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SURE, THAT INDICATES RELIABILITY: Latest Kavanaugh Accuser Was Hillary’s Lawyer in Clinton Impeachment. But this is all bullshit, and further evidence that #MeToo wasn’t a moral movement, but a lame political tool.

THE APPALLING VANITY OF WESTERN FEMINISTS WHO THINK MARGARET ATWOOD WRITES ABOUT THEM:

Atwood has been hailed for prophesying the terrifying totalitarian age of Trump. Actress Elisabeth Moss, who plays Offred, said that she couldn’t help but recognize the similarities between Trump’s America and the brutal regime in the story. Wait, has Donald really frozen women’s bank accounts and enacted laws so they could be compulsorily raped and forced to give up their babies to the ruling class? Well, maybe not exactly, but, you know, ‘chilling parallels’, ‘frighteningly relevant’, blah blah. With no greater self-awareness than Kylie Jenner, feminists in the US co-opted the handmaid’s penitential costume of scarlet robe and white head-dress as a symbol of the #MeToo movement and of protest against the threat to reproductive rights. ‘I wish Handmaid’s Tale was insane Game of Thrones shit and pure fantasy,’ lamented Moss. ‘I wish that were true. But it’s not.’

She’s right, of course — just not in the way she thinks. For females in Saudi Arabia, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and Islamic communities much closer to home, Gilead is not a reading at the National Theatre that makes you feel pleasantly indignant before you pick up an avocado and herb salad wrap at Pret a Manger. It’s the hateful, oppressive place where they live.

Also, interesting choice casting an actress who is a Scientologist to star in an anti-cult TV series.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: You’re not ‘demisexual’…you’re a normal human being.

Comparing a person who doesn’t experience sexual desire separate from genuine human connection to an ‘asexual’ (i.e. a person who does not experience sexual attraction at all), as Seventeen magazine did last year, explaining that, ‘demisexuality is within the asexuality spectrum,’ signals to me that we’ve gone way too far down the porn culture rabbit hole. If I can offer any advice as the wise elder I am, it is to get off your phone and interact with people in the real world. If nothing else, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and others, and will at least be able to avoid wasting your time DM’ing someone who you can’t have a conversation with in person, never mind make out with. I may be pegged a radical for saying this, but let’s normalize humanity, not objectification.

Read the whole thing, as our current weird inflection point in time between the Sexual Revolution and the left’s recent #MeToo and Kavanaugh freakouts plays itself out.

BLUE ON BLUE: ‘You need to ask first’: Iowa teacher blasts Biden for grabbing her hands when she asked him a question.

Flashback: Biden Reaps the #MeToo Whirlwind: ‘It’s never, never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent,’ he told college men in 2011.

While speaking to students at the University of New Hampshire in 2011, then-Vice President Joe Biden told men in the audience that “no matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink—it’s never, never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent.”

One of Mr. Biden’s signature issues during the Obama administration was fighting an alleged epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. He promoted the debunked claim that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted as undergraduates—the result of surveys using an impossibly broad definition of sexual assault that encompassed any conduct that, knowingly or not, made someone uncomfortable.

The Obama administration issued guidelines to campuses in 2011 to combat the alleged crisis. Mr. Biden headlined the announcement. The guidance traduced due-process rights for students accused of sexual assault and threatened colleges and universities with federal investigations and potential funding reductions if they did not find more accused students and professors guilty.

Now those impossible standards are being applied to their proponents. Since last Friday, several women have accused Mr. Biden of making them uncomfortable during his interactions with them. One accuser, Caitlyn Caruso, told the New York Times that during an event about sexual assault at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Mr. Biden put his hand on her thigh and didn’t remove it even when she showed discomfort by shifting in her seat. She also said he hugged her “just a little bit too long.” . . .

When accused himself, Mr. Biden naturally fell back on all the arguments that are often dismissed when made by college men. He said it was never his “intention” to make women uncomfortable. He also acknowledged that “social norms have begun to change” without acknowledging that he helped lead the change—and hasn’t lived up to the standards he sought to impose on others.

The standards are stupid, but you know what Alinsky said about rulebooks.

OTHER THAN PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY, WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THIS DEVELOPMENT? Men now avoid women at work – another sign we’re being punished for #MeToo:

Which makes you wonder why so many men are afraid to interact with women at work?

The answer to that question, perhaps, is that a lot of men aren’t so much afraid of being accused of anything as they are they are angry that #MeToo ever happened. They’re angry that they’ve been made to think about their behavior, made to interrogate power dynamics they always took for granted, and they are punishing women for it by refusing to interact with them.

It’s worth noting, I think, that the Harvard Business Review article previewing the study’s 2019 results is headlined The #MeToo Backlash. You see that phrase a lot and that framing subtly implies that #MeToo went too far, that a backlash is only natural. It’s yet another form of victim-blaming; another way to quietly put women back in their place.

As Glenn has written, “you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.”

DAMMIT, IT WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO HURT REPUBLICANS! #MeToo’s bad news for Burning Man’s Orgy Dome. “The reviews are coming in, and not surprisingly, Orgy Dome visitors are finding the experience about as erotic as a tooth-cleaning.”

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump — or What, Exactly? Let’s compare Trump’s policies and behavior to that of prior presidents — and to his 2020 opponents’.

Not a word comes from Trump’s critics about the need for Social Security or Medicare reform to ensure the long-term viability of each — other than the Democrats’ promises to extend such financially shaky programs to millions of new clients well beyond the current retiring Baby Boomer cohorts who are already taxing the limits of the system.

To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced. That void helps explain the bizarre, three-year litany of dreaming of impeachment, the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, the Mueller special-counsel investigation, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti, Trump’s tax returns, White Supremacy!, Recession! — and Lord knows what next. . . .

Instead of vague socialist bombast and promises, where is the actual detailed socialist version of the Contract with America, so voters can read it, digest it, and then decide whether it is superior or inferior to the status quo since 2017? Let us see two antithetical visions of America’s future, and let the voters decide.

For those who insist that “character matters” more than policy, then, let us compare the Trump behavior in the White House since 2017 with JFK’s, Lyndon Johnson’s, and Bill Clinton’s. Let’s compare his supposed efforts to “obstruct” justice with Obama’s actual record of politicizing federal justice, intelligence, tax, and investigatory agencies.

So far, all that is something that apparently no presidential candidate wishes to do.

Plus:

Trump’s crime is that, without sanitized surgical gloves, he completely ripped the scab off what we call “journalism” and exposed a festering wound of narcissistic, mostly incompetent, and utterly partisan reportage.

Indeed, we knew what was beneath but dared not touch the scab. We had smelled the fetid pus when journalists rallied around the mythographer Dan Rather, chatted in the JournoList files, and competed to toady up to Hillary Clinton in Wikileaks’ trove of Podesta emails. Dean Baquet’s latest New York Times pep talk about the next “racist!” newspeak to follow the failed Mueller hoax was thus anticlimactic — well aside from the epidemics of #MeToo accusations not usually associated with woke, progressive journalistic professionals.

We know that the New York Times, so eager to accuse Trump and the nation at large of serial racism, is itself fond of publishing anti-Semitic cartoons and hiring those with a paper trail of racism and anti-Semitism as its editors, reporters, or editorial-board members, as we see with Sarah Jeong, Jonathan Weisman, and Tom Wright-Piersanti.

Trump did not destroy CNN or the New York Times as viable news organizations. He had nothing to do the past three years with their suicidal abandonment of ethics, professionalism, and disinterested reporting.

True.

TEACH PROGRESSIVES NOT TO BE SO RAPEY: Or something. On the one hand, this guy might be the victim of a #MeToo railroading, on the other hand, he might think, like many men, that his liberal credentials get him a free pass to grope. (As opposed to mere fame and money, which seems to cross party lines).

I don’t know…read it and make up your own mind.

BIGOTRY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES: Who knew about Tom Wright-Piersanti, and when did they know it?As Glenn pointed out here, Breitbart News discovered that Senior Editor Wright-Piersanti has been polluting social media with racist filth since at least 2009, possibly as early as 2007.

He apologized. And locked down his Twitter account. And as of this writing he inexplicably still works at the ̶T̶e̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶S̶a̶n̶c̶t̶i̶m̶o̶n̶y̶  The New York Times. He has been posting racist garbage for at least nine years. And it is only logical to assume that some, if not many of his workmates and even superior-ranking editors follow him on Twitter. Is it even remotely plausible that nobody at The Times followed Wright on Twitter and never saw his screeds? I don’t think so.

Click to enlarge.

Which leaves us with the question that must be asked of each and every “Timesman” that worked there between 2007 and now: Did you know? Why didn’t you say anything?  Margaret Sullivan was their Public Editor from 2012 to 2016. How could she have not known? Bill Keller was the paper’s Executive Editor from 2003 to 2011. Did he follow Wright-Piersanti? Did anyone complain to Keller about him? Did Jill Abramson, now under fire for alleged plagiarism by the paper at which she served as Executive Editor from 2011 to 2014 follow Wright-Piersanti?

Look, this isn’t a partisan issue, it’s an honesty issue. This episode is so parallel to the #MeToo movement it’s scary. Being Harvey Weinstein wasn’t bad enough. People were (rightfully, IMHO) being held accountable for looking the other way, for enabling, and even encouraging behavior that can’t be described as anything other than despicable.

So too, bigotry is despicable, and The New York Times has embarked on a campaign to remind us of this self-evident truth. Not only The New York Times, but its cadre, its core leaders and rank-and-file past and present have to be asked these questions. Heaven knows the “media watchers” from the same club won’t ask.

So I’m encouraging you and your friends to ask. Be polite, be direct, don’t use foul language or rabid hyperbole. The emails addresses for some of these people are ([email protected]); ([email protected]) and ([email protected]). This is not a call for harassment or doxxing. These people have made a living communicating with the public and have assumed the very genuine mantle of the public trust in so doing. Thus, asking them politely “what did you know and when did you know it?” is not just fair, but important, and like the #MeToo movement it  starts with ordinary people speaking truth to power.

(Bumped up from late last night.)

AXIOS: The #MeToo election isn’t happening.


BIGOTRY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:Who knew about Tom Wright-Piersanti, and when did they know it?
As Glenn pointed out here, Breitbart News discovered that Senior Editor Wright-Piersanti has been polluting social media with racist filth since at least 2009, possibly as early as 2007.

He apologized. And locked down his Twitter account. And as of this writing he inexplicably still works at the ̶T̶e̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶S̶a̶n̶c̶t̶i̶m̶o̶n̶y̶  The New York Times. He has been posting racist garbage for at least nine years. And it is only logical to assume that some, if not many of his workmates and even superior-ranking editors follow him on Twitter. Is it even remotely plausible that nobody at The Times followed Wright on Twitter and never saw his screeds? I don’t think so.

Which leaves us with the question that must be asked of each and every “Timesman” that worked there between 2007 and now: Did you know? Why didn’t you say anything?  Margaret Sullivan was their Public Editor from 2012 to 2016. How could she have not known? Bill Keller was the paper’s Executive Editor from 2003 to 2011. Did he follow Wright-Piersanti? Did anyone complain to Keller about him? Did Jill Abramson, now under fire for alleged plagiarism by the paper at which she served as Executive Editor from 2011 to 2014 follow Wright-Piersanti?

Look, this isn’t a partisan issue, it’s an honesty issue. This episode is so parallel to the #MeToo movement it’s scary. Being Harvey Weinstein wasn’t bad enough. People were (rightfully, IMHO) being held accountable for looking the other way, for enabling, and even encouraging behavior that can’t be described as anything other than despicable.

So too, bigotry is despicable, and The New York Times has embarked on a campaign to remind us of this self-evident truth. Not only The New York Times, but its cadre, its core leaders and rank-and-file past and present have to be asked these questions. Heaven knows the “media watchers” from the same club won’t ask.

So I’m encouraging you and your friends to ask. Be polite, be direct, don’t use foul language or rabid hyperbole. The emails addresses for some of these people are ([email protected]); ([email protected]) and ([email protected]). This is not a call for harassment or doxxing. These people have made a living communicating with the public and have assumed the very genuine mantle of the public trust in so doing. Thus, asking them politely “what did you know and when did you know it?” is not just fair, but important, and like the #MeToo movement it  starts with ordinary people speaking truth to power.

THE PROVOCATIONS OF CAMILLE PAGLIA: The maverick critic and scholar has championed great art, defended free speech, and offered groundbreaking analysis of popular culture.

A professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984, Paglia became an intellectual celebrity after the 1990 publication of Sexual Personae, her first book, which carries the subtitle Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Melding history and psychology with art and literature and laced with references to popular culture, the book delivered a one-two punch to academe. A feminist critical of the modern women’s movement, Paglia insisted on the greatness of Western civilization, though it was already unfashionable to do so. And she asserted that its greatness resulted from a creative but violent tension between male and female—between the Apollonian male principle of order (civilization) and the Dionysian female principle of chaos (nature). Two of the book’s most quoted lines are “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts” and “There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.” Reading Sexual Personae, one reviewer wrote, was “a bit like being mugged.”

Now, nearly 30 years later, Paglia has once again found herself in the middle of the culture wars. Taking aim at the #MeToo movement, she told an interviewer that it is “ridiculous that any university ever tolerated a complaint of a girl coming in six months or a year after an event. If a real rape was committed, go frigging report it to the police.” In April, students at her university, upset by such statements, tried to de-platform Paglia, a lesbian who identifies as transgender. When they failed to get her scheduled lecture, “Ambiguous Images: Sexual Duality and Sexual Multiplicity in Western Art,” canceled or moved off campus, they organized a protest during the talk—and someone pulled the fire alarm. Later, the protesters urged the university to replace Paglia with a “queer person of color.”

Fortunately, the university’s president, David Yager, did what many of his peers at other schools roiled by such protests have failed to do: issued a statement defending freedom of expression. “Artists over the centuries,” Yager wrote in an e-mail to campus, “have suffered censorship, and even persecution, for the expression of their beliefs through their work. My answer is simple: Not now, not at UArts.” Paglia was delighted. An outspoken defender of free speech, she is horrified by the rise of censorship in academia—and was especially aghast, given her own history, at Yale’s attempt to police students’ Halloween costumes in 2015.

In her latest book, an essay collection called Provocations, she states that she’d like to be remembered as a “dissident writer who defended free thought and free speech.” But Provocations is not just a polemic against political correctness. The career retrospective, which includes writings from the last 25 years, covers subjects like gender, education, popular culture, and art. It showcases Paglia’s sweeping scholarship and puckish irreverence for PC pieties. “To questioning young people drawn to the siren song of hormones and surgery,” she writes, “I say: Stay fluid! Stay free!”

Read the whole thing.

UNFAIR — IT WAS ONLY EVER MEANT TO HOLD MEN ACCOUNTABLE: Katy Perry has a #MeToo problem, and she’s the one who’s in trouble.

#HERTOO? What if #MeToo takes down powerful women?

(Via Doug Ross.)

MARK HALPERIN AND THE ART OF THE #METOO U-TURN:

Halperin’s effort, How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take, is set to be published by Regan Arts. Founder Judith Regan is renowned for her attempt to publish another redemption story: O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It.

According to Sunday’s Politico Playbook email, the book will feature interviews with Jill Alper, David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Tad Devine, Anita Dunn, Karen Dunn, Adrienne Elrod, Jennifer Granholm, Ben LaBolt, Jeff Link, Jim Margolis, Mike McCurry, Mark Mellman, Amanda Renteria, John Sasso, Kathleen Sebelius, Bob Shrum, Ginny Terzano, and David Wilhelm.

Cockburn has so many questions. If these strategists are so wise, did they not see how rubbing shoulders with Halperin could backfire? Is that the same Anita Dunn who’s advising the Biden campaign, the one who spends her day freaking out at what Uncle Joe’s next perceived misstep will be? What would so many Hillary Clinton backers know about how to beat Trump?

But chief among them…when exactly did they decide it was time to move on from #TimesUp?

Read the whole thing.

TO BE FAIR, TRUTH HAS NEVER BEEN A BIG THING WITH THEM: Mamet Speaks Bitter Truth In New Play, And Leftist Critics Aren’t Happy About It. “What Mamet has accomplished with this play — ostensibly a theatrical treatment of the birth of the #MeToo movement — is to present the liberal elite mindset for what it is: self-centred virtue signalling coupled with a complete abdication of personal responsibility. Offended critics will protest that sexual abuse is too serious and sacred an issue for such a comic treatment, that the politically incorrect dialogue is unacceptable in our safe space society, that the play is unfair to the female perspective, and they’ll even accuse it of being a veiled defence of Harvey Weinstein (which is utter nonsense). The truth is that Mamet’s exposure of the liberal-left doctrine as morally contradictory at its core has hit a nerve.”

#METOO DECIDES IT’S PLACIDO DOMINGO’S TURN IN THE STAR CHAMBER. “Women accuse opera legend Domingo of sexual harassment,” AP reports, in an article that looks like it’s been some time in preparation, given the mid-July date on the photo caption of one of his accusers, in a shot that AP very likely took to accompany the story. While Domingo’s photos are melodramatically composed and arranged to make him look as sinister (and at 78, as pasty and old) as possible, his accuser coolly stares down the camera. And it’s accompanied by the now-standard boilerplate:

The AP also spoke to almost three dozen other singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, members of backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator who said they witnessed inappropriate sexually tinged behavior by Domingo and that he pursued younger women with impunity.

Domingo did not respond to detailed questions from the AP about specific incidents, but issued a statement saying: “The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.

“Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.

“However, I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past. I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written several times about the ongoing “Great Purge of 20th Century Mass Culture.” As the airbrushing of James Levine of the Metropolitan Opera, and the lack of attention to what would have been the 100th birthday of J.D. Salinger due to his “The Posthumous #MeToo-ing” illustrate, the higher arts and their practitioners won’t be immune to their own purges as well.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Katy Perry Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By ‘Teenage Dream’ Video Co-Star: ‘The Most Assaulting Job’ Ever. ““Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt? I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting.”

I’m so old, I can remember when Katy Perry was standing up for #MeToo. Now she’s become just another perp. That DJ lost his job for (allegedly) groping her ass. What will happen to Katy for (allegedly) pulling down a teenager’s pants to expose his penis to a group of her followers?

UPDATE: Oops, I confused Taylor Swift with Katy Perry on the DJ thing. Then again, who hasn’t mixed them up?

OLD AND BUSTED: Playboy is a relic in the #MeToo era, and should be nuked and paved.

The New York Times brings the new hotness: Can the Millennials Save Playboy?

EVERYTHING IS PROBLEMATICAL: NBA Teams Phasing Out All-Female Dance Squads Thanks to the #MeToo Movement.

BUT MOBS WANT CATHARSIS AND THEY WANT IT NOW: Laura Kipnis: What regrets about a hasty, high-profile #MeToo resignation reveal.

MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: It Can’t Be Friday Without Florida Man. “In the #MeToo era, it’s just good legal sense to get written consent before smashing a lemon cream cake in someone’s face.”

Indeed.

PRINCIPLES ONLY MATTER IF THEY HELP DEMOCRATS: Al Franken’s sexual assault is what #MeToo was created to address and now liberals feel victimized by it.

NEW YORKER MAGAZINE FINALLY FINDS A #METOO VILLAIN WHOM IT’S WILLING TO BELIEVE — AND, SURPRISE, IT’S PROGRESSIVE AL FRANKEN. “Not until very deep into this very long piece does Mayer move past Tweeden’s accusation and address the fact that no fewer than seven other women accused Franken of misconduct.”

IN THE #METOO ERA, IT’S TIME TO REVISIT TED KENNEDY’S LEGACY:

Only one of the most grievous miscarriages of justice, one of the grossest abuses of wealth and political power, and one of the most ill-deserved second acts in modern American history: July 18, 1969, the night a probably-drunk Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick and left a young, adoring campaign aide named Mary Jo Kopechne to die in about three feet of water, her horrific death a slow agony — one that took hours — as she doubtless waited for her hero, the young and virile Ted, to run for help.

Instead, he stumbled back to his hotel room, called down to the front desk to complain about noisy guests, and went to sleep.

Chappaquiddick: Never forget.

If that sounds overly dramatic, consider this: The screenwriters of last year’s excellent film of the same name said they had never heard of it — any of it — until 2008.

“I only found out about it five years ago,” said writer/producer Andrew Logan, “because the Texas public school system does not teach things like Chappaquiddick.” Up till then, Logan said, Ted Kennedy had been among his heroes.

How many other school systems don’t teach Chappaquiddick?

Jim Treacher’s evergreen tweet about journalism also applies equally well to the education system:

And as Treacher wrote on Friday: After 50 Years, the Press Is Still Whitewashing Chappaquiddick.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN USED $46 MILLION CHARITABLE DONATION TO KEEP ALIVE HIS TIES WITH BILLIONAIRE LES WEXNER:

Before hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein went to jail in Florida more than a decade ago, billionaire L Brands founder and Chairman Les Wexner was trying to distance himself from the accused child molester.

That didn’t stop Epstein in 2008 from essentially bankrolling one of Wexner’s first nonprofit foundations with a contribution of more than $40 million in stock and other assets. The transactions were received only months before Epstein was sentenced to a term in a Palm Beach County jail on a charge of soliciting an underage prostitute.

Related: Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brand’s stock drops on ties between CEO Les Wexner and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein’s New York City mansion, where prosecutors say they found a trove of naked pictures of underage girls last weekend, was once owned by Wexner. He reportedly transferred the home for as little as a dollar to Epstein, his onetime financial adviser.

Perhaps all investors need to know about how Victoria’s Secret has adapted to the marketing realities of today’s Me Too movement is this: The investor relations page for corporate parent L Brands is headed by a picture of eight young, lingerie-clad women. At the center of the image is model Taylor Hill, who began posing for Victoria’s Secret at 18. She is now 23. The picture was taken in early 2015.

L Brands owns Victoria’s Secret, yes, but it’s not the company’s only brand. It also owns the beauty products retailer Bath & Body Works, which these days is its fastest growing chain of stores. Yet there are no pictures of soap or fragrances on L Brand’s main investor relations page, just the image of women in their underwear.

To be fair, that’s from CBS News, which has had its own #MeToo issues.

WELL, IT’S ALWAYS AWKWARD TO TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT WHEN BILL CLINTON IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE: UMich and Harvard prof: #MeToo wouldn’t have happened if Hillary won.

TO BE FAIR, IT WAS A BATTLE OF WITS: James Delingpole: Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman.

The key moment comes when Kanye, after discussing his bipolar disorder (which he refuses to treat with drugs, preferring to enjoy what he calls ‘ramping up’), chooses (in his oblique, meandering way) to lament the climate of fear that has been generated among men in the witchhunt atmosphere of #MeToo.

Letterman looks uneasy at this — you can see his cowboy boots jittering nervously — as well he might. Every self-respecting celebrity in the US knows that #MeToo is the pure, saintly and cleansing force that quite properly dragged patriarchal America kicking and screaming by the testicles from the male chauvinist dark ages. So Letterman — warily, for Kanye is black and Letterman certainly wouldn’t want to be caught playing his white privilege card — says: ‘I would submit that it is not equal by any equation to the fear women feel being the other side of that.’

This triggers affirmatory whoops from the impeccably left-liberal New York audience. Letterman knows his crowd: the kind of people who don’t want jokes that make you laugh, just ones that enable you to applaud the politically correct sentiment. It’s a form of bullying, disguised as tolerance. With the subtlest of passive-aggressive menace, Letterman is signalling to Kanye: ‘Sir, you may be exceedingly famous and conveniently African American, but you just entered forbidden territory, so back to the plantation, boy!’

Kanye, gloriously, doesn’t fold but doubles down. He breaks into his shy, gnomic smile and goads Letterman by invoking the name of liberal New York’s Antichrist, Donald Trump. ‘Did you vote for him?’ Letterman asks. ‘I’ve never voted for anyone in my life,’ says Kanye. ‘Then you don’t have a say in this,’ finger-wags Letterman — a fatal error. ‘Oh,’ says Kanye and then — adopting the mannerism of a dumbo from the Deep South — waves his hands and says: ‘You got me!’

It’s the most extraordinary few minutes, a minuet of death. Letterman affects to laugh, the audience laughs, Kanye laughs. But behind the smiles and the apparent bonhomie, a vicious duel is taking place and Kanye is winning hands down. I can’t think of a single other celebrity in the world who would have had the balls to do what Kanye does in this interview: challenge the entertainment industry’s oppressive left-liberal consensus; speak out for Donald Trump; rail against the stifling constraints on freedom of speech that is rendering so much unsayable. Maybe you need to be a huge rap star to get away with such things. But how many other huge rap stars would have had the originality of thought even to try?

None.

SHOCKER: A BOGUS #METOO CLAIM AGAINST A POPULAR CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN. Police called to Boris Johnson flat after neighbour reportedly heard screaming. Bottom line: “There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action.”

BITTER CLINGERS, 2019 EDITION: The Daily Beast declares that The Democratic Party is full of sexists.

Democrats are still wrestling with one rather uncomfortable question in terms of how the primary race is shaping up in the early stages. We’re in the latest “Year of the Women” as well as the #MeToo era, right? So why are two ancient old white dudes still outperforming all of the qualified women who are running? Elizabeth Warren has been showing some momentum lately and Kamala Harris has manged to at least stay above the background noise level, but Biden and Sanders remain the definite leaders thus far on a national level.

How do we explain this? Well, at least according to some recent reporting at the Daily Beast, the answer should be obvious. The Democratic primary voters around the country are a bunch of sexists.

Perhaps that’s a small step forward, in a way. I can remember back in 2008 when the Huffington Post declared that Democratic primary voters around the country were a bunch of racists.

STUART TAYLOR, JR.: Sex Predator or #MeToo Prey?

Dababneh is one of many men accused of sexual misconduct who have been presumed guilty, without meaningful due process, by their employers (or campuses), peers, the media, and the public. Their lives and professional prospects, including Dababneh’s, are typically devastated. Some become depressed, even suicidal. Some, however, are fighting back in any way they can. Hundreds of accused college students have sued their campuses for ruling against and often expelling them in proceedings that, they claim, lack due process. And a majority of those have won at least preliminary rulings.

But very few accused men sue their accusers, in part to avoid public trials and minimize publicity. That’s what makes Dababneh’s case unusual. Even those who have strong evidence of innocence typically sue only their campuses or employers. It is harder to win a suit against an accuser and most could not pay large damage awards.

In Dababneh’s case, he says that he become convinced that a public trial in a court of law governed by due process became his only hope of clearing his name. He had been ruined by publicity about the Lopez accusation and stunned by the unfavorable outcome of a highly secretive and (in his view) grossly unfair, guilt-presuming investigation by a private Sacramento lawyer hired by the State Assembly amid the highly charged #MeToo atmosphere.

People will act more carefully if they think they may face consequences for their actions. Much, much more at the link.

WHEN THE WORLD COMES TO AN END IN 2050, WILL VICE BE AROUND TO SEE IT?

● Shot: New report suggests “high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end” in 2050.

—Tweet by Vice.com, Monday (link safe, goes to Twitchy.)

● Chaser: Vice.com Lays Off Senior Editors in Shakeup:

The company is also still doing its best to emerge from lingering #MeToo fallout after a scathing New York Times investigation into Vice’s workplace culture. The story culminated in the eventual dismissal of both the company’s chief digital officer and president over past accusations of sexual misconduct.

“Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive,” wrote Vice co-founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi in a public note to Vice employees in December 2017.

“We understand that this had an impact on current and former employees at VICE*, and we want to express our deepest apologies to them, as well as our extreme regret for our role in perpetuating sexism in the media industry and society in general.”

The Wrap, yesterday.

● Hangover: Disney’s $400M Investment In Vice Media Becomes $353M Write-Down:

Disney made its investment four years ago, when Vice was valued at more than $4 billion. Later, in 2017, Vice’s valuation reached nearly $6 billion, after private-equity firm TPG invested $450 million.

Since then, the company has been hit with rounds of layoffs — in the latest releasing 10% of its workforce, in addition to other cultural problems, such as charges of sexual harassment.

With the round of layoffs last fall, CEO Nancy Dubuc stated that the company was focused on a new strategy that would lead it toward profitability. The new round of investment is intended to bolster that vision.

Publishers Daily, May 9th.

* Wouldn’t the publication’s name be the first clue to incoming employees?

QUESTION ASKED: Did American outlets refuse to publish the MLK sex transcripts?

David Garrow is an accomplished historian of the Civil Rights era, an experienced interpreter of FBI material, and a biographer of Barack Obama. He holds a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of King, and he also happens to be an erstwhile member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The ideas that Garrow is a sensationalist or that his MLK article is a ‘conservative’ hit job are ludicrous. But a chorus of academics have attacked Garrow in the Washington Post, one of the outlets which looked at but refused to publish his discoveries.

* * * * * * * *

No less appalling, if true, is Garrow’s claim that senior editors, almost all white and male, overruled their frequently female and non-white staff when it came to publishing his findings. Naming the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic, Garrow alleges that the editors are afraid of being attacked as racist by Twitter mobs — a theory that seems to be confirmed by the Post’s attack on Garrow.

We might add that King is sacred to liberalism — perhaps so much a saint that the prelates of the press are covering up his feet of clay. Whether caused by misplaced paternalism, cowardice, or simple partisanship, this is a dereliction of journalistic duty. It’s hard to imagine the same newspapers demurring from running transcripts involving Richard Nixon or Donald Trump.

As Garrow says, the King transcripts are not about race. They are about the abuse of male power. In this season of #MeToo, the suppression of this story by major American newspapers, if that is what really happened, should be as much of a scandal as Garrow’s revelations themselves. Listen to this podcast, and judge Garrow and his methods for yourself.

And thus the limits of #MeToo. It was fine when middle-aged or elderly guys who were already losing their institutional power or cultural cachet such as Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Jann Wenner, and Kevin Spacey, et al were being demonized and/or airbrushed from history. But the DNC-MSM historical narrative is sacred. The new revelations about King are the ultimate example of Jim Treacher’s observation that:

Of course, as one of Rod Dreher’s readers wrote, it’s an extremely good thing that MLK isn’t being memory holed: “I hope Dr. King remains celebrated; I also hope that his sexual behavior (again, assuming this story is true) is not forgotten. And in the future, when someone on the Left advocates the abolition of Columbus Day, or the taking down of monuments to Washington or Jefferson or many less well-known figures, I hope that people bring up Dr. King, NOT in the spirit of ‘Whataboutism’, but in order to remind them that there is no incompatibility between celebrating the achievements of people in the past and acknowledging that those people had – as we all do – major flaws.”

CLAIRE MCCASKILL AND A #METOO DOUBLE STANDARD?

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

#METOO COMES FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING:

Assuming this is true in more or less the way you have described it, my hope is that something good might come from it. It will be incredibly – and rightly – hard for the US to back away from the celebration of Dr. King, to cancel or rename the Martin Luther King holiday, to rename the Martin Luther King avenues, to demolish the Martin Luther King monument in the Mall, and so on. And perhaps – just perhaps – this might lead to some on the Left rethinking their opposition to other iconic figures of the past. Perhaps people will feel more able to say:

Yes, Martin Luther King was (it now appears) a sexual predator. But he was ALSO a transformational leader whose work led the country to a more just place.

and likewise:

Yes, George Washington was a slave owner. But he was ALSO the leader who brought together the country in its infancy in a way that no one else at the time could.

and likewise…

Read the whole thing.

A #METOO PROBLEM for Martin Luther King? This is David Garrow’s research: “King’s philandering has long been suspected, however Garrow, who spent several months digging through the archive material, said he had no idea of the scale or the ugliness of it and his apparent indifference to rape until he saw the files.”

On the other hand, the FBI has lately shown itself willing to accept extremely thin stories that support its desire to smear popular leaders it dislikes.

THE #METOO WRECKING BALL TURNS OUT TO BE A BOOMERANG:

Author of the article, Melissa Locker goes on to say, “It’s an infuriating addition to the challenges that women already face in the workplace, adding to their emotional labor by making sure their male bosses feel comfortable interacting with them alone and at those all-important work socialization events.”

Infuriating, maybe, but not unexpected.

As Glenn has written, “you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.” Read the whole thing.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Geoffrey Rush Awarded $1.9 Million in #MeToo Defamation Case.

FRUITS OF #METOO: Sad survey: 60% of male managers are “uncomfortable” working around women.

LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey just released the results of a survey on the state of men and women interacting in the workplace in the age of #MeToo. The results are frustrating. The data reveals that 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable performing common workplace activities such as mentoring, working one on one, or socializing with a woman. That’s a 32% increase over last year.

To add insult to insult, senior-level men who were surveyed are now far more hesitant to spend time with junior female colleagues than junior male ones, across a range of basic work activities. The men were 12 times more likely to hesitate to have one-on-one meetings, nine times more likely to hesitate to travel with a junior woman for work, and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner with a junior woman.

Unexpectedly! More here:

But the steady stream of stories of harassment over the past few years seems to be confusing workers about how often harassment really happens. Equal numbers say that the frequency of harassment is increasing (22%) and decreasing (21%), and even more workers don’t know which way it’s going (24%).

On top of that, women feel less safe at work than they did before. Only 85% said they feel safe on the job, down from 91% last year. Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don’t seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable.

Also unexpectedly.

MARK PULLIAM: Harvard’s Disgrace.

Utopian social movements often degenerate into unruly—and sometimes vicious—mobs. During the French Revolution, the slogan “liberty, equality, fraternity” quickly led to the guillotine as the Jacobins unleashed the Reign of Terror. We are witnessing a softer version of this at Harvard, America’s most elite university, where Ronald Sullivan, an African-American law professor, faces professional retribution for the sin of representing a (presumed innocent) client (Harvey Weinstein) accused of sexual assault. Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz denounced the incident as “The new McCarthyism comes to Harvard.”

Capitulating to the noisy complaints of a small number of undergraduates, and a sit-in protest at the dining hall, the Harvard administration recently announced that, effective June 30, Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson (who likewise teaches at Harvard Law School), would be removed as “faculty deans” at the school’s Winthrop House—a student residence where Sullivan and Robinson also lived. (Sullivan remains as a law professor.) When appointed as residential deans in 2009, Sullivan and Robinson were the first African-Americans to hold that position at Harvard, according to The Harvard Crimson. The decision to remove Sullivan and Robinson was made by Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who had reportedly joined the students’ sit-in protest, dubbed “Reclaim Winthrop.”

Students absurdly charged that Sullivan’s representation of a criminal defendant charged with sexual assault—by itself—made them feel upset, and contributed to an unsafe and hostile educational environment. Never mind that procedural due process (including the right of criminal defendants to zealous representation) is a critical tenet of the Anglo-American legal system, and that criminal law professors have long practiced criminal defense on the side, without controversy. Never mind that Sullivan previously represented other high-profile clients without incident, including accused terrorists and former New England Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez in his 2017 double murder trial. That was then.

The #MeToo movement sweeps away such precedents as inconvenient impediments to achieving a higher state of virtue, just as the Robespierre-led Committee of Public Safety eliminated many “enemies of the people.” It is tempting to ignore the horrors of the French Revolution, or to dismiss them as an aberration of history, but then—as now—idealistic reformers believed with moral certainty in the righteousness of their cause.

I know that some people on the right want to simply laugh while respected lefty institutions devour themselves, but the poison will not stay contained.

A FRIEND ON FACEBOOK OBSERVES, “THE PRESS HAS BECOME A PITILESS INQUISITOR THAT CANNOT LIVE UP TO ITS OWN REMORSELESS STANDARDS.” Andrew Marr: I was a fool to grope a colleague… but I was suffering from exhaustion. “The photographs, taken at 2.30am in a Soho street, showed him placing his hand down the back of his companion’s jeans while nuzzling her neck and attempting to move in for a drunken kiss.”

This sort of thing used to be treated as a breach of etiquette, not as a public scandal. #MeToo ensures that nothing is private, nothing is forgivable, and context doesn’t matter. Except, you know, when lefty politics demands otherwise.

WOMEN, #METOO MEANS #YOUTOO: ‘Game of Thrones’ star on fans groping him: ‘It’s not cool’.

ROB LONG: The Moguls Who Couldn’t Deliver the Goods.

This is not at all like the old-timey ways of, say, Harry Cohn of Columbia Studios. It is part of Hollywood lore—unconfirmed Hollywood lore, but still—that Cohn would often demand sexual favors from actresses in exchange for movie roles. You’re shocked, I know. But here’s the crucial difference: Harry Cohn could deliver. When Harry Cohn whispered promises to an actress on the sofa with many cushions, you can bet he kept them. It is part of Hollywood lore—again, unconfirmed Hollywood lore—that one time Harry Cohn pressed the button under his desk, and a few days later Kim Novak was a movie star.

Sure, Moonves could have called someone up and asked for a favor. Trust me as someone who had many television series on CBS in the intervening years between Moonves’s pressing the button on Bobbie Phillips in 1996 and the publication of Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker articles in 2018. If he had given me a jingle and asked me for a favor, I absolutely 100 percent without question would have done it.

But then he would have owed me a favor back. And as someone who had many television series on CBS between 1996 and 2018—all of which were cancelled—that was probably something he wanted to avoid.

* * * * * * * *

The modern Hollywood mogul—like the modern executive in pretty much every other business—has just enough power to get into serious trouble, but not enough to make it go away. He can press the button, but he cannot deliver the goods. One strange by-product of the #MeToo scandal is how it revealed that two of the most powerful men in Hollywood were actually impotent.

Read the whole thing.

FROM LESLIE EASTMAN AT LEGAL INSURRECTION, A REVIEW of Megan Fox’s new book, Believe Evidence: The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Hollywood Declares War on Ailes, Fox News?

Matt Lauer’s decades-long career came to a screeching halt thanks to the #MeToo movement.

The same is true of venerable news man Charlie Rose.

Hollywood has shown little interest in either tale. The epic fall of Roger Ailes, a fellow #MeToo casualty, is another matter.

Why? Do you even need to ask?

Heh — no.

#METOO: Navy Wants Its Own ‘Holodeck’ Simulator.

HOLLYWOOD ENDING: Peter Bart: Woody Allen Struggles To Keep Making Movies Amidst Turmoil.

Some years ago I helped architect a film deal for a Woody Allen movie (Play It Again Sam) and Woody resented that he was not specified as director. A week later, when I encountered him, he looked right through me, even though we knew each other. “In Woody’s world, when you lose favor you are instantly extinguished,” one member of his inner circle explained to me.

Much like the way the #metoo crowd has vanished its foes to cultural Siberia. In December of 2017, Mark Hemingway explored  “Why Liberals Have Such A Hard Time With ‘Monstrous Men’ And Their Art:”

Frankly acknowledging this might suggest that the liberals have endorsed ideas — e.g. oxymoronic notions of “sexual liberation” — that have been deeply harmful to women, all for the sake of knocking down obstacles to political power. I wonder how much betrayal [Woody] Allen must feel now. He did his part to push a liberal sexual and political agenda, was celebrated for it, and now he’s being drummed out of polite society for enjoying the fruits of these efforts?

As Steve wrote linking to Hemingway’s piece, “I’d just add that perhaps the saddest part about Woody Allen et al. is that they never understood they’d become disposable once they were no longer useful to the cause.”

#TIMESUP FOR #METOO:

● Shot: Christian Toto: Hollywood And The Total Collapse Of #MeToo.

● Chaser: Poll shows Biden isn’t losing support from female Democrats.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: #MeToo Founder Blasts Biden’s Jokes About Allegations: ‘Disrespectful and Inexcusable.’

ASHE SCHOW IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Biden Reaps the #MeToo Whirlwind: ‘It’s never, never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent,’ he told college men in 2011.

While speaking to students at the University of New Hampshire in 2011, then-Vice President Joe Biden told men in the audience that “no matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink—it’s never, never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent.”

One of Mr. Biden’s signature issues during the Obama administration was fighting an alleged epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. He promoted the debunked claim that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted as undergraduates—the result of surveys using an impossibly broad definition of sexual assault that encompassed any conduct that, knowingly or not, made someone uncomfortable.

The Obama administration issued guidelines to campuses in 2011 to combat the alleged crisis. Mr. Biden headlined the announcement. The guidance traduced due-process rights for students accused of sexual assault and threatened colleges and universities with federal investigations and potential funding reductions if they did not find more accused students and professors guilty.

Now those impossible standards are being applied to their proponents. Since last Friday, several women have accused Mr. Biden of making them uncomfortable during his interactions with them. One accuser, Caitlyn Caruso, told the New York Times that during an event about sexual assault at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Mr. Biden put his hand on her thigh and didn’t remove it even when she showed discomfort by shifting in her seat. She also said he hugged her “just a little bit too long.” . . .

When accused himself, Mr. Biden naturally fell back on all the arguments that are often dismissed when made by college men. He said it was never his “intention” to make women uncomfortable. He also acknowledged that “social norms have begun to change” without acknowledging that he helped lead the change—and hasn’t lived up to the standards he sought to impose on others.

The standards are stupid, but you know what Alinsky said about rulebooks.

NOT EVERYONE IN MY FIELD IS INSANE. OF COURSE, THIS IS WHY MARGARET BALL IS NOW INDIE:  It’s not #MeToo, it’s just plain creepy.

Speaking of, she has new books out.  I’ll link the new one in the next post.

HEATHER MAC DONALD: Joe Biden and the deranged policing of personal space: Have the grounds for feminist complaint ever been lower?

Well, Woke Joe has been endorsing the new, lowered standards for guilt when they applied to other men.

Related: The bonkers assault on Joe Biden. “Weird Joe, who’s been showing keen affection to members of the fairer sex since before he became a big Democratic macher, has done the unforgivable in this humorless age. He’s shown genuine human warmth of the male variety to females in the scary era of #MeToo. And he’s demonstrated that the vast suspicion, bordering on hatred, of men — even dudes on the political left — is a force so powerful, he has only one choice: Pack in your presidential hopes, Joe, and repent. The feminists of America are coming for you with torches and pitchforks.”

But no more bonkers than he’s been, and he was happy to carry a pitchfork himself until now.

FLASHBACK: Hypocritical politically motivated feminism is killing #MeToo. Just ask Keith Ellison.

#METOO COMES TO TENNESSEE: Democratic Rep. Rick Staples faces allegations, investigation of sexual misconduct.

Knoxville Democratic Rep. Rick Staples is facing disciplinary action after an internal investigation determined he violated the legislature’s sexual harassment policy, according to multiple sources aware of the inquiry.

As a result, Staples is expected to be removed from the House Ethics Committee, to which Speaker Glen Casada appointed him in January. . . .

A woman who recently interacted with Staples while visiting the legislature told the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee the actions come after she brought forward her concerns that the lawmaker inappropriately touched her.

The woman, who is not being identified by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee because she is a victim of harassment, alleged that Staples grabbed and held on to her waist while standing behind her after he had made inappropriate comments about her appearance.

The woman is involved in Democratic politics in the state and said Staples had made inappropriate remarks to her on previous occasions. But she decided to move forward with a complaint most recently since she said Staples touched her inappropriately.

“My first day doing anything in politics, one of the very first things I heard was not to be alone in a room with Rick,” she said in an interview.

After the recent incident, she reported details about the encounter to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, though she said she had to follow up with his office before receiving a reply.

All this weaponized-feminism stuff that failed to bring down Trump and Kavanaugh sure is wreaking havoc in the Democratic Party. Well, except in Virginia, where the press just made the story go “poof” when it looked like it might lead to a GOP governor.

Props to the Tennessean, though, for mentioning his party affiliation right up front.

UH OH: Two More Women Accuse Joe Biden of Inappropriate Touching. “This now makes four accusers who have come forward. One of the new women was only 19 years old at the time of the incident.”

Plus: “Biden’s team has started to go on offense, accusing the campaigns of other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates of being behind these women coming forward—particularly the Bernie Sanders campaign.”

Related: Joe Biden is damned by his own ‘harassment’ standard. “According to the standards of culpability that Biden has articulated in similarly conflicted situations, however, it’s an open-and-shut case. Perhaps no major American political figure has so consistently championed the erosion of due process for those accused of sexual misconduct. . . . Biden’s current situation recalls that of former Sen. Al Franken, who bitterly criticized DeVos’ ­Title IX policies, only to flail about in defending himself against allegations (mostly less serious than what Biden faces) of sexual misconduct. Ideologically boxed in, Franken couldn’t defend himself by challenging his accusers’ veracity, lest he appear to reject the party’s consensus about believing all complainants.”

The #MeToo movement morphed into a moral panic, or actual mass hysteria, with a lot of encouragement from politicians who probably regret that now. But it’s hard to feel too sorry for them.

UPDATE: Time’s Up! Accused of sexual misconduct, Joe Biden will now face the presumption-of-guilt standard that he helped champion.

#TIMESUP: Biden’s Tactile Politics Threaten His Return in the #MeToo Era.

Related: Joe Biden’s Identity Reckoning: He may have been VP, but he’s old, white, male and heterosexual. He can solve all his problems at once by identifying as a lesbian between now and the convention.

HMM: Et #MeToo, Bloomberg? The former mayor is reconsidering a 2020 run after watching allegations against Joe Biden surface. Watching them surface, or causing them to surface?

ANN ALTHOUSE HAS QUESTIONS ON THE BIDEN THING:

Who was involved in launching this new attack? The material is old. The Flores incident goes back to 2014. #MeToo prompted new speech about old incidents, but #MeToo goes back to the fall of 2017. Biden’s likely candidacy has been plain since 2016. Biden has been leading the polls for quite a while. Various candidates who may think they deserve front-runner status — including all the women — find themselves stalled behind 2 old white men — Biden and Sanders — and looking at 2 young white men — O’Rourke and Buttigieg — moving up on them. Did Flores act entirely on her own or did one or more of the female candidates or their operatives move behind the scenes to scare up the old stories and push old Joe into disqualifying himself?

I watched Flores on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” yesterday, and he confronted her with questions about whether she acted alone. She jumped very eagerly, so eagerly that we wondered if she was lying.

Hmm.

UPDATE: From the comments: “The months leading up to a nomination of a Democratic candidate for president [are] unique in the United States. It is the only time when the media will investigate and even disparage a Democrat. They do this, of course, because Democrats are competing with Democrats. Once the nominee is selected, the media will, once again, close ranks around their candidate and party and never say an unkind word about either.”

#JOURNALISM: Washington Post Complicit in #MeToo Coverup.

SO I LINKED TO THIS PIECE ON #METOO AND AL FRANKEN EARLIER, but I want to break out this part:

I found it an inoffensive burlesque of a burlesque—they were, after all, on a USO tour, which is a raunchy vaudeville throwback. But I recognized that my reaction belonged to the pre–#MeToo world. That’s the world Franken was still in when he issued this initial perfunctory apology: “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Franken was quickly engulfed by the post–#MeToo world. Just weeks prior to Tweeden’s release of the photo, The New York Times and The New Yorker published what became Pulitzer Prize–winning stories about decades of sexual misconduct and career threats against women by the film producer Harvey Weinstein. This was swiftly followed by accusations of appalling workplace behavior by a parade of prominent men. Many immediately lost their reputations and their jobs.

The photo of Franken caused a national convulsion. Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times wrote that it was “utterly dehumanizing,” and initially called for his immediate resignation. Seth Meyers, the talk-show host and SNL alum, said it was “horrifying.” Franken quickly understood the stakes, and issued a self-flagellating self-denunciation: “I feel disgusted with myself … It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it.”

Something that was an inoffensive burlesque a few years ago is now a virtual crime against humanity? And now that it’s over, Democrats think they behaved badly? That sounds less like evolving standards of decency, and more like a species of mass hysteria. It says bad things about our political class, and the social media it is so influenced by, that it’s prone to such wild swings of emotion and shifting of standards. “But when passions run high, it is crucial that those most empowered to tamp down the mob don’t become part of it, and that the bedrock values of fairness and unbiased assessment remain untrammeled.”

Yeah, good luck with that.

One can feel schadenfreude when people who spark waves of moral hysteria get caught up by them, and still recognize that moral hysteria is no way to run a country — and a political class that wallows in it is not worthy to trust with the running.

BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT STUPID? Here’s Why I Didn’t Fall For The Russia-Trump Conspiracy: Media outlets regurgitated leaks from politicized intelligence officials. They should have been far more skeptical. The whole thing was obviously stupid and self-serving from the beginning. “I noticed that the Russia narrative was increasingly being clung to as an explanation for the media’s failures to understand the country they purport to cover.”

Plus:

CNN received an award for publishing this leak from a top-level intelligence official. At best they were far too credulous of this leak. At worst, they knowingly took part in an information campaign designed to hurt Trump. Neither option is particularly good.

Yes, Obama intel leaders briefed the presidents on the completely unverified claims, but the real story was that they were so bad at their jobs that they were playing around with these claims in the first place. The real story was that they were leaking that they’d briefed the dossier so that it would legitimize the claims and undermine the duly elected president who was to succeed Obama.

The real story, we’d later find out thanks to dogged investigations by a few Republicans in the House and Senate, was that the claims were bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The real story, we’d find out later, was that these unverified claims had been used to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, an innocent American citizen affiliated with the Trump campaign. The real story was that our media were too busy “throwing out” journalistic standards that they forgot to hold powerful law enforcement and intelligence agencies accountable.

Journalistic “standards,” like #MeToo rules, are cut to fit the needs of the moment.

#TIMESUP FOR #METOO: Northam, Fairfax, and Herring hang tough in Virginia. The torpedo that Democrats put in the water to take out Trump –and Kavanaugh — failed to destroy its targets but circled around and took out a number of Democrats. So, conveniently, the rules are changing again.

Related: Democrats Need to Learn From Their Al Franken Mistake.

Flashback: “I predict that the chief long-term consequence of #MeToo will be less mentoring of female employees by male supervisors.”

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Shutting down the border and much, much more. “Handsy Uncle Joe is taking some heat after a Nevada politician came forward to say Joe creeped on her. People on the right have been pointing out Biden’s predisposition for touching lady strangers but the Democrats only picked up on it after they decided to trash due process and use the #metoo gang to beat up on political adversaries.”

Make ’em play by their own rules.

CREEPY UNCLE JOE: Democrat Makes #MeToo Claim Against Joe Biden: He Smelled Me and Kissed My Head. “Flores said that pictures of Biden touching other women inappropriately made it more difficult to keep silent, referring to Biden nuzzling the neck of Secretary of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s wife, kissing Sen. Chuck Grassley’s wife on the lips, whispering in women’s ears, and snuggling women on the campaign trail.”

Flashback: It’s time to talk about former Vice President Joe Biden, the open sexual predator.

Biden Swims Naked, Upsetting Female Secret Service Agents:

“Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes in the book – due for release Aug. 5.

“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive,” he writes.

“Biden likes to be revered as everyday Joe,” an unnamed agent told Kessler. “But the reality is no agents want to go on his detail because Biden makes agents’ lives so tough.”

Plus: Washington Post: What Are We Going To Do About Creepy Uncle Joe Biden?

And: ‘Creepy Veep’ Joe Biden ‘nuzzles’ wife of colleague and claims he is friends with lots of Somali cab drivers.

Also: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.04.03 AM

WHY ARE LEFTIST INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF SEXUAL ABUSE? There’s a #MeToo Scandal Brewing in the Reproductive Rights World. Remember, we have to believe all women.

KINSLEY GAFFE: Barbra Streisand makes a mistake and tells the truth.

When Streisand discovered that the general public has yet to attain her level of sophistication about child abuse, she issued a damage limitation article in the Washington Post. We know it was written by her, because her handlers would never have let the bad grammar pass. ‘The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children.’ But then Streisand restated her original analysis:  ‘It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.’  She followed up with a tweet stating she was ‘profoundly sorry’ for ‘not choosing my words more carefully’. She hadn’t meant to ‘dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way’ — or at least to get busted for it.

But she did. The damage is already done. She is accused of being ‘complicit’ with pedophilia in the entertainment industry. It’s not clear if complicity still counts as an offense, now Robert Mueller has filed. But people are also threatening to burn her albums, and boycott her concerts.

Streisand’s mistake was to tell us what she really thinks. In her thinking, and the group-think of Hollywood, celebrity culture might recklessly exploit and consume its players, but they’re lucky to get the chance to play at all. She understands fame, but not the sudden change in the media’s mood. The public has always disliked the abuse of power. It’s the media which has suddenly changed from simplicity and cover ups to crusades and #MeToo campaigns. Poor Barbra.

Read the whole thing.

IT LOST LEGITIMACY THROUGH OVERREACH: #MeToo movement starts to fade, men ‘desensitized to the issue.’

Overall, 62 percent of adults believe sexual harassment is a “major problem.” That is down from 69 percent in 2017.

Among men, 53 percent see it as a major problem, down from 66 percent in October 2017.

For women, 70 percent call it a major problem, down from 73 percent in 2017.

While still in the minority, more also see that “people in the workplace are too sensitive” to the issue, said Gallup.

For men, 45 percent said people are “too sensitive,” while 46 percent said they aren’t “sensitive enough.” At the height of the movement, 54 percent said people were “not sensitive enough,” versus 33 percent who felt people were “too sensitive.”

I predict that the chief long-term consequence of #MeToo will be less mentoring of female employees by male supervisors.

NOW OUT FROM MEGAN FOX: Believe Evidence: The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF HOLLYWOOD INTERRUPTED AND THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: A Nation of Felicity Huffmans.

The latest elite-college admissions scandal rests on a foundation of pure silliness; as Jim Geraghty writes, people with rich, famous, well-connected parents are the ones who least need the imprimatur of a famous college to speed them through life. Yet these same people are the ones with the means to indulge the status obsession that plagues most of us. Let’s not think of Felicity Huffman et al. as unusual: Everybody with the means to steer their kids into top-drawer colleges is thinking about how to game the system. This is because an elite-college degree isn’t an instrument or a tool; it doesn’t have to lead to anything. It’s a status symbol in itself. Yale is Louis Vuitton is Piaget is Mercedes.

* * * * * * * *

Somehow those of us who don’t own an Audemars watch or a Birkin handbag manage to muck on without them, and we don’t fret about whether our children will someday own one. Few of us have a hole in our soul because we don’t own the fanciest car in town. Because we realize worship of material goods is beneath us. Diploma worship ought to be equally so.

Meanwhile, Hollywood is about to toss another star down the memory hole: Let’s face it — Lori Loughlin has committed career suicide.

Make no mistake: however this turns out, it’s an enormous blow — on the public relations front, emotionally and (bottom-line) financially — to Hallmark, a network that prides itself on fluffy, family-friendly programming, which it sells (very successfully) to advertisers buying onto their bland, greeting-card world of handsome architects, city women fleeing back to their hometowns and finding true love or innumerable sappy Christmas movies. (Loughlin starred in “Homegrown Christmas” in 2018). It’s a world in which crime hardly exists, or if it does, is never very serious — as in Loughlin’s “Garage Sale Mystery” movies, in which she plays antiques-dealer-turned-sleuth Jennifer Shannon. She’s made 15 of these “Murder, She Wrote”-type movies so far (they air on Hallmark Movies & Mystery) and several are in pre-production.

All of Loughlin’s movies have proven very popular and generated hefty cable viewership (on both networks) for Hallmark Channel. That, in turn, translates to advertising dollars. And when any business feels its financial health threatened, it takes action and cuts bait.

Loughlin’s career is sunk. Deal with it.

Ed Morrissey spots “Fellow celebrities, late-night comics tee[ing] off on Huffman, Loughlin college-admission corruption.” It’s bipartisan scorn:

Earlier this morning, I guest-hosted for Hugh Hewitt — and for three hours, this was the story listeners wanted to discuss. We had callers in almost every segment, even if we couldn’t get to them. The disgust and scorn for everyone involved in this scheme, but especially for the celebrities, was palpable. This crosses partisan lines, regions, and all other demographics in its bald affront to fair play. These families had all of the advantages possible and still committed fraud to game the system. It’s a story practically built for ridicule and satire.

Between Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo, Michael Jackon, Jussie Smollett and now this, our “Progressive” betters in Hollywood have sure been covering themselves in glory over the past years.

#METOO: Former Gillibrand aide resigned in protest over handling of sex harassment claims.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of the most outspoken advocates of the #MeToo movement who has made fighting sexual misconduct a centerpiece of her presidential campaign, spent last summer pressing legislators to update Congress’ “broken” system of handling sexual harassment.

At the same time, a mid-20s female aide to Gillibrand resigned in protest over the handling of her sexual harassment complaint by Gillibrand‘s office, and criticized the senator for failing to abide by her own public standards.

In July, the female staffer alleged one of Gillibrand’s closest aides — who was a decade her senior and married — repeatedly made unwelcome advances after the senator had told him he would be promoted to a supervisory role over her. She also said the male aide regularly made crude, misogynistic remarks in the office about his female colleagues and potential female hires.

Less than three weeks after reporting the alleged harassment and subsequently claiming that the man retaliated against her for doing so, the woman told chief of staff Jess Fassler that she was resigning because of the office’s handling of the matter. She did not have another job lined up.

What did the Senator know and when did she know it?

MICHAEL JACKSON’S ERASURE FROM HISTORY BEGINS:

James L. Brooks, co-creator of The Simpsons, says that the 1991 episode guest-starring Michael Jackson is being yanked, permanently.“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Brooks told the Wall Street Journal. “The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes—were of one mind on this,” he added.

* * * * * * * *

Brooks says the episode in question will be removed from all platforms including DVD sets and streaming services. “I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter,” he told the Journal.

But tossing his episode down the memory hole is in itself is a form of book burning. Should Michael Jackson have appeared on the Simpsons? In retrospect, of course not. But the assumption that 21st century audiences can’t handle knowing that he once did seems beneath a series that once — a long time ago — contained some of Hollywood’s smartest comedy writing. (When does Apu start getting spliced out?)

Pop culture of the past exists in part as an unintentional time machine, showing us how its creators viewed the world at that time. We laugh at the stilted acting and $1.99 production design of Jack Webb’s 1960s version of Dragnet, but millions of mid-‘60s Americans shared Webb’s views on narcotics and crumbling social mores. The original Star Trek had at least one episode that can be viewed as grudgingly defending the Vietnam War, and its (very silly) final episode was premised on the sexist notion that even in the 23rd century, women won’t be allowed to command a starship. M*A*S*H’s first three seasons were awash with sexism – and contained the series’ funniest writing. What about Archie Bunker’s racism? Will network execs give 21st century audiences the benefit of the doubt that they can figure out that Bunker was a parody, not a role model?

As I warned a year ago, when the #MeToo crowd started looking askance at Hollywood’s sex-obsessed 1970s sitcoms, I Felt a Grave Disturbance In The Force, As If Millions Of Sitcoms Suddenly Cried Out In Terror And Were Suddenly Silenced.

OUT NEXT WEEK FROM MEGAN FOX: Believe Evidence: The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.

UPDATE: Perhaps thanks to you guys, this book is now ranked #3 on Amazon in “Feminist Theory.” Heh.

I WON’T LISTEN TO MICHAEL JACKSON’S MUSIC ANYMORE. BUT I’LL STILL WATCH WOODY ALLEN’S MOVIES. HERE’S WHY.” A presumably left-leaning media critic at The Week named Jeva Lange justifies her entertainment choices:

To summarily dismiss “Woody Allen films” because Allen himself is accused of despicable behavior is to also inadvertently write off the symphonic city shots of Gordon Willis in Manhattan, the zany costumes designed by Ruth Morley for Annie Hall, or the underrated Ingrid Bergman-esque performance by Geraldine Page in Interiors. Perhaps you believe that one bad apple spoils the barrel; I would strongly caution that this dismissal often brushes off the contributions particularly of women, whose incredible work is all too frequently in non-directorial positions. To never watch Polanski’s Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby is to erase, likewise, some of the best work of costume designer Anthea Sylbert, or performances by Faye Dunaway and Mia Farrow.

Music, though, is neater than the messy collaborative efforts of filmmaking. Although creating an album is indisputably also a group effort — think of Quincy Jones’ work producing Thriller — music is generally a much more individual effort than filmmaking, and especially so in the case of a solo artist like Jackson. While I regret not being able to appreciate Jones’ work on Thriller by cutting it out of my life, I am lying to myself if I claim it is not Jackson’s voice that I am actually enjoying when I listen to the album. Filmmaking, by its very nature, is much more ambiguous.

Separate and apart from continuing to listening to his music, I’m not at all sure that this is an appropriate analogy, at least for Jackson. A band like Led Zeppelin (whose surviving members must be absolutely thanking their lucky stars in today’s #metoo era that they achieved superstardom before social media) was remarkably self-contained, with in-house songwriters, an in-house producer (Jimmy Page) and arranger (John Paul Jones), and used outside session musicians very infrequently, mostly to add strings to sweeten a handful of their more epic songs.

But Jackson’s records — particularly Thriller — were the audio equivalents of the same sort of film productions that Lange mentions above. That album took nearly six months to record, about the same length of time it takes Allen to write, shoot and supervise the editing of a film. Jackson is credited with writing the music and lyrics on only four of the album’s 13 songs, and “writing the music” simply means he supplied at least the top line melody and chord changes. The album’s credits boast not just Quincy Jones as producer (and veteran engineer Bruce Swedien as engineer, mixer, and Jones’ second set of ears), plus a roster of first-call L.A. session musicians and arrangers. Wikipedia lists nearly 50 of them appearing on Thriller. Lange’s comments dismissing their contributions is reminiscent of a scene early on in the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, a film that explored the vital contributions of the Funk Brothers, Motown’s house band, whose members played (in various combinations) on virtually every song Motown recorded in the 1960s. But prior to that movie’s release, the public at large had no idea the Funk Brothers even existed:

As for Woody Allen, I can’t fault anyone for enjoying what Allen himself, in his grousing 1980 film Stardust Memories dubbed his “earlier, funnier movies.” Regarding the incident that permanently transformed his audience’s perception of Allen (well, what was left of that audience, after Allen blew up his own domestic career with Stardust Memories), as Rod Dreher quipped yesterday, in a post titled, “The Bonfire Of Michael Jackson,” “Allen made it easy to quit watching his movies after his creepy Soon-Yi affair became public. Why? He stopped making good movies. Still, even when I go back and watch his old good ones, I can’t get out of my head what he did. It took all the joy out of Manhattan for me. This wasn’t so much a moral decision as it was one of involuntary disgust.”

Exit question from Dreher: “About Jackson, what are the rest of you going to do? Keep listening to him? Swear off of him? Not sure? Whatever your choice, please explain your reasoning.”

FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NO TV SHOW LEFT TO LOSE: “In a new off-the-rails interview, Roseanne Barr calls originators of the #MeToo movement ‘hos’ and attacks Sen. Kamala Harris, Christine Blasey Ford and many other women.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Kama Sutra Harris. That’s right up there with Pocahontas.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Democratic Virginia Scandals Evaporate from ABC, CBS, NBC.

Flashback: “Jim Geraghty of NRO estimated that in 2006, the Washington Post ran ‘approximately 100 articles, op-eds, [and] editorials’ spotlighting Republican George Allen’s moronic ‘macaca’ gaffe involving his botched effort at calling out a mohawk-wearing video tagger hired by his opponent, Democrat Jim Webb, to stalk the Allen campaign,” and then repeated the same playbook (this time unsuccessfully) three years later when Republican Bob McDonnell ran for the governship of Virginia.

As for the Virginia Democrats’ current racism and #metoo-related scandals being tossed down the memory hole, just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

#METOO GOT FAR ENOUGH AND RIDICULOUS ENOUGH IT NOW PROVIDES COVER FOR THE REALLY BAD ABUSERS. IT’S THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF EFFECT. OR IF YOU PREFER THE JUSSIE WHO CRIED MAGA EFFECT:  Casey Affleck’s continued success proves Hollywood’s hypocrisy.

M. CATHARINE EVANS: The Virginia train wreck has set the stage for 2020.

Thanks to Virginia’s embroiled leaders, the Democrats have become not only the party of drugs, human-trafficking, open borders, MS-13, a Green New Deal, and socialism; they have now outed themselves as the Party of Infanticide, Racism, the KKK, Sexism (“F— the B—-“), and Rapists.

President Trump and the Republican Party should get a lot of mileage out of the Racist & Rapist party’s double standard. There’s little doubt among conservatives in Virginia and across the nation that if these were three Republican leaders simultaneously being accused of racism and rape, Antifa, MoveOn, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, and #MeToo would be blocking traffic, threatening riots, and surrounding the capitol in Richmond until all three resigned.

In spite of the Democrats’ long history of getting away with everything, including murder (Ted Kennedy), the explosive and quickly moving chain of events in Virginia these past few weeks has made ignoring this political earthquake impossible for the media.

Yes, but… in recent years the media has largely taken a different tack on stories too big too ignore, but too damaging to their (D) friends:

• Coverage that’s as perfunctory as can be gotten away with

• Framed whenever possible as a (D)-said/(R)-said “controversy”

• In which “Republicans Pounce!”

• While applying no direct pressure on (D) for an investigation/resignation/etc

• And then when nothing like an investigation or resignation happens, present the story, if at all, as “old news.”

Oh, and one last thing. “Old news” is usually combined with “Republicans still obsessed with ‘old news’.”

It’s dirty work, but our media elites seem to thrive on it.

CHANGE: Photo Of Joy Behar In Blackface Resurfaces; Is #Blackface Going To Become The Next #MeToo?

HYPOCRISY: Men run the news, 2 to 1, despite demands for diversity, equality everywhere else.

America’s big media, which has celebrated #MeToo, decried the lack of women in the Trump administration, and called for the recognition of female artists, appears to be run by a big boys club, according to a new newsroom survey.

The Women’s Media Center has just released its “Divided 2019: The Media Gender Gap,” and it found that the majority of news is produced by male journalists.

The key findings from the report:

69 percent of news wire bylines (AP and Reuters) are snagged by men, 31 percent by women — by far the biggest gender gap in news media.

63 percent of TV prime-time news broadcasts feature male anchors and correspondents; 37 percent feature women.

60 percent of online news is written by men; 40 percent by women.

59 percent of print news is written by men; 41 percent by women.

Across all media platforms, men receive 63 percent of bylines and credits; women receive only 37 percent.

In the print sector the widest gender gap was at USA Today, where 69 percent of articles were written by men and 31 percent by women.

Sad.

STUART TAYLOR, JR., FOR REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Harvard, the New York Times and the #MeToo Takedown of a Black Academic Star. “This article, and Harvard’s Office for Dispute Resolution, have made a near-pariah of the youngest black professor ever tenured at Harvard University, a man born into poverty who is still much admired among many former female and male subordinates and other people who know him well – and who see the attacks on him as tinged with racism and ‘#MeToo’ overreaction. . . . The Harvard report seems to be a case of what could be called harassment inflation.”

Weird how fewer men are willing to work with or mentor women, post-#MeToo.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Another Side of #MeToo: Male Managers Fearful of Mentoring Women.

“The business case for women had been made,” Ms. Milligan said. “We were rocking it. And then #MeToo happened.”

Big deal. All men have to do is not be rapists, right? Uh, no:

One challenge is to assess the risk of sexual harassment in a company and to identify men who make women uncomfortable — or worse, harass them.

Uncomfortable. See it’s not men’s actions, but women’s feelings, that are in the driver’s seat. Shocking that men would want to limit their risk by limiting their exposure.

IT’S TIME FOR A #METOO MOMENT IN HIP HOP:

In the weeks following the horrific revelations made in Lifetime’s bombshell six-part docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” the fallout has been immense.

The 52-year-old R&B superstar, accused of alleged sexual and physical abuse with underage girls spanning nearly three decades, has parted ways with Sony Music Entertainment and its subsidiary RCA Records, following protests over his conduct.

But while a day of reckoning seems to be finally at hand for Kelly, the hip-hop and R&B world has yet to truly have the #MeToo moment that has rocked Hollywood, professional sports, the video-game industry and the journalism biz.

Why are leftwing dominated industries such cesspits?

Earlier: The sexual predators everyone still worships.

KYLE SMITH ON THE GREAT FORGETTING: Cultural Icons: Popular Today, Unknown Tomorrow.

These days, in a cultural sense, the only two pre-1960 singers who still linger in the memory are Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Bing Crosby, as Terry Teachout recently pointed out in Commentary, has more or less disappeared. A case could be made that, in addition to being one of his era’s most popular singers, Crosby is the single most popular movie star in Hollywood history. Certainly he is in the top ten. Today he survives in the memory of specialists and historians and suchlike boffins. To the broader populace, the words “Bing Crosby” no longer have meaning.

Looking back on his four decades as a movie critic, John Podhoretz points out that even if you go back only to the 1980s, hardly anything survives. People still talk about Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Princess Bride (but not E.T., the biggest hit of the decade). Rain Man not only swept the Academy Awards in 1988 but was the biggest hit of that year, selling the equivalent of $380 million in tickets in today’s dollars. Bring up that movie in a classroom today and I suspect the reaction will be the same as if you brought up Mickey Rooney or Shirley Temple. Step forward, 1990s movies, and report to the vaporization facility. You’ve got a few years left, but only a few.

As the Who suit up for what I suppose will be their final tour (“Who’s Left”?), Chuck Klosterman points out in his book But What if We’re Wrong? that whole forms die out. He compares rock to 19th-century marching music: nothing left of the latter except John Philip Sousa. That’s it. And Sousa himself is barely remembered. In 100 years rock might be gone too, Klosterman guesses. Maybe we’ll remember one rock act. Who will it be? Maybe none of the obvious answers. It certainly wasn’t obvious at the time of Fitzgerald’s death that The Great Gatsby would be the best-remembered novel he or anyone else wrote in the first half of the 20th century. As for the novels of the second half of the 20th century, the clock is ticking on them. The Catcher in the Rye is moribund. Generation X was the last to revere that book. Teaching it to young people today would get you ridiculed. To Kill a Mockingbird? It had a good run but it’s now being labeled a “white savior” story by the grandchildren of those who revered it. Soon schools and teachers will be shunning it.

Speaking of The Catcher in the Rye, as Cathy Young noted last week at Quillette, “The Posthumous #MeToo-ing of J. D. Salinger,” is helping to dramatically speed up his once universally known novel’s memory holing, despite this being the 100th birthday of its author.

ESPN HOST SAYS DONALD TRUMP GIVING CLEMSON FOOTBALL PLAYERS FAST FOOD WAS RACIST:

Quoth [Molly] Qerim:

“When I saw him giving the football players, a predominantly black sport, and fast food my thought went a very different place.”

Ah, yes. Despite the fact that the VIDEO ESPN AIRED FEATURES WHITE PLAYERS PICKING UP HAMBURGERS TO EAT, that doesn’t disguise the fact that Donald Trump is a huge racist for giving football players Big Macs, Whoppers, and Wendy’s hamburgers. And pizza too!

Because god knows only black people eat fast food.

How dare he?

Donald Trump is an evil racist intent upon inflicting his white supremacy on everyone by giving them free food they choose to eat while voluntarily visiting his residence!

If a president serving fast food to invited guests is racist, then it’s time to overturn pretty much all of the New Deal. And forget #Metoo and the ObamaCare lies; the photos below are proof that these two former presidents have committed serious hateburger crimes.

President Bill Clinton speaks with an unidentified man and woman at a downtown Little Rock, Arkansas McDonald’s after a morning jog Monday, March 30, 1993. The President and his family have been visiting the first lady’’s ailing father in Little Rock. (AP Photo and caption.)

In this May 16, 2014, photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, meets with, from left, Abdullahi Mohamed, Meredith Upchurch and Antonio Byrd at the Shake Shack in Washington. Obama seems to have caught a bad case of cabin fever. Since taking office, Obama has periodically grumbled about the claustrophobia that sets in when his every move is surrounded by intense security, rendering it nearly impossible to enjoy the simple pleasures that private citizens take for granted. But in recent days, the president has made more of a point to get out. (AP Photo and caption.)

THE INSTA-WIFE: The Gillette Ad: The War on Men Is a War on Trump. Just like #MeToo was, though that kinda backfired.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: We Progressives Are Going to ‘Run Train.’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) used a vulgar sexual term in an interview with the Washington Post published Wednesday, threatening conservatives that Democrats would “run train on the progressive agenda.”

The term “run train” refers to a gang rape. According to UrbanDictionary.com, the “top definition” for the term “run train” is “to ‘gangbang’ a girl with several friends.”

The last time such a phrase was mentioned in regards to DC was via Creepy Porn Lawyer™ Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick during the Kavanaugh hearings, as this typo-filled article from September at Heavy.com notes:

Swetncik [sic] signed a sworn affidavit that Kavanaugh and Judge were part of a groups [sic] of teenagers who, in the early 1980s, perpetrated gang rapes by drugging girls with grain alcohol spiked with Quaaludes and the[n] “ran trains.” And Swetnick said she herself was raped. She does not say Kavanaugh raped her but was present.

(The following month, The Hill reported, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred Swetnick and Avenatti to the Justice Dept. for investigation.)

Flash-forward to January, and as Peter D’Abrosca of Big League Politics writes, “Ocasio-Cortez Normalizes Rape Culture With ‘Run Train’ Comments:”

AOC mentioned nothing about whether she’ll ask for the consent of the Republican Party before she gangbangs them into submission. What if they’re just not that into her? Is she literally threatening to rape 60 million plus Republican Americans?

As James Bovard of the Mises Institute wrote in November, We Need a #MeToo Movement for Political Consent.

UPDATE: “Why attack [AOC] for using a term that means she’s going to gang rape America with progressivism? I applaud her honesty,” Andrew Klavan tweets.

INTERESTING: Republican Women Have Grown Much More Hostile To #MeToo. “They have gone from barely worrying about false accusations of sexual assault, with only 8% agreeing in November 2017 that these were worse than unreported assaults, to 42% saying so, according to two polls conducted for The Economist by YouGov, a pollster. They are now the most likely group to agree that a man who harassed a woman 20 years ago should keep his job, and that a woman who complains about harassment causes more problems than she solves.”

#METOO FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE: Terry Crews on lack of support after sexual assault reveal.

TO THE BBC, HISTORY IS SOMETHING TO BE TWISTED BY THE TYRANNY OF NOW:

I’ve just watched the four-part animated series of Watership Down, shown on the BBC, with my daughter. She was slightly more aghast than me to discover that the aforementioned Bigwig was a bruv from the ’hood. And still more repelled by the elevation of a minor female rabbit character into a doughty campaigner for justice, the transgendering of a rabbit called Strawberry, and, most hilariously, the does calling each other ‘sister’ and keening a song of freedom in an orgy of #MeToo victimhood — their importance to the book she too had loved vastly exaggerated for fatuous political reasons.

None of this surprised me terribly, as I have become accustomed to the liberal, white, middle-class BBC bosses shoe-horning their absurd social justice twattery into every single drama production they commission. It had been evident a week or two earlier with their dramatisation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, which was rightly panned even by journos who get much less worked up by this sort of thing than I do. My daughter, meanwhile, is very rapidly coming to the same conclusion as me, having junked Doctor Who for its inane PC gibberish a while ago and terrified they might soon introduce a transitioning Dalek or a woke cyberman.

Get woke, go broke: Exterminating Viewers — Doctor Who ratings plunge after Jodie Whittaker takes over with PC plots. Angry viewers have described recent episodes as ‘lectures’ as the show explores issues like racism, male pregnancy and disabilities.

SCHIZOPHRENIC HOLLYWOOD: Enough Already. The Golden Globes Should Just Host a ‘Naked’ Show Next Year:

I guess the #MeToo movement has turned into #THOTSrUs. Do they want to be ogled and sexualized now? I can’t keep up. Here’s Taylor Swift, the queen of being offended when someone reaches out and grabs what she has nakedly on display.

I thought this sort of thing was banned in Mike Pence’s America.

UPDATE: Golden Globes: Anti-Gun Hollywood Surrounded By Security Walls and Armed Guards.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Louis CK’s Politically Incorrect Comedy Didn’t Change. You Did. The #MeToo-ed comedian jokes about Parkland kids and transgender pronouns in leaked footage of his new routines.

Since “comedians” have been the chief propagandists for the left, it’s very much in the interest of the right to see them devouring each other and becoming steadily more oppressive and unfunny.

LOUIS CK’S POLITICALLY INCORRECT COMEDY DIDN’T CHANGE. YOU DID:

You might not think this kind of humor is funny, and that’s fine. Moreover, you might think Louis C.K., who initiated sexual situations with unwilling women, is a creepy person who has lost the right to joke about uncomfortable subjects. That’s also fine. But it would be silly to pretend that Louis C.K. has undergone some sort of change or deliberate pivot. He’s just doing his same old shtick.

But many in the media have seized upon the idea that Louis C.K. has suddenly became a right-winger—that his new material is some dramatic departure from his pre-scandal days as a woke comedy icon. “Audio of a New Louis C.K. Set Has Leaked, and It’s Sickening,” warns Slate, striking the tone of a nun listening to Eminem for the first time. The Daily Beast accuses Louis C.K. of “pandering to the alt-right,” which is quite the broad categorization; the tons of people—New Yorkers, presumably—who can be heard laughing in the background of the leaked footage would probably be surprised to learn that they take their cues from Richard Spencer.

I can’t recall very many people on the left complaining that Louis C.K. was pandering to pedophiles when he joked about normalizing child rape so that rapists would be more likely to let their child victims live. On the contrary, GQ placed that joke on its list of the 10 best Louis C.K. skits, hailing him as the most transgressive and celebrated comedian “of his generation.”

Those who suddenly find themselves balking at Louis C.K.’s edgy material should admit that the comedian didn’t really change. They did.

As Richard Fernandez has said, the torpedoes the left fired into the water to get Trump keep circling back on them. To the point where the left have become the far right Moral Majority of the late 1970s. Or as Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in a piece titled “Hugh Hefner, Gangsta Rap & The Emerging Moral Majority, after Hef entered his “After Dark” mode permanently in September of 2017, on the eve of Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K.’s fall from grace, and the concurrent dawn of the #MeToo era, “Moral concerns pop up one decade in right-wing clothes, and, in the next, change into another outfit.”

#METOO COLLECTS ANOTHER SCALP: Julian Niccolini Forced Out of New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant.

“WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD MEN STOP MENTORING WOMEN POST #METOO?”:  Yes, I am five months late in posting this, but it’s remarkable how naive the writer is.