Presumptions of innocence have vanished for good.
Now for a few words about the “sex scandals” rocking the nation:
1.) As usual, Mr. Trump put his finger on the exact issue about Judge Roy Moore a few days ago. A woman reporter shouted out to him something like, “Is it better to have an accused child molester in the Senate than a Democrat?”
Mr. Trump hit it out of the park. “He denies it all. He totally denies it,” said the President. He thereby got to the crux of the matter. Judge Moore is accused of various misdeeds. There’s no proof of any of it. It might be true and it might not be true. But if the voters of Alabama elect Judge Moore to the Senate, is Mitch McConnell seriously planning to destroy the will of the voters of Alabama and the Constitution because of the allegations of a group of teenagers? Would we really fail to seat a Senator because of gossip — totally unproved — about events forty years ago? Surely the question answers itself. Don’t get me wrong, we should not have a child molester in the Senate. But we don’t know if Mr. Moore ever was a child molester. We have the presumption of innocence in this country. To throw it all away because of the recollections of a long ago teenager seems almost unbelievable.
2.) Why do we have such wildly different standards for different people? Teddy Kennedy murdered a woman with whom he was having an affair. He totally got away with it and became a wildly beloved Senator from Massachusetts. Why did he get a pass on taking a life when Judge Moore gets guillotined for supposedly touching the brassiere of a girl forty years ago? Martin Luther King, Jr., surely one of the greatest men in the history of this country, a genuine hero, had affairs on a breathtaking scale while he was a pastor, a moral leader, and married. He was never in any way called to account. Nor should he have been. His greatness was so evident that it far transcended small peccadilloes about romance. I do not in any sense compare Judge Moore with him. But it is interesting that the media ignores sex issues when they deal with their heroes and go berserk about the allegations — mere allegations — about people they hate.
3.) Why are we devoting so much ink to the whole subject? We have gigantic issues of possible nuclear war with North Korea. We have a national debt that is exploding. Why do we spend so much time on gossip? Suppose we had said that Dr. King could not speak in public forums because of his sex life. Would that have been sensible or should we instead have listened to his counsel about judging men and women by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin?
4.) If you think that you have learned something new and different about Hollywood because of Harvey Weinstein (whom I have never met), think again. Hollywood is and always has been largely about women trading sex for advancement in their careers. This is absolutely standard. And many of the women who come here know it. The absolutely smartest, most honest woman I know in the acting game told me that if, when she was starting, a high powered producer had said, “I have a big part for you. Just come to my house at midnight with your bikini,” she would have said, “Just give me the address.” I am sure there are actresses who do not agree. But plenty do. And don’t look at me. I’m a schmuck writer. I have never had the power to tempt any woman and besides, actresses scare me.
I am certain Harvey is not a nice guy. I’m also certain that so far, he has not been convicted or anything. Obviously, he’s done some bad things. But the more serious allegations against him have to be proved in a court of law to be taken as true.
And this is the real crisis here: we’re tossing aside basic legal standards, basic constitutional standards, to appease the witch burners.
I’d like to see women treated with complete dignity and I would love to live to see the day when a woman’s star power is judged by her talent and her character and not by her body and her willingness to have sex. But I’d also like to see a return to “innocent until proven guilty.”