Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging about forcibly kissing beautiful women and grabbing them by the pussy – something he could readily do because “when you’re a star they let you do it.” No one cared that much about it, and the bilious Trump was elected president. Bill Cosby has been accused by a multitude of women of sexually assaulting them – some after he slipped them a Quaalude-laced Mickey. The Cos went to trial and met a hung jury. No one seemed to care that much about the whole sordid affair. The Television Academy hasn’t asked for the return of Cosby’s Emmy awards. Fox TV cretins Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes were punished for their harassment by being forced to walk away with millions in severance compensation.
Then Harvey Weinstein appeared as the newest member of the sexual harassment rogues gallery and suddenly everything changed. Harvey was called out by dozens of Hollywood women – actresses, producers, and others – for misbehaving in the most juvenile and creepy ways. Three women accused him of rape. Despite all that, Harvey didn’t do anything that O’Reilly, Cosby and Trump didn’t also do – yet his story resonated more loudly than his predecessors. Maybe it’s because the accusers are famous (Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd), or that Weinstein is an ugly blob whose persona invites amplified opprobrium.
More likely, Harvey’s dalliances surfaced just when people had had enough of powerful mens’ bad behavior and he inadvertently became the 300 pound straw that broke the camel’s back.
In any event, post-Weinstein we’ve experienced an avalanche of new harassment revelations accompanied by stock apologies. (Sidebar: It’s almost becoming a sign of failure if a woman cannot reveal the name of a harasser.) Here’s just a few of the apologetic harassers who’ve been outed since the Weinstein debacle:
- Author and former ABC News exec Mark Halperin.
- Amazon Studios head Roy Price .
- Writer and technologist Robert Scoble.
- Nickelodeon show runner Chris Savino.
- New Orleans celebrity Chef John Besh.
- Hollywood director James Toback.
- Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson.
- Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson.
And then came the saddest new member of the sexual harassment rogues gallery: former President and wheel-chair bound nonagenarian George H. W. Bush who has had to apologize twice this week for playing grab-ass and telling rude jokes to Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick, actresses who are a third his age. (It may also be the case that their ages are the same as George’s IQ at this point in his life.)
According to Grolnick who met Bush 41 and wife Barbara backstage after a performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the ex-Prez “reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’” At least George didn’t crack a joke about his favorite Bavarian masseuse, Heidi Salami.
Liberated by Weinstein’s shenanigans, thousands of harassed women will continue to come forward with tawdry tales dating back decades. I fully expect the estate of Rosemary Woods to reveal that Richard Nixon once tied her up with the 18 minutes worth of missing Watergate tape and forced her to French kiss his left nostril.
General Kelly’s Blarney
According to the New York Times, “This past summer, the Trump administration debated lowering the annual cap on refugees admitted to the United States. Should it stay at 110,000, be cut to 50,000 or fall somewhere in between? John F. Kelly offered his opinion. If it were up to him, he said, the number would be between zero and one.”
It’s really too bad the number wasn’t between zero and one when Kelly’s ancestors immigrated to America from Ireland, because the last thing many people wanted at the time was another potato-eating, drunken Irish Catholic family to lay down roots here and, by taking orders from the Pope, crowd out real Americans with their multitude of ugly, slothful offspring. Right, General?