In the wake of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s spectacular mid-air explosion, the unholy relationship between Hollywood money and obsequious political ambition has never been more transparent. Sure, a few months ago we were all treated to the infamous “Grab’em by the pussy” bus tape, which was a window into President Trump’s narcissism, but Weinstein & Co. have gone Trump one further. What’s mostly apparent, and despicable, is that it appears these large-style abusers, the Trumps, Clintons, Weiners and Weinsteins of the world, are able to skate for years because they have political power, and more importantly, a lot of money.
That, by itself, is no revelation—it’s the way of the world. What rubs is that these men, and women, campaign—and raise fabulous sums—by presenting themselves as paragons of virtue. There is no lie that they won’t tell. They ask us to vote for them, or watch their movies, and people do because they loudly champion causes such as women’s rights, or gun control, or whatever the algorithms suggest will curry votes in the swing states. But when the curtains are peeled back, and we are able to take a long look inside the land of Oz, all of that moralizing and grandstanding is exposed for what it actually is: utter bullshit.
They are frauds, all of them, and they have made—and here is the scariest part—a willing mark out of the average American. They make millions upon millions selling the lie, and people keep lining up to see their horrible movies and worse—to vote them into public office.
An audio-tape published by The New Yorker—recorded by a young model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez—in which Weinstein’s abuse is so utterly vile that any real man in America would enjoy beating his fat ass to a bloody stump, sparked a flood of fresh accusations from actresses and models from New York to LA. Most recently, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have joined the list of accusers, and Weinstein’s wife has packed her bags for, who knows, let’s just say Jackson Hole.
Where have they been all of these years? One must tread carefully here, because blaming the victim—or even appearing to blame the victim–is a horrendous enterprise, but any cop can tell you that “victims” are not always standing on a firm foundation either. They are no less victims because of that fact, but if there is strength in numbers today then there was strength in numbers five years ago and, in the end, they all got the parts they wanted. One marvels at the power of ambition and wealth to silence victims of abuse.
Paltrow, whose bizarre website Goop peddles something known as a “Vaginal Egg” which is meant to “improve the pelvic floor”, and who champions walking barefoot—known as “earthing”– as a cure for insomnia, was allegedly groped by Weinstein in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Jolie, Rosanna Arquette—and the list goes on—describe similar abuses by Weinstein.
It took a while—and one can only speculate as to why–but Hillary Clinton, it turns out, was “shocked and appalled,” by Weinstein’s cavorting, which is as arid a condemnation as one can imagine. Weinstein, the world now knows, was a notorious and serial cretin, known far and wide in entertainment circles for his boorish and brutal behavior. But given her cozy relationship with Hollywood types, who overwhelmingly support her, the notion that Hillary Clinton was unaware of Weinstein’s bent is a new frontier in the realms of absurdity—even for her. This is a woman, remember, whose personal assistant was married to the now prison-bound Anthony Weiner—Carlos Danger, you might remember–and whose own husband is a prominent abuser of women, a man whose escapades reached their famous zenith when he decided to bang a star-struck intern in the Oval Office. One might reasonably expect Hillary Clinton to be especially sensitive to this kind of behavior.
In fairness, Bill has told the world that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Okay, Bill, whatever.
But what mattered most—what always matters most to these loons–was the money. In 2016, Weinstein had maxed out on the individual contribution–$5400, but then donated an additional $68,000 dollars to the “Hillary Victory Fund” in two separate contributions. Hillary’s VP nominee, Tim Kaine—and I admit that I had completely forgotten he was an actual person—had this to say about those contributions, in an October 10 interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota:
Camerota: He gave I think $39,000 to yours and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election effort. Should that money be given back?
Kaine: Well, the campaign is over. So here is what’s happening. You got to call out bad behavior. Anybody who sexually harasses somebody or anybody who uses their position of power, especially, to coerce or intimidate somebody, that’s low-life behavior and it’s unacceptable.
And whether it’s in government or media or business, it’s unacceptable. And you’ve got to call it out. I think a number of folks who he has given money to in this campaign cycle are returning those funds. I haven’t asked him for anything. He hadn’t given me anything. But —
Camerota: You’re saying that the money for your campaign —
Kaine: It’s over.
Camerota: It can’t be given back.
Kaine: Yes, it’s over.
Kaine, whose own son “Woody” was cracked by Minnesota cops for a bout of adolescent douchebaggery at a Republican campaign rally, is factually wrong in this case—and he knows that. But my sincerest appreciation is reserved for his masterful political dodge. Weinstein may be a tithead, says Kaine, but his money is still good. And therein lies the lesson for all of us mere citizens.
Weinstein’s contributions are paltry, in the big picture, but what isn’t paltry is Weinstein & Co.’s ability to raise millions more for the candidates. To wit: I once served on a security detail for Vice President Joe Biden, who landed in Air Force 2 at the airport in Goleta California, drove to Montecito for a fundraiser, stayed fifteen minutes, then returned to the airport and flew away. Montecito, if you don’t know, is a rookery for Hollywood Big Birds.
And this morning there is Ben Affleck, whose smarmy contributions to culture—wrap your head around this–include a cynical turn as an uber-modern autistic hitman, who has now been exposed as a boob-grabber in the crater of Weinstein’s crash. Even as I write there is a developing Twitter skirmish between Hilarie Burton—whoever that is—and the Affleck militia, over who grabbed which boob and when, and more importantly, who remembers it.
Alas, if you are still looking toward the flying monkeys from either major political party, or any of the witch’s henchmen in Hollywood, for examples of virtue–or at the very least conviction without irony–you might be better off grabbing one of Paltrow’s jade eggs and stapling your eyebrows to the ceiling.