There is nothing imaginary about it.
The fleshy, repellent, sinister look of Harvey Weinstein, akin to the brutal indifference on the face of an overfed badger before devouring his prey, is proof of the unity between body and soul. If beauty adorns virtue, ugliness adorns vice.
The horror stories about Weinstein continue to multiply and now include tales of criminal flashing and sexual assault. Out of the mushrooming scandal has come a blast of dirt, from which particles are settling on top officials in the Democratic Party, starting with the Clintons and the Obamas.
Pundit Frank Rich wonders why such “exemplary parents” as the Obamas would dispatch their daughter to intern with Harvey Weinstein. He calls this a “mystery,” given that many knew about Weinstein’s loutishness. But what exactly is the mystery? The Obamas had the coziest of relationships with corrupt Hollywood. Before they had their daughter intern with Weinstein, they thought it “cool” to send her off to hang out on the set of the outré HBO show Girls. They considered that a morally formative experience too.
Having spent so much time hobnobbing with stars in the libertine, boundary-defying world of Hollywood and debauched Palm Springs (the first stop after the Obamas left office, with kids in tow), they were no doubt loath to shun Harvey Weinstein. Besides, he and his cronies had given them so much money. And was he, they probably asked themselves, really any different from that old lunger Ted Kennedy, whose early support clinched Obama’s primary victories in 2008?
The friendship between the Clintons and Weinstein isn’t a mystery either. Naturally, Hillary, usually quick off the draw on Twitter about current events, fell silent over the weekend. Weinstein had hosted countless birthday parties and fundraisers for her. Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein were of course boon companions, with Bill showing his esteem in among other ways by letting the mogul interview him on CNN and confer upon him awards at LGBT events.
Still, the revelations have put them in an annoyingly awkward spot. In due course, they will all release carefully worded condemnations of Weinstein, with the possible exception of Bill, who may follow the example of the taciturn Ted Kennedy at the Clarence Thomas hearings and maintain a prudent silence.
It appears that some of the silence, especially in Hollywood circles, is due to doubts about whether or not the monster is dead. SNL‘s Lorne Michaels, who has become every inch of the rich phony his show is supposed to skewer, killed any jokes about Weinstein on the unconvincing grounds that Americans didn’t care about a “New York thing.” The more likely explanation is that he didn’t want to offend a powerful peer to whom he owed innumerable favors. Other hosts, dependent on the good graces of the brothers gross at the Weinstein Company for guests, also shied away from any jokes, as they waited to see if the monster was dead.
Meanwhile, big liberal stars are playing dumb about Weinstein’s widely known goatish reputation. Meryl Streep had her platoon of publicists craft a wooden statement denying any knowledge of her patron’s misdeeds. St. Streep wanted it known that she stood with “the women,” but primarily she sought to inoculate herself from the scandal. Judi Dench also issued a wooden statement. Weinstein used to brag that Dench had his initials “tattooed on her ass” (such was her gratitude to him for launching so many of her movies). Maybe Dench will bill the Weinstein Company for tattoo removal.
Streep’s protestations of ignorance would make her the least informed member of Hollywood. Was her entourage too busy researching Trump to inform her that she was working with a creep? A who’s who of female stars, from Paltrow to Jolie, are now coming forward to say Weinstein harassed them. Did Streep never talk to them? She is some mentor to the younger generation of female stars.
The dirt slide coming off the mountainous Weinstein is tripping up a slew of liberal phonies: from Gloria Allred’s money-grubbing daughter Lisa Bloom (who served as Weinstein’s feminist beard) to Clinton apologist Lanny Davis to the Mao-admiring Obama aide Anita Dunn. Then there are the abortion champions who took Weinstein’s money to set up this or that bogus program, with which Weinstein hoped to wash his sins.
In the blood of Planned Parenthood, he sought atonement, and in the righteous and enlightened company of the Obamas he hoped to come clean — a fitting end to the Hollywood sham of virtue-signaling without virtue.
Harvey Weinstein interviewing Bill Clinton on CNN in 2012 (YouTube screenshot)