I haven’t commented on the revelation that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women over the years in Hollywood because it’s not an industry I have much interest in and Weinstein isn’t a person I know much about. Having read the stories, I’m almost positive he is guilty of what he is being accused of (he’s now well on the way to Bill Cosby like numbers) and Weinstein deserves to lose his fortune and rot in jail for many, many years if found guilty.
The media in all its collective wisdom though, has decided that because Harvey Weinstein has donated to many Democrats over the years, this somehow makes the situation equivalent to Donald Trump’s “pussy grab” revelation this time last year. The Banter’s Jeremy Fassler has gone to town on CNN’s Chris Cillizza, the major cheerleader of this ridiculous false equivalency meme, but the hapless media apparatchik is now doubling down on the “both sides” idiocy in a new post that is shockingly stupid. In an article posted on CNN titled “It took Hillary Clinton five days to issue this statement about Harvey Weinstein”, Cillizza wrote the following head scratching statement:
Five days after the New York Times broke the news that Weinstein, the head of Miramax and a major Democratic donor, faced a series of allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women over a several-decade span, neither Bill or Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama has said a single word about the incidents.
Cillizza published this literally minutes before Clinton chose to speak out about the allegations, forcing the CNN pundit to update his article with the following snide statement (bold emphasis ours):
After publication, Hillary Clinton released a statement through a spokesman. “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.” The statement made no mention of returning contributions from Weinstein.
Cillizza’s article details at great length how much Weinstein raised for said Democrats, and how intertwined their lives were (Malia Obama for example, interned at The Weinstein Company before starting college this year), overtly implying that their silence in the wake of the revelations is some indication of a moral equivalency to the Republicans who support Trump.
Does Trump's behavior excuse Weinstein's?
And, if Dems rightly condemned Trump, then they also should condemn Weinstein. https://t.co/JCKZSJBV3e
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) October 6, 2017
“If your best friend commits a series of indefensible acts, you don’t get a pass from condemning that behavior because you have known each other for a long time,” continued Cillizza, doubling down on his ridiculous attempts to smear Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. “Friendship doesn’t excuse behavior like Weinstein has been exhibiting for years.” He went on:
And, there’s no question about what’s happening here! Weinstein hasn’t denied it. And the allegations continue to pile up. The story isn’t getting better for him with time. It’s getting worse.
When it comes to the Clintons and Obama as less-than-active participants in Democratic politics, that overlooks the fact that they remain the three most recognizable and beloved leaders within the Democratic Party. It also conveniently leaves out Clinton’s much-repeated pledge during her recent book tour that “I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
My guess is that the growing public pressure on the Clintons and Obama to say something — anything! — about Weinstein will force them to speak (or release a statement) sometime in the next 48 hours. But, the question remains: What the heck is taking them so long?
It’s hard to know where to start with this nonsense. Firstly, Harvey Weinstein isn’t a political figure, running for president, or involved professionally with anyone’s campaign (past or present). He’s a goddamn movie producer who has donated money to the Democrats over the years.
Secondly, it’s quite normal for public figures to not weigh in on a scandal like this when the fact are still coming out. The revelations have come as quite a surprise, even to those who know Weinstein personally and the industry itself, so it makes sense that rational people would wait until all of the evidence has been gathered.
Thirdly, from a legal point of view Weinstein is innocent until proven guilty, and regardless of how obvious the allegations are, you can’t blame people for not rushing to conclusions without the matter going to court. Unlike Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, Weinstein doesn’t have a long, public track record of abusing women, so giving him some leeway after the bombshell reports isn’t exactly a grave crime.
Fourthly, what the fuck does Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s response to a Hollywood businessman’s alleged sexual crimes have to do with, well, anything? None of the above are active politicians. None are running for president in the future. All are retired public officials who greatly limit their public exposure and don’t comment on a great deal. I mean, how many times have you heard Obama’s voice over the past 10 months? How many tweets has he posted? That’s right, not many.
If you were to create a character to exemplify all that is wrong with the news media in America, you’d come up with Chris Cillizza — a shallow, saccharine political analyst focused solely on appealing to the midwest demographic and dedicated to covering the horse race instead of the issues. Cillizza is the definition of a hack journalist and helped elect Donald Trump in 2016 due to his religious insistence of covering “both sides” equally. Now he’s attempting to create a new “both sides” narrative that pits the Republican support of a known sex offender against Democrat support of a known sex offender. Except of course it is total and utter bullshit. The Republicans actively supported Donald Trump after he was caught on tape confessing to sexually assaulting women, and are continuing to protect him while in office. The Democrats on the other hand, may have taken donations from a high profile media player who has recently been exposed as a serial abuser of women. Again, Weinstein is not a politician, is not running for president, isn’t the goddamn president, and has nothing to do with anything. Furthermore, Democrats are loudly condemning Weinstein’s behavior — and some of them are even sending him back his donations. The parallels are not even remotely close, and Cillizza should be fired for daring to suggest it.
We’ve seen what happened after the media failed to do its job in 2016 and cover both sides appropriately. We now have Donald Trump as president. And if morons like Cillizza keep this nonsense up, we’ll have him for another 7 years.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.