One of my favorite comic strips, Bloom County, years ago depicted the press in their quest to find the latest scandal as a pack of braying hounds on the scent.
Much the same is the torch- and pitchfork-bearing on social media, which when not seeking the head of Harvey Weinstein in the latest scandal from Hollywood, is defending this man’s horrific treatment of women.
While Weinstein deserves his day in court, he will certainly deserve anything that happens. But I’m concerned that the kangaroo court of public opinion is a little too little, too late.
There’s a term being bandied about the talk-show circuits lately called virtue signaling, by which people speak out against (or for) issues to show their solidarity and good beliefs.
The problem for me, at least in this instance, is that the man, should the accusations prove true, was a predator for decades on stars and starlets, and no one said or did anything about it. As a matter of fact, there were quite a bit of people in all walks of life running interference for this man.
But, decades went by, and no one did anything.
The saying by Edmund Burke goes “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” and that in a nutshell was the problem here.
Yes, there is the problem of the heinous treatment of women, and the culture of depravity, and the two-faced nature of the Hollywood elite, but what I find most egregious here is that this behavior went unremarked until just recently.
There also are several theories as to why this happened now.
On a morning talk show Monday, someone was talking about a weekend interview by Adam Baldwin, who posited that Weinstein’s depravations happened to land on someone related to a person higher up the Hollywood food chain than Weinstein.
That’s a scary thought. That means that had Weinstein exhibited a little restraint, he could have continued his alleged predations unchecked for decades more.
I can’t say whether that’s the case or not, and that’s not really the point here. The point is that somebody, sometime in the past should have pressed this matter.
Braying after the fact does nothing but help egos. Better it should be done before too much damage happens, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.