Monday, October 30, 2017

Bringing Wisdom & Perspective To The Harvey Weinstein Journalistic Gangbang

As experienced investigative journalists go, there is no one with more or better chops than Steve Weinberg, who also happens to be a friend. 
Steve brings to the Harvey Weinstein journalistic gangbang a much needed perspective for non-believers and knuckle draggers alike on sexual harrassment, which in Weinstein's especially sordid case has included several rapes. 
First, read this hair-raising New Yorker essay by Ronan Farrow, who broke the story, and then this New York Times story.  Here are Steve’s thoughts, which I have paraphrased:
* Yes, individuals who report sexual assaults occasionally fabricate or exaggerate.  But not often.  How do we know that? Understanding the cost-benefit equation of the victims going public. 
* When highly responsible journalism organizations disseminate exposes such as this, 99 percent of the time they possess lots more evidence than they share. 
* Let's say you as a reader choose to believe only the least damaging charge in the article.  That would probably be the anecdote shared by Ellen Barkin. Even it, considered in isolation, shows Weinstein as an abuser. 
Over the decades, Steve has heard about,  published stories about, or personally confronted abusers in these settings: Hospitals and physicians' offices, universities and K-12 classrooms, private corporations, athletic teams, Boy Scouts-Girl Scouts, among others. 
Steve acknowledges having no experience with Hollywood.  But he correctly notes that nothing in the New Yorker account strains credulity.  That does not automatically confer infallibility on Farrow (who happens to be the son of actress Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen).   
But . . . But beyond the despicable Weinstein, it is obvious that American men from Donald Trump on down have a very big problem that only now is being acknowledged.  Addressing it is another matter.

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