junior high and high school with Mark Halperin.
My first memory of him is hearing him brag at the bus stop about stealing a carton of eggs from the fridge and hiding them under the boxwoods outside, so they would be thoroughly rotten and stinky when Halloween came around and he could egg peoples’ cars.
Not surprised in the least.
@Elizabelle: Serious. As @catclub: said, they laid out the case that he’s on permanent vacation. What kills me is his base actually thinks he’s working hard. And Obama was the one who lived on the golf course.
@NorthLeft12: It’s not harassment, it’s just a romantic overture.
@debit: Trump supporters are “no information” voters.
He clearly thought he was invulnerable. I mean, he’s been possibly the most spectacularly awful Village windbag for at least a decade now, has been very briefly suspended for calling President Obama a “dick” on one of the very very few occasions Obama described GOP arson with uncharacteristic bluntness, yet continues to occupy an unearned perch as one of the Elite media’s go-to pontificators.
No matter how wrong he is or how much he fucks up at his job, some media outlet is always willing to throw buckets of cash at him and give him a platform to keep being an asshat who is always wrong.
Given that halperin is obviously an insufferable piece of shit on his best days and has been immune to the professional consequences of spectacular failure so far, I’m not at all surprised that he thought being a predator towards the women in his workplaces would have absolutely no consequences.
And i also won’t be surprised if, a few months from now, he is wheeled right back out there, maybe in a less prominent capacity at first, and given every chance to “rehabilitate” his image. Because that’s what powerful asshole white men tend to be allowed to do.
…unless somehow this becomes a “Halperin problem” for the democrats. Then he’s probably gone for good.
Yes, the Third Law of Beltway media is that every single bad act committed by anyone with even a tenuous connection to Hillary Clinton can, must, be imputed in its entirety to her personally and she alone must accept guilt and atone.
@donnah: I’ve long suspected this type of thing has long been rampant amongst hierarchical organisations. You can compare it to the Catholic Church and various athletic programs in schools. Far too often, when an individual in the hierarchy is guilty of some kind of misconduct, the rest of the organisation makes moves to cover up the misconduct rather than to punish the abuser.
It’s not merely the hierarchy, which gives abusers a way to hide their misconduct and to punish those who try to come after them. There’s also the fact that most people in the institutions are hoping that they’ll eventually gain the same kind of power, so it benefits them not to speak up when they see or are victims of wrongdoing.
Thirdly, there’s also the fact that most of the people involved in these institutions are heavily invested emotionally in said institutions, to the point where if a case of wrongdoing comes out, they may take it as a personal attack. In short, they’ll become defensive and unwilling to evaluate evidence rationally.
Beyond all that, there’s also the simple case that institutions themselves often, once they have become established enough, devote a specific part of their focus to preserving their existence, regardless of their political leanings or mission statement. Thus, the people staffing the institution see it as imperative to protect the institution, because they’ve developed such an identification with it that they see it as necessary for it to survive regardless of the consequences this has on actual human beings.
And there’s a final problem: society itself often views these organisations as benevolent. The Catholic Church is a big one, obviously. Its public image certainly took a major hit after the abuse scandal became public, so it might be difficult to remember how unassailable its image was in some quarters. Police organisations and the military are generally given borderline worshipful reverence in many quarters, including a lot of popular culture. (To its credit, some parts of the military do seem to have been undergoing sincere efforts to deal with their sexual assault problem, but there’s a long way to go still.) Football is almost a religion in this country. And so on.
This seems to hold true across all political leanings, to be clear, hence Weinstein, Mark Ames, and various other creeps and abusers who are ostensible liberals or leftists. (Erik Loomis posted a piece on SEIU a few days ago about an SEIU leader who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by, IIRC, dozens of women, and I recommend going and finding it.) I think the right in this country is overall worse about it, because the right tends to be comprised of authoritarian followers, while the left is overall pretty hostile to authoritarianism, and authoritarianism is particularly conducive to this kind of abuse. But “ensure only left-leaning people get placed into positions of authority” clearly isn’t a solution to this, and “ensure only women get placed into positions of authority” isn’t a solution, either, because some women are abusers (not as many as men, but they still exist) and others are perfectly willing to be apologists for male abusers. The problem seems to me to be an intrinsic weakness in hierarchical authority itself.
To be clear, I’m saying this as a person who’s considered themselves a libertarian soc!alist bordering on anarchist for probably around twelve years now, so I’ve been predisposed to distrust hierarchical authority for a long time. But one of the things that’s reinforced my distrust is how frequently I’ve seen hierarchical authority cover up for sexual abusers and even use its resources to attack people who try to bring down said abusers. You can compare this to the way police officers tend to lock ranks when one of them is abused of misconduct – it’s representative of the same tribalistic impulses in human nature. The simple problem is that hierarchical authority is particularly prone to abuse, because we’re humans.
I don’t think we’ll ever be rid of hierarchical authority completely. If you’ve read Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, which is probably the most realistic fictional depiction of anarchy that will ever be written, you’ll know that it becomes apparent midway through the novel that Anarres still has a de facto government that simply doesn’t call itself a government. And there are necessary hierarchies in society, most of which seem to be based on knowledge, expertise, and experience: parent/child, teacher/student, and so on. What we can do, though, is maintain suspicion of hierarchical authority wherever it exists.
This story about Halperin doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m also almost 99% certain that there are similar stories about Cillizza that simply haven’t come out yet, between his flagrant misogyny in dealing with Clinton and some frankly creepy stuff he’s posted about Megyn Kelly, Ivanka Trump, etc.
@J R in WV: Not a lawyer either, but a lot of what they wrote about Clinton seems like it crosses the threshold of actual malice: it was published either with knowledge that it was false, or with reckless disregard for whether it was false. I’m almost certain Clinton could’ve launched dozens of successful libel suits, but probably only didn’t bother because she thought it wouldn’t look good politically. I understand that impulse, but at the same time it also seems like a tragedy of the commons or collective action problem: if the media think they can defame Democrats this consistently without any consequences for doing so, they are quite likely to continue doing so.
@Baud: Same here.
@Kay: yeah, no. I’m the former wife of a man who was a cheat and a liar. I have zero pity for any kind of side dish. None.
Until you’ve had your life torn open and destroyed by that kind of intimate betrayal you simply cannot imagine the pain.
What Lucianne Goldberg did was execrable, and whats-her-name fake friend too. But nobody made Lewinsky decide to fuck a married man.
Of course Bill Clinton is the one who decided to betray his wife.
And that’s tough– I do admire many things about him as a thinker, a politician and so on. But as a moral being? Shitsky. Ugh.
Can’t we Please have more like President Obama?
@mai naem mobile: Yeah, I wonder if Charlie Rose (Halperin’s BFF on the broadcast interview side of things) knew about it–he’s had Halperin on his show literally hundreds of times more than he’s had actual, honest reporters on. And, if he did, can we expect a statement from Rose about it? (as with Tarantino vis a vis Weinstein?) Hmmm…inquiring minds and all that. ETA I see Chyron got there ahead of me, but I’m so steamed at Rose wasting all that air time on a worthless carcass like Halperin that I’ll just leave this here.
dont lie tho doug, youre chowing on some massive schadenfreude here
@cokane: boy am I ever! It really shows that much? oops
I’ve loathed Mark Halperin for decades for reasons having nothing to do with either the harassment or his politics. One of my professional specialties — years ago in my librarian days — was speculative fiction, especially fantasy novels. An acquaintance gave me a copy of Winter’s Tale with the dread words, “Oh, you’ll love this, it’s so beautifully written!” — which, contrarian that I am, instantly assured me that I was going to hate the damn book with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Which I did. What a piece of sentimental, half-baked, overwritten, uncreative junk. Schaden, thy name is freude!
New post up top in which to vent further, if so desired.
@Tehanu: Yeh, no, that’s Mark HELPRIN. Love him or hate him, he at least gives his readers respite from the trials of life, whereas Halperin creates them–out of rumor, innuendo, smarm, and self-promotion. There is no ‘YECH’ too big to give to Mark Halperin.
Oh, my gosh. Is my face red! Well, that’s two of them to hate then!