Remembering Dearest Jack: We'll join Salon's Gabriel Bell in recommending Anna Hunter Graham's memoir of a case of rolling sexual harassment and/or assault.
Hunter chronicles the way she was assaulted on the set of a TV film in 1985, when she was 17 years old and working as an intern.
Her piece appears in the Hollywood Reporter. She quotes from letters she sent her sister in real time, and shares her current-day thoughts about what happened back then, and about what she thought at the time.
We were especially moved by this passage. It made us think of JFK:
HUNTER (11/1/17): I have so many reactions reading these letters and looking at photos from that time. The novel Ironweed as a conversation starter! God bless that glorious, pretentious kid.We all might weep for that kid! Also, for the kid who became the adult Mimi Alford, who wrote a superb book in 2013 about her appalling mistreatment by President Kennedy when she was a 19-year-old White House intern.
Mostly though, my heart aches. It aches for the teenager who was so thrilled to join a movie star's party that she gave him a foot rub even though she didn't want to, even though she tried to protest she wasn't good at it. My heart aches for the awkward virgin with the bad hair who had only been kissed three times in her life, laughing as the man her father's age talked about breasts and sex. I want to weep that she found this charming.
Alford describes disgraceful behavior by Kennedy and by the procurers who served him. Like Hunter, she describes her sexual inexperience at the time she was assaulted by Kennedy, and she stresses the fact that she very much liked him.
According to Alford, she was young and completely inexperienced when she was procured for Kennedy. For us, the high quality of the book she wrote makes her story convincing.
Hunter writes an excellent memoir. With the dam temporarily broken, the flood of remarkable stories rolls on.
We Irish! We led the lynch mob against President Clinton in the wake of his deeply unwise but consensual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who wasn't an intern and who wasn't 21. We then proceeded to lead the add-on lynch mob against Candidate Gore which rampaged for two years.
Matthews, Dowd, Kelly and so many more! The lynch mob with its throwback values was very much headed by Us! Also, of course, by Jack Welch, who was weirdly assembling an East Coast Irish Catholic news org at the time.
In this way, we sent George W. Bush to the White House. But even as we hunted Clinton and his chosen successor and his wife, we continued to shower praise on our Dearest Jack.
Alford's book hadn't been written yet. Quite a few other things had.
This conduct was human, none too human. Werewolves of the East Coast Irish Catholic press corps! Ah-oooooooooo!
(By the hard, fast rules of the guild, this still can't be discussed. Other stories are now being told. This one is still verboten.)
Bob's defense of Bill Clinton seems to be that some other men behaved even worse.ReplyDelete
That's not what Somerby is saying.Delete
Somerby seems to be saying that accusations of sexual assault can be politically motivated.Delete
It isn't clear whether he wishes to defend Bill O'Reilly or Bill Cosby or Kevin Spacey. Since Jack Kennedy was forgiven for his sins via martyrdom, perhaps Somerby is saying that those on the good list don't get the same treatment as the bad guys.
The only tenable position on this issue is to condemn sexual assault no matter who engages in it (Joe Biden) and clean up our act so that women can participate fully in the world currently dominated by men. There is no reason why men cannot learn to ask before touching and to protect themselves from later accusations. This isn't rocket science.
Somerby characterizes the Lewinsky/Clinton relationship as consensual. Lewinsky, at the time, didn't accuse Clinton of assault. Somerby has devoted a lot of blog space to debunking the other allegations made against Clinton. It's at least fair to say that the Republicans were only too willing to use these allegations, true or not, to damage Clinton. I don't think Somerby is making any broader point about sexual assault, other than that there are cases of allegations of sexual assault that may be false, i.e. Clinton.Delete
You have to cut Comrade DinC some slack. He gets all excited when the subject of Clinton's blowjobs comes up. It's all he's got these days, poor old withered fella.Delete
Paula Jones accused him and won. It was explained away as his enemies dragging a 100 dollar bill through a trailer park.Delete
Paula Jones had her case summarily dismissed for lack of proof.Delete
Very likely, that list would include David in Ca. Paula Jone's case was also going to collapse because She had changed her story.Delete
The issue with Lewinsky was not sexual harassment; it wasDelete
1. Improper behavior by a sitting President.
2. Perjury by a sitting President
These misdeeds are worse than anything Donald Trump has done as President. (as far as we know.)
Who are you to judge what is proper, Comrade DinC? You voted for an admitted sexual predator, in his own words. You're now supporting a fucking traitor. But you're AOK with that because he makes the trains run on time, eh?Delete
As for perjury, nope, you still don't understand what happened. He did not commit perjury. He avoided answering a non material question in a phony civil suit which was summarily dismissed for lack of evidence.
I would also point out that Clinton was found not guilty of the charges in the impeachment. Remember the Senate? So, those charges were found to be baseless.Delete
Has Trump ever settled a sex harassment suit or been found in contempt of court and fined for lying in one?Delete
."Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” he said.Delete
“You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.”
“You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’” he continued. “And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”
According to interviews BuzzFeed News conducted with former Miss Teen USA contestants, Trump did just that in 1997. Four women who were competing in the pageant that year — including one who was 15 at the time — recalled that Trump walked into the dressing area while they were changing.
One of them called it “shocking” and “creepy” and said she rushed to cover herself. Another recalled that the contestants were “just scrambling to grab stuff… whatever garments they had.”
Another called it “really shocking,” saying, “We were all naked.”
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” Mariah Billado, former Miss Vermont Teen USA, said.
Billado remembered Trump saying something like, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.” Another who was 17 at the time recalled that it seemed Trump felt “it was his given right… because he owned the pageant.”
You're right, we need to get this fucking pervert under oath right away. I'm sure you would agree?
If you check the record I think the first two presidential penis suckings were performed by an intern. She was an intern for the first two, I think. The other six she was a White House employee. She was a White House employee during the orgasm.ReplyDelete
If by "the record" you mean Monica Lewinsky's deposition, there was no oral sex until after she was no longer an intern and no longer working for Clinton. She also describes pursuing him and being the aggressor in their relationship, such as it was.Delete
I thought she was an intern the first two times his penis was in her mouth but you are saying all 8 times she was an employee according to her deposition? Cool.I was thinking of the Starr Report.Delete
I think you just like talking about sex in graphic language. There are better websites for that.Delete
She wasn't HIS employee. Most people work for someone.Delete
I thought the first one or two encounters were when she was an intern but I've taken a cursory glance at her deposition and I can see that she put his penis in her mouth right at the time she first became a White House employee.Delete
It's good to know. I was having lunch with a Trump supporter last fall and he brought up the intern canard and I told him that she was not an intern but a White House employee much to his dismay.
I researched it and thought maybe I was wrong but if one turns to the deposition one can deduce that she was never an intern during their oral sexual encounters.
"She wasn't HIS employee"Delete
The issue here, from the liberal point of view, is not so much the direct chain of command but rather the power differential in the workplace. See also fraternization rules in the military.
But of course Bill Clinton is a liberal icon, so he must be defended, decency and logic be damned.
The issue is fourfold: the cock, the mouth, time and employment status.Delete
@Mao: "But of course Bill Clinton is a liberal icon, so he must be defended, decency and logic be damned."Delete
Take it up with the lib-zombie Somerby then, who has dozens of posts doing just that.
Another issue, surrounding Trump, is three-fold: the pussy, the grabbing, and the deviant mentality that thinks that women want this.
Anon @6:22 you left out a few. Cigar for one.Delete
Comparing Clinton's penis to Trump's flaccid, minuscule, uvula-sized penis is like comparing a wild dragon to a ladybug. It's not even the same universe.Delete
I don't know your personal situation (nor do I want to know), but I'm pretty sure that if you (or Matthews, Dowd, Kelly) would declare your Irishness to any real Irish, they'd just laugh at you. And are you really Catholic, mass-going Catholic? You may well be, what do I know.ReplyDelete
Anyway, isn't "American-Irish-Catholic" just another granfalloon, as Vonnegut called it?
You don't get to decide for anyone else what their ethnic background is.Delete
In context, it's not ethnic background, it's an 'identity'.Delete
Do I get to say that I believe this 'identity' is meaningless, or do I need your permission?
If you follow Vonnegut's thinking, then "American-Irish-Catholic" is just as much a granfalloon as "lib-zombie", or "the working class."Delete
Vonnegut was a socialist, by the way.
You're entitled to an opinion, but how's "the working class" granfalloon? Not every grouping is granfalloon; perhaps you need to read the book.Delete
"Vonnegut was a socialist, by the way."
What of it?
What, in your view, was Vonnegut's precise definition, and how do you presume to know it?Delete
Here's a quote:
"They had found a can of white paint, and on the front doors of the cab Frank had painted white stars, and on the roof he had painted the letters of a granfalloon: U.S.A."
– Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
He would have had nothing but scorn for anyone using the term "liberal-zombie."
You accuse me of not reading Vonnegut; maybe you need to re-read him.
I don't see what Vonnegut has to do with "liberal-zombie". You may not be a zombie, but then if you read comments here you should probably understand what I mean.Delete
I don't mean to insult normal reasonable people; if I did, I apologize.
Only a liberal zombie would GAF what Vonnegut scorned.Delete
Oh, Bob Somerby...I'm never sure if your pleas against tribalism are falling on deaf ears, or your liberal-bashing is finding all-too receptive ears.Delete
Here's what bothers me about this post: "For us, the high quality of the book she wrote makes her story convincing."ReplyDelete
If she hadn't written a high quality book, should her claim be disbelieved? Do you have to be a good writer to have a valid complaint of sexual abuse against someone?
The tone of sitting in judgment about the veracity of someone who is making an accusation is a risky one. Men no longer get to decide whether women's complaints are justified or not. There are courts for that, including the court of public opinion. But it isn't men who are calling women's stories made up, hysterical, exaggerated, or any of the other dismissive terms that they have used forever to cover up their collective bad behavior. Somerby included, apparently.
Many of them are made up. Don't you read Rolling Stone?Delete
Actually, not that many are made up. There are stats on this.Delete
A valid point. Sometimes the more horrible story told, also, makes it more credible. Such was the case with professional victim Paula Jones.Delete
Stories about Jack Kennedy's philandering came out shortly after his death. It was discussed at the time Marilyn Monroe died too. That makes this very old news to anyone who follows such things. The idea that it has been hidden or covered up is wrong for the time period after his death. It was a widely known "secret," kept only from the general public, during his lifetime. Somerby is wrong to suggest that this wasn't known for the past 50 years.ReplyDelete
Maybe he is referring to Welch's cabal when he talks about a secret no one will discuss. The ones who are not discussing it are the members of the cabal itself. Seems to me Somerby has been discussing it and anyone else who wanted to, could. There are a lot of Irish people in the North East and they control quite a few occupations and they do favor those of Irish descent and they do communicate and cooperate with each other. You can say that about politics (local and national), the police, public administration, show business, unions, and so on.
Is Welch the same Welch referred to as a founder of the John Birch Society in the book Dark Money? I have only started reading that book, but perhaps the media control is mentioned there in a later chapter.
"Sounds nice. It's not nice. It's not good. It hasn't been good." Trump was talking specifically about the visa lottery that just facilitated the violent murders of 8 people, but the observation covers everything else progressive left does.ReplyDelete
The guy who committed those murders was radicalized after arriving in the US. The lottery didn't radicalize him. It had nothing to do with those murders. You might as well blame the truck rental company.Delete
The omission of the definite article "the" ("covers everything else progressive left does" instead of "the progressive left") is a trait that Russian speakers of English exhibit. Probably just an amusing coincidence.Delete
Or is it?Delete
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"We Irish! We led the lynch mob against President Clinton in the wake of his deeply unwise but consensual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who wasn't an intern and who wasn't 21. We then proceeded to lead the add-on lynch mob against Candidate Gore which rampaged for two years."ReplyDelete
Didn't Clinton famously have Arkansas troopers "procure" nonconsenting women including Paula Jones who he assaulted?
No, he didn't do that.Delete
Good Lord. Thanks to Somerby, it's the 90's all over again. Anon 7:08 pm, do you also have a link to a website hawking the Clinton Chronicles?Delete
Paula Jones told people She had a great time meeting the President. Then She said he made a pass. Then She sat down with Ann Coulter and some Republican lawyers and emerged with a story resembling nothing like what She said before. All of Clinton's accusers have stories that smelt badly of fish, and changed when somebody took a check book out. INCLUDING the supposedly credible Janita Broaddrick. And the crime is not even what the right did to him, but how Dems have thrown him under the bus.Delete
Clinton's major crimes was his class and background. Had he came from a rich prominent family, what he did would have been joked about or covered up. Even the left(?) his background left a sour taste in their mouth they couldn't get rid of only by savagery towards him and his wife.ReplyDelete
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