Saturday, October 7, 2017

David Carr Warned Us About Harvey Weinstein

The conservative troll media complex is trying to make hay out of the Harvey Weinstein debacle. They're claiming that no one is covering the story, no one has ever called out Weinstein for his behavior, and that there is a conspiracy of silence out there. This is all bullshit, and it's projection on their part. Weinstein is a divisive, ugly figure but he's not in charge of the country, he's not a viable candidate for anything, and he's basically invisible to over 99% of America. He is not a household name. He's known to the elites of both coast, if that.

But let's get one thing out of the way--Harvey and Bob Weinstein aren't billionaires. They're barely worth $200 million, each, and their business interests have always been mired in debt, bad decisions, and flops. Contrast that with the multi-billionaires dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the GOP and get back to me when you can reasonably conclude that "both sides" are just as bad as one another.

The simple fact is, if you want to work in Hollywood, you have to deal with Weinstein:

More than a day after The New York Times published a blistering report detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment against prolific film producer Harvey Weinstein, none of the movie mogul's frequent A-list collaborators have spoken publicly about the news story that has rattled Hollywood. 

CNN reached out to representatives for a dozen actors and directors who have worked on Weinstein-produced films. All failed to respond or declined to comment. 

On social media, Jessica Chastain, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Brie Larson, and Amber Tamblyn are a few of the artists and filmmakers who posted messages of support to Weinstein's accusers or commented on the Times report.

"As always, I stand with the brave survivors of sexual assault and harassment. It's not your fault. I believe you," Larson wrote. 

    Chastain, considered an awards season contender for her work in Aaron Sorkin's "Molly's Game," said: "Women are fighting against the 'Grab Them By The Pussy' normalization & speaking up. It's never easy to be the first to go on record #Respect"

    The idea that Weinstein has been central to Democratic politics is ludicrous:

    It's tough to get to the end of Weinstein's self-assigned centrality, as Democratic candidate Mark Green recently found out. The Friday before Election Day, he hosted a Democratic Unity dinner, with everyone from Bill Clinton to Jon Stewart on the bill. But some Democrats weren't buying. So three nights later, Weinstein was at the Four Seasons trying to engineer a cease-fire. Roberto Ramirez and Al Sharpton wanted people ousted from the Green campaign for what they believed were racist attacks. Weinstein suggested he'd hire a fired aide to work in the movie business with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow. When Green declined, Weinstein tried to cast Bill Clinton as peacemaker, but when Clinton was driven by the Four Seasons and saw the phalanx of cameras, he felt set up. Clinton's car fled down 58th Street, cameras chasing its taillights.

    "All I want to fucking do is fucking unite this fucking city, and you won't let me!" Weinstein screamed, according to a Green source. With that, Weinstein called the Republican candidate and offered his support. "Bloomberg was willing to reach out to working-class communities Harvey relates to," says a Miramax spokesperson.

    A Green lieutenant saw it another way: "It's what can happen when he doesn't get his way," the source says.

    Michael Bloomberg got elected mayor of New York City due in no small part to Harvey Weinstein. Oh, and, of course:

    Some Democrat.

    Weinstein is human filth, pure and simple. For every Weinstein supporting Democrats, there are fifty on the Republican side with more money, more influence, and more control over the GOP's messaging machine. This is not a "both sides do it" story. This is a story about finally finding someone who supports Democrats who also happens to have some money that he gives to the Democratic Party (all of which has now been donated to causes that support women).

    People have been following this for years:

    And the late David Carr warned us about Weinstein:

    Shortly after beginning work on this profile, I stumble across a trip wire that fires conspiracy and fomentation. Something in his unalloyed nature brings out the storyteller in people, as long as no name is attached. It's all sex, lies, but no videotape.

    "Are you on a land line?" says one.

    "Has he threatened you? Offered you a book?" says another.

    "I love talking with Harvey," says one reporter. "He knows movies. But at the same time, there's always this concern that he really does throw babies in the pond."

    Another reporter insists that Miramax put a tail on the whole time they worked on a story about Miramax.

    "He is a diabolical personality combined with a relentless drive and an understanding of mass appeal," says a director of small movies. "With that combination, the danger becomes enormous and limitless."

    Not all of it is table talk on steroids. Throughout the story process, Weinstein seems to have near-perfect visibility into my notebook, ticking off a list of people I've talked to and what we talked about and then taking pleasure as my eyes widen. Sources, some of whom whisper heinous things about Weinstein, turn around and drop a dime to Miramax, seeking a measure of inoculation. When a leak has occurred, the company has been known to go through e-mail, and the offender is warned.

    As the keeper of star-making machinery, Weinstein has re-engineered the media process so that he lives beyond its downsides. His other assets—a book-publishing company and a working knowledge of the frailties of most reporters—mean that when Weinstein acts like a numbskull at Cannes, he gets a pass.

    A. J. Benza, who held Weinstein harmless when he was a gossip at the Daily News, has a book on Talk-Miramax that will become a movie. Liz Smith calls him the Irving Thalberg of our age, and Weinstein reciprocates by giving her a steady taste of star quotage. Rush and Molloy can't blurb one of his actors without mentioning how "critically acclaimed" his last project was.

    "He owns you guys, all of you," bitches one West Coast film executive. "All media is controlled out of New York, and he is the king. He has the kind of Teflon none of us can understand."

    Having had my own torturous negotiations with Weinstein, I've gained an understanding of his ability to maintain custody of his image.

    "There is one story that needs to be told about this guy, and you are not going to tell it," hisses a New York film executive. "You're going to write another story about this amazing indie genius, and if you think I am going to participate in the lionization of that fat fuck for even a second, you are out of your mind."

    The idea that no one knew Weinstein was an abomination of a person is ludicrous. This is just media manipulation in action. Arise, ye bots. Make a thousand links appear. What a bunch of Mularkey.

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