Why Did the Weinstein Scandal Happen Now?
Harvey Weinstein belied the old joke that Washington was Hollywood for ugly people. He is an ugly person himself, in more ways than one, though he operated from Hollywood (via New York). He has, as the world now knows, finally gotten his comeuppance, suffering yet another indignity Saturday by being expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, and a host of other miscreants -- known and unknown -- remain members.)
But amidst the endless slew of revelations, a key question remains -- why now? Why did The New York Times and The New Yorker suddenly decide that Fall 2017 was the appropriate time to out Harvey when many have known of his execrable behavior for years, at least quite a bit of it? The Times, as is also well known at this point, spiked a similar Sharon Waxman story a decade or so ago.
It's a whodunit or a whydunit that may have a simple Occam's Razor solution -- Harvey's activities may have reached a tipping point. But that point was clearly reached years ago. Or, it could be some eager reporters anxious to make their reputations by finally crashing through. Ronan Farrow is known to have an ax to grind. But the Times and The New Yorker don't release something this sensational, especially about someone who is so influential in Democratic Party circles, without good reason. So again, why now?
That close connection between Hollywood and the aforementioned Washington could well contain the answer. The Democratic Party, which is in even more disarray than the Republican Party and has recently been considerably less fortunate at the ballot box, is at a moment of crisis. They desperately need renewal, not anyone reminding the world that the Obamas sent daughter Malia to New York last February to spend her gap year interning for Harvey. No, I don't think that's the cause of the current revelations, but it surely is a sign of some atrocious parenting on the part of the former first family.
But my wife Sheryl Longin had another suggestion. Hillary Clinton has been running around the country, promoting her book while blaming everyone and everything conceivable for her defeat and acting as if she might decide to run again. What a disaster for the Democrats -- like a nightmare that would never go away. Sure defeat once again. What to do? How to shut this woman up and finally make her go away, maybe let the Democrats win again?
Well, one way might be to clean house. The long and cozy relationship between Weinstein and the Clintons is well known. Nothing could hurt "feminist" Hillary more than to be publicly linked once again with a rapist. Yuck.
So who pulled the trigger on this? Who had the power, interest, and ability? Well, there's always the editorial board of The New York Times.
Roger L Simon - co-founder of PJ Media - is a member of the writers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.