So why didn't anyone speak: In Sunday's editions, Maureen Dowd finally found her niche. She was reinvented as the New York Times' Hollywood justice reporter.
In the Sunday Review, she wrote a giant, sprawling report about Harvey Weinstein based on an interview with Uma Thurman. According to today's page A3, it was "the weekend's most read article."
Dowd also wrote a sprawling profile of Tim Robbins on page one of the paper's Sunday Styles section.
The Thurman piece ran 2800 words. Including both its parts, the piece with Robbins was slightly longer.
That represents a lot of copy. Let's start with something Robbins said—something Dowd failed to pursue:
DOWD (2/4/18): Asked about the tectonic shift for women in Hollywood, Mr. Robbins says he is happy that ''the incredibly libidinous atmosphere in Hollywood is changing'' so that men will be more afraid ''to intimidate women into compliance in horrible, rapey ways.''In fact, Robbins discusses his interactions with Weinstein over the years in some detail. But his most striking statement appears in that passage:
''Everybody knew,'' he says in a disgusted whisper about Harvey Weinstein. ''Everybody knew.''
He thinks there might actually be a fundamental shift, ''not just on the man-woman thing but the male-male thing, too. That's been happening for a long time.''
"Everybody knew," Robbins said, referrng to Weinstein's sexual misconduct, which seems to have reached criminal levels over a substantial number of years.
"Everybody knew," Robbins said. We hapless liberals tend to lionize those who make such comments. To our tiny, small, withered minds, a comment like that helps make Robbins a progressive star.
"Everybody knew," Robbins said. Presumaby, everybody includes Robbins himself. Needless to say, Dowd didn't pose the obvious question:
Motherfrumper, why didn't you speak if you knew? Why did you, and "everybody" else, maintain the culture of silence?People like Dowd know that, under industry rules, such questions mustn't be asked—not even of someone like Robbins, who is described, in the headlines above Dowd's piece, as a "veteran activist." She blew right past the same moral question in her tedious interview with Thurman.
Credit where due! Early on, Thurman is quoted suggesting that she herself might be to blame in the case of some "young girls" whom Weinstein attacked and assaulted. In this passage, she's discussing the public silence she maintained after she herself was attacked in a way she describes in the interview:
DOWD (2/4/18): ''Pulp Fiction'' made Weinstein rich and respected, and Thurman says he introduced her to President Barack Obama at a fund-raiser as the reason he had his house.According to Dowd, Thurman looked anguished in her elegant apartment. That may explain why no questions were posed by Dowd about the long public silence which let "young girls" be attacked.
''The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was,'' she told me one recent night, looking anguished in her elegant apartment in River House on Manhattan's East Side, as she vaped tobacco, sipped white wine and fed empty pizza boxes into the fireplace.
''I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of 'Kill Bill,' a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.''
Thurman stresses that Creative Artists Agency, her former agency, was connected to Weinstein's predatory behavior. It has since issued a public apology. ''I stand as both a person who was subjected to it and a person who was then also part of the cloud cover, so that's a super weird split to have,'' she says.
Under industry rules, these bargains will always be struck when Hollywood stars agree to speak to tabloid stars like Dowd. People like Dowd will not push glorified people like Robbins and Thurman about their failures to speak and to act.
Instead, glorified people like Robbins and Dowd will be burnished in long, flattering profiles. A photo of Thurman will eat perhaps eighty percent of the front page of the Sunday Review, with these huge words next to a photo from her elegant flat:
A Goddess, A Mogul, And a Mad GeniusIn this case, the person who didn't speak gets to be hailed as "A Goddess." In the case of Robbins, he gets to rattle at great length. No embarrassing questions get asked!
As Robbins rattles further, he's quoted offering this remark:
''It's really, really important that women have the floor now to talk about this because it has been so pervasive throughout every industry as long as I've been alive.''
In this way, we know that he's a veteran hero of activist labor. Dowd knows she mustn't ask the obvious question:
"So why did you refuse to speak up? And why did everyone else?"
In an early comment about the interview with Thurman, one poor soul suggested that Thurman is less a hero than those who actually broke the ice, speaking up when no one else had done so. ("I've mixed feelings regarding Ms. Thurman's story.") This poor soul was quickly assailed for making this vile remark.
Elsewhere in comments, everybody was praising the goddess for her transplendent courage. We modern liberals are simply unable to deal with the actual world.