Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Everyone knew Harvey Weinstein was a bad guy. The bloated, greasy movie mogul slimed his way through countless ballrooms, suites and restaurants trailing lies, threats and promises.
But he had the right politics.
At the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood, honoring Hillary Clinton, the recently defeated candidate, drinks named “Toxic Masculinity” were being served. Also on the scene was Harvey Weinstein. And Harvey had his thick wallet open to the tune of $100K for the abortion organization.
Harvey was sitting with Hillary. Not to mention Meryl Streep and Shonda Rimes.
The A-list celebs in attendance knew exactly what and who Harvey was. His habits were no secret. If you look carefully enough at certain TV shows and movies, they are referenced and winked at. (The FOX TV series Action depicted the Weinsteins as the predatory Rothsteins.) But his money was good. And his connections were even better. The intersection of media, entertainment and politics climaxed with CNN giving Harvey Weinstein an hour to interview Bill Clinton in the ’12 election season.
Does anyone even need to ask why nobody would run the story?
The myth is that Harvey has been outed and exposed because progressive politics is making us better people. Tell that to the attendees sipping “Toxic Masculinity” cocktails while Harvey sat with Hillary: a predator with the wife of another predator whose specialty including covering up his sexual abuses.
Harvey fell because his influence had slipped.
The New York Times had the story in ’04 and buried it. But back then Harvey came packing Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9⁄11 and Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Good luck finding anything Harvey’s got in theaters now that you can name. His slate tells the story. Sequels to Shakespeare in Love, Sin City, Kill Bill and even Fahrenheit 11⁄9, a desperate Moore hit piece against President Trump.
Harvey never needed sequels when he was at the top of his game. The New York Times brought down the hammer when it was safe and when it didn’t need him anymore. That’s what it’s about.
It’s why Meryl Streep waited until Harvey had been fired from his own company to put out a statement denouncing him. The “disgraceful news” had “appalled” her and “those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported.”
But they didn’t appall that nameless “us” until he was no longer in a position to support us.
That’s quite a comedown from the Golden Globes and her infamous line, “I’d like to thank my agent and God, Harvey Weinstein.”
“Not everybody knew,” Streep insists. And you can practically hear her trademark stilted enunciation in the lines. “If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.”
Not everyone knew. If everybody knew, they would have written about it. Wouldn’t they?
Meryl Streep is innocent because the media is innocent. It’s a neat mutual alibi. And it must be innocent because the alternative is unthinkable. Either Streep or her pals are innocent. Or when Hillary and Meryl were guzzling “Toxic Masculinity” cocktails with Harvey to celebrate Planned Parenthood, they knew.
And there was a conspiracy of silence.
“Such was the power of Harvey Weinstein in 2000 that despite the dozens of camera flashes that went off on that sidewalk that night, capturing the sight of an enormously famous film executive trying to pound in the head of a young newspaper reporter, I have never once seen a photo,” a New York Magazine writer recollects.
You can find copies of that photo right next to Obama’s Khalidi tape and all the other news that’s unfit to print. Some things go on the front page. Others end up inside the media’s impenetrable vault.
The activists behind the investigative videos that nearly brought down Planned Parenthood are on trial in California. Did Attorney General Xavier Becerra show any interest in Harvey’s shenanigans?
Xavier was on stage with Harvey when the latter was promoting another of his gimmicks.
Because it’s not about “toxic masculinity” or “sexism”. It’s about power. And power is inherently corrupting. It’s inherently corrupting when it’s being wielded by white men or black women, by gay or straight, by street corner pimps or by big donors to Planned Parenthood. Power always punches down.
That’s what the left refuses to admit. It demands unlimited power. And then when you turn over a rock, a Harvey Weinstein, a Bill Clinton or a Ted Kennedy comes crawling out. Behind all the virtue signaling, is unlimited vice. And the more virtue signaling you see, the more vice is rotting underneath.
In ’15, the Weinstein Company was peddling “The Hunting Ground”: a discredited documentary pushing fake statistics and alarmism about campus sexual assaults. Meanwhile the real “hunting ground” was in Harvey’s hotel room. That same year, Lauren O’Connor, a Weinstein employee, had written a memo warning about Harvey’s abuses, and a model had accused him of groping her. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance chose not to prosecute and got a major donation from Weinstein’s lawyer.
That’s just the way it goes.
In ’12, Harvey Weinstein hosted a fundraiser for Obama at his Manhattan place (presumably the $14.9 million eight bedroom townhouse) and then another at his Westport estate (possibly the 1.9 acre estate next door to a place rented by the Clintons.) The co-hosts were Aaron Sorkin and Anne Hathaway.
Malia Obama got a prized internship with the Weinstein Company. Michelle praised Harvey as a “wonderful human being” and a “good friend”.
Now Michelle, Meryl, Hillary and the gang will put on their shocked faces. But why bother?
Harvey used power the way that Bill Clinton and the Kennedys did. Leftist heroes have always abused women. Just ask Ira Einhorn, Maulana Karenga, Chairman Mao or Lavrentiy Beria.
The only real crime that Harvey is guilty of in his circles is letting his ego outpace his achievements. If he had still been able to drive money and access to the media, and political narratives for the left, he could have gone on having his way with anyone and anything. Instead Harvey couldn’t deliver anymore.
The only real sin in leftist circles is failure.
Remember Michael Moore and Harvey Weinstein agitprop like Sicko and Capitalism? Exactly. (Moore’s Twitter account is quite vocal about President Trump and the anthem protests. It doesn’t seem to have much to tweet about Harvey.) The Hunting Ground quickly fell apart. So much for the narrative.
The left doesn’t just eat its own for ideological reasons. Though indeed it does. And the ritual cannibalism of a top lefty like Weinstein is a prime piece of virtue signaling. But it’s also just business.
To quote a movie that Harvey didn’t produce, “Business bad? F___ you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F___ you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F___ you, pay me.”
Either you deliver money, access and narrative. Or your own crimes will be used to bring you down.
The corruption and abuses so prevalent on the left are part of the privileges of power. But those same privileges become a noose around your neck when the hour comes. The left encourages its own to steal, to abuse and to gorge on the privileges of power. But that means they can easily be brought down.
And then there’s a scandal. And the next guy in the machine takes their place.
In Hollywood’s abuse circles, there are those who have their uses. And those who don’t. It’s why Roman Polanski still gets plenty of cover. Harvey still had money, but he wasn’t pulling his weight anymore.
And so he had to go.
In ’09, Harvey Weinstein wrote an editorial titled, “Polanski has served his time and must be freed” in which he described Polanski’s brutal rape as a “so-called crime”.
Harvey covered for Roman the way that so many industry and media types covered for him. And now that he’s been brought down, the real question is how many others are still being covered for.
How many big names and big bundlers who get their pictures taken with the Obamas and the Clintons (and what’s left of the Kennedy clan) at fundraisers and luncheons are guilty of the same thing and worse? As long as the left’s media cartel remains in power, one thing is certain, we will never know.
Everyone knew about Harvey. They know all about their own.