Today is the one-year anniversary of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. (I know. It feels more like 10 years ago.)
For days, Americans were subjected to an ongoing audio loop of a private conversation in 2005 between Donald Trump and the show’s co-host, Billy Bush. I don’t need to remind you what Trump said because anyone with a pulse can probably recite it verbatim. Some gals even have hats to commemorate Trump’s secretly recorded, indecent remarks.
The ensuing outrage should have been a clue of how intense, consuming, and exhausting the daily political climate would be under a Trump presidency. When the story broke in the Washington Post that Friday afternoon, the paper’s servers crashed due to the massive traffic to the site. The reaction from Democrats, women’s groups, celebrities and many Republicans was harsh, swift, and in some cases, way over the top. The man who was running for president against a woman married to a man who was a serial sexual harasser and assaulter, who seduced a young intern in the Oval Office when he was president and left a little reminder of one tryst on her blue dress, who was impeached for lying about his predatory behavior under oath, was compelled to publicly address his comments and apologize for the vulgar remarks. Melania Trump spoke about it. Some demanded that Trump withdraw from the campaign and several Republican rescinded their endorsements.
No group was more offended by Trump’s remarks, or so it seemed, than the newly minted Puritans of Hollywood. Celebrities went ballistic, firing off furious and anguished tweets about the Republican presidential candidate. Film producers, television actors, movie stars: everyone had something to say about Trump and many equated his remarks to sexual assault. (There is a good round-up of celeb tweets here.) And it wasn’t just about his fitness for office. Trump was the poster boy of powerful, rich men using their position to exploit and abuse women. He symbolized everything that is wrong with our white, patriarchal society.
Now, here we are, one year later, and the New York Times just published a bombshell expose about one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Harvey Weinstein. The lecherous behavior of this disgusting man is one of Hollywood’s worst-kept secrets; no doubt the Times could have an ongoing series of articles about this movie-making, sexual predator. Like many Hollywood moguls, Weinstein parlayed his fortune and influence into political power, becoming a major Democratic party donor and fundraiser. Since 1990, he has contributed more than $1 million to Democratic PACs, officeholders, and candidates, many of whom must have been aware of Weinstein’s reputation as a first-rate vulture.
So, let’s take a little trip down Social Media Lane and see how our virtuous, high-minded celebs who wanted Trump charged with rape a year ago have reacted to the Weinstein story.
Do you hear the crickets? I sure do.
Come along then, and let us look at the Twitter timelines of some of Trump’s most indignant celebrity agitators such as Debra Messing, Chelsea Handler, Bette Midler and Lena Dunham to see if any are despairing over Weinstein’s vile behavior and the victims left in his wake. Messing? No. Handler? No. Midler? No, but she did tweet about “the deceit!! The hypocrisy! The nerve!!” of Republican Congressman Tim Murphy for asking his girlfriend to have an abortion. Lena Dunham? Oh yes, here’s something! Dunham applauds the Times reporter for breaking the story then says this about Weinstein’s victims:
The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe. It's not fun or easy. It's brave.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 5, 2017
Wow, these people are good. Way to virtue-signal without alienating a potential boss. Very clever.
How about new Democratic activist and washed-up actress Alyssa Milano? Ah, I see a tweet. Nope, not about Weinstein. Milano retweeted this:
— Melissa Byrne (@mcbyrne) October 6, 2017
Good to know.
But surely our nation’s conscience, celebrity interviewer Jimmy Kimmel, has something to say about this. Hmmm, I don’t see anything on his Twitter page. Perhaps he mentioned it in his monologue last night? Nope, but he did rant on and on about Trump’s tweets on fake news. No tears, though.
And what to make of Ashley Judd? The actress was completely unhinged during her speech at the Women’s March in D.C. the day after the inauguration. She referred to herself as a nasty woman, despicably claiming Ivanka Trump was her father’s “favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes.” While she found time to vent about female celebrities getting paid less than their male counterparts, and questioned why tampons and maxi pads are still taxed, she failed to muster up the courage to tell the frenzied crowd about her encounters with Weinstein.
Judd is cited in the Times article and talks about some of the moves Weinstein put on her: “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.” If that’s true, why didn’t she say anything last January when she had a major public platform to do so. Nasty, yes. Brave, no.
There could be an ulterior motive explaining why Judd is only now revealing her two-decade-old accusations against Weinstein. She is starring in a new Epix series after taking a long break from acting. The Times article gives her some much-needed publicity just before the season premiere on October 15. Also, she must be aware of the damage she did to her reputation after the Women’s March, so perhaps she is hoping to get some credibility with Republicans by going after Weinstein. (Yes, I am this cynical.)
Now, let’s check in on the political crowd. How about the what-do-we-tell-our daughters twosome of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama? Nada. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact Weinstein raised money for Hillary as well as Michelle’s husband. One would think Obama would really be fuming at this news since her 18-year-old daughter just completed an internship for Weinstein. According to an article in Variety on Thursday, “the Obamas have not made any statement on Weinstein, and a spokesman for the Clintons did not return a request for comment.”
When they go low, we go . . . silent?
What about all the pols who have accepted money from Weinstein in the past? As of Friday afternoon, only four U.S. senators—Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—said they would donate the same amount Weinstein contributed to their campaigns. The always persistent, never silenced Warren oddly had nothing to say on her Twitter timeline or campaign website. Maybe Mitch McConnell told her to be quiet.
Once again, this episode exposes the gross hypocrisy of the American Left. Some will argue that the two are not comparable because Trump was running for president and Weinstein is just a movie producer. That’s obviously true, but don’t kid yourself. Weinstein has wielded immense power over American culture for decades. He has been a rainmaker for Democratic political candidates across the country. And despite this kerfuffle, he will be right back in business after a brief leave of absence from his company. All will be forgiven.
Moreover, there can be no doubt that if Weinstein ran for president against Trump, these folks would vote for him and sing his praises in a heartbeat. The ire about the p*ssy tape never was about sexual harassment or women’s empowerment. It’s just liberal politics as usual.