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MOVIES AND TELEVISION

Trump: The Art of the Insult A new documentary shows exactly how Donald Trump took the White House. Mark Tapson

A full year after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the left is still trying to comprehend – as Hillary Clinton titled her post-mortem book – what happened. How did the matriarch of the Clinton crime syndicate – er, political dynasty, riding the promise of an historic victory as the country’s first female president, lose the White House to a brash, unpolished, shoot-from-the-hip reality TV mogul with no political experience? For that matter, how did the upstart Trump, whom the media and his competitors dismissed early on as an unserious candidate and fraudulent conservative, emerge as the party nominee from a field of seventeen established Republican politicians to challenge Hillary in the first place?

The answer lies in filmmaker Joel Gilbert’s latest documentary, Trump: the Art of the Insult, the title of which is an obvious nod to Trump’s 1987 business advice book, The Art of the Deal. Gilbert’s previous work includes Dreams From My Real Father, which presents the case that Barack Obama’s real father was Communist propagandist Frank Marshall Davis, and There’s No Place Like Utopia, in which Gilbert sets off across the country in search of the Progressive dream.

In his newest work, the filmmaker has compiled an hour and a half of campaign and interview footage of Donald Trump using a verbal flamethrower to lay waste to the media landscape, to the other Republican presidential candidates, and to Democrat opponents Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on his way to a stunning election victory.

The film includes no commentary or narration – Gilbert simply lets Trump speak for himself. And speak he does. Trump has no politician’s filter, as one interviewer says of him, which freed him to hurl insults relentlessly at targets unaccustomed to dealing with an opponent on that level of discourse. Trump went after competitors who were used to polite, orderly policy debates, and instead of engaging them on that level, pegged them with demeaning nicknames and called them schmuck, idiot, stupid, nuts, nut job, doofus, loser, clueless, incompetent, and lacking enough charisma to intimidate other world leaders. The implication was that Trump was everything they were not – especially a winner.

Three Billboards – American Gothic Redux By Marilyn Penn

Three Billboards, written and directed by Martin McDonaugh, has a cover story of a mother’s insurmountable guilt and grief over the murder of her young daughter who was raped while dying Compounding the tragedy of this brutal crime is the apparent inactivity of the police dept in working this case and finding the culprit. The mother, played by a fierce Frances McDormand, hatches a plan to challenge their complacency by calling out the police chief and reprinting the police report on three prominent billboards right outside the small town of Ebbing, Missouri. Several factors complicate this plan: the expense of the billboard rental, the fact that the police chief is dying of pancreatic cancer and the reaction of the town to this public disgrace.

Amid this set-up, you will find grotesque caricatures instead of real characters – American crackers who punctuate every word with the omnipresent F modifier along with other salacious references to female anatomy and disposition. This is set in relief by the letters written by the fatally ill police chief (Woody Harrelson) who is wondrously also capable of multi-syllabic, poetic expression including a reference to Oscar Wilde, straight out of left field for a small-town Missouri cop. Admittedly, he hears the name from his much younger Australian wife, an alcoholic who is inexplicably in nowheresville America with a much older husband, but she would more likely know the name Adele than Oscar Wilde. Mildred, the grieving mother played by Frances, is another unbelievable pastiche who is a formerly battered wife, somehow capable of standing up to the town’s authority and disdain, hurling Molotov cocktails to burn down the police station and contemplating the murder of an incidental bad guy not implicated in her daughter’s case. From the way she is played by McDormand, she would have killed her sadistic husband the second time he assaulted her, not hung around for years of abuse until the children were grown and her son could come to her defense. None of the details in these character sketches make any visual, dramatic or logical sense. Did I mention that there’s also a dwarf?

Rounding out the implausibles is the shiftless cop played by Sam Rockwell as a mama’s boy afraid to own up both to her and his own gay-dom. Though severely burned in the aforementioned fire at the police department, he is out of the hospital and his bandages in a week and mirabile dictu, he overhears a confession of a rapist sitting in the booth behind him at the local tavern. Though Frances has berated the local priest with her choicest potty-mouth expletives earlier in the film, one can only marvel at the author’s resort to a deus ex machina for some serendipitous clues.

If you compare this film with another one also dealing with a person’s guilt and grief, you will see the difference: one author going for easy laughs, casual violence and characters that are grotesques while the other finds the humanity in simple working-class people portrayed with understated honesty and true emotional depth. For that experience, revisit Manchester By The Sea, written by the incomparable Ken Lonergan who will take you inside the characters’ hearts instead of watching them from an insultingly superior perch.

We Were Soldiers by Mark Steyn

On “Fox & Friends” this morning, reacting to the live footage of President Trump in Hanoi, I talked about the Vietnam war’s domestic impact on the American psyche. It took many decades for that to change, and this Veterans Day movie pick is one of the cultural artifacts of that evolution in perception – a film about soldiering that wears its allegiance in its very title. It was released about six months after 9/11, in the spring of 2002, and in that sense is a movie about an old war seen through the lens of a new one.

The best thing about We Were Soldiers is how bad it is. I don’t mean “bad” in the sense that it’s written and directed by Randall Wallace, screenwriter of Braveheart (which won Oscars for pretty much everything except its screenplay, which was not overlooked without reason) and Pearl Harbor (whose plonking dialogue has been dwelt on previously in this space). Mr Wallace is as reliably uninspired as you can get. And yet it serves him well here. Pearl Harbor was terrible, but it was professionally terrible, its lame dialogue and cookie-cutter characters and butt-numbingly obvious emotional manipulation skillfully woven together into state-of-the-art Hollywood product. By contrast, in its best moments, We Were Soldiers feels very unHollywoody, as if it’s a film not just about soldiers, but made by soldiers – or at any rate by someone who cares more about capturing the spirit of soldiery than about making a cool movie. It’s the very opposite of Steven Spielberg’s fluid ballet of carnage in Saving Private Ryan, and yet, in its stiffness and squareness, it manages to be moving and dignified in the way that real veterans of hellish battles often are.

This is all the more remarkable considering that it’s about the first big engagement of the Vietnam war, in the Ia Drang valley for three days and nights of November 1965. In those days, the word “Vietnam” had barely registered with the American public and the US participation still came under the evasive heading of “advisors”. In essence, the 1st Batallion of the 7th Cavalry walked – or helicoptered – into an ambush and, despite being outnumbered five to one by the enemy, managed to extricate themselves. Colonel Hal Moore, the commanding officer of the AirCav hotshots, and Joe Galloway, a UPI reporter who was in the thick of the battle for two days, later wrote a book – a terrific read. That’s the source material from which Wallace has made his movie, with Mel Gibson as Moore and Barry Pepper as Galloway.

We Were Soldiers opens with a brisk, unsparing prelude – a massacre of French forces in the very same valley, 11 years earlier. Then we’re off to Fort Benning, Georgia a decade later, where Colonel Moore and his grizzled old Sergeant-Major, Basil Plumley (Sam Elliott), are training youngsters for a new kind of cavalry. “We will ride into battle and this will be our horse,” announces Moore, as a chopper flies past on cue. Basil Plumley, incidentally, is not in the least bit plummy or Basil-esque. He’s the hard-case to Moore’s Harvard man, a fairly predictable social tension, at least to those BBC comedy fans who treasure the “Dad’s Army” inversion, with lower middle-class Arthur Lowe and his posh sergeant John LeMesurier.

Murder on the Orient Express – A Review By Marilyn Penn

How unfortunate that this very dated material and static production should take place on a fast-moving train. Other questions arise: since this is a film that could only be targeted at a senior demographic, why open it at multiplexes which are geared to younger audiences? This talky period piece is not well served with its updated cast, most of whom have little to do. Dame Judy Dench might as well have been a referential portrait rather than a live actress and Willem Dafoe doesn’t get a chance to do much of anything but display the wide spaces between his teeth in some unflattering close-ups. Kenneth Branagh is eclipsed by a mustache as thick as a dog’s tail and Michelle Pfeiffer, a very glamorous middle-aged woman, seems too whiny and contemporary for this mise-en-scene.

Compared with the many new iterations of Sherlock Holmes that have been so successful on television for the past two decades, Hercule Poirot fails in the cleverness quotient. Compared with so many series of contemporary detectives, he’s a stuffy bore. And most sadly, the saga of the Lindbergh baby pales with the murder of the Kansas Clutters, the rampages of the Manson cult or any of the Hannibal Lecter films. The ante has been upped so drastically in this genre that a cerebral writer like Agatha Christie can’t compete with flashier material on our wide and scenic screens. As I watched the final explications of this who-dunnit and why, I wished I could hand out an immediate quiz to the audience and see how many could regurgitate the denouement correctly My bet is that very few would get a passing grade but more significantly, nobody would leave the movie theater caring.

Vietnam Veterans Set the Record Straight After PBS TV Series Whitewashes Communism By Tyler O’Neil

This week, Vietnam veterans sent a letter to PBS, Ken Burns, and Bank of America setting the record straight about the Vietnam War.PBS’s new documentary TV series, “The Vietnam War,” produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and funded by Bank of America, left out key aspects of the war, including the communist connections of North Vietnamese dictator Ho Chi Minh and the brutal repression after the war, veterans alleged.

“The whole cause of all this agony and bloodshed was the aggressive North Vietnamese invasion of the South. If it hadn’t been for that, none of this ever would have happened,” Lewis Sorley, a Vietnam War veteran, historian, and director at Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH), told PJ Media in an interview Wednesday. “Burns never seems to find that worth mentioning or condemning and I wonder why.”

Sorley alleged that Burns and his fellow filmmakers “had clearly decided that they wanted to tell the standard left-wing narrative of an unwinnable, unjust war.” The PBS documentary also obscured the evil of communism throughout the war and afterward. The veteran suggested that presenting the American and South Vietnamese forces as heroic would be “anathema” to the filmmakers.

In the letter VVFH sent to PBS, Burns, and Bank of America, Vietnam veterans emphasized four key omissions and distortions with broad-reaching consequences. The documentary presented a view of the war “very negatively slanted against both the nation of South Vietnam and American involvement there” that “exacerbates” the current cultural polarization in America today.
1. “Blustering, blundering jingoism.”

First, the documentary portrayed “U.S. support for South Vietnam as blustering, blundering jingoism,” with “Burns’ choice of music, graphics, and interviewees” demonstrating “a bias in favor of the militant leftist anti-war cliches of the 1960s.”

Although Sorley took part in a three-hour interview for the documentary, he only appeared “four times” in the actual program, for only “about half a minute each.” He remembered the interviewer giving off “very dismissive” body language. “The person interviewing me was offended by my understanding of the nature of the war and how it was conducted.”

In a 1980 survey, 91 percent of Vietnam veterans said “I am glad I served my country.” A full 66 percent said they would serve again, even knowing the outcome of the war. According to VVFH, the Burns documentary “demonstrates a prejudice against” these veterans and “the more than 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers killed by the Soviet-equipped and trained North Vietnamese Army and its Viet Cong subordinates.”
Why They Died: The Motivations of American Soldiers in 12 Great Wars
2. Minimizing Ho Chi Minh’s communism.

Perhaps more subversive, the PBS series “minimizes Ho Chi Minh’s life-long dedication to ruthless Leninism, his years of Soviet training and professional work as a covert communist subversive, and the mass atrocities of his supporters in North and South Vietnam.”

In the 1920s and 1930s, Ho worked for the Comintern in Moscow and advised Chinese Communist forces, returning to Vietnam in 1941. According to VVFH, the PBS documentary brushed aside this history, presenting Ho as a Vietnamese freedom fighter.

“Ho Chi Minh, as far as they’re concerned, was a nationalist,” Sorley told PJ Media. “His lifelong devotion to international Communism is largely glossed over.” The historian noted that North Vietnam enjoyed support from Communists in China and the Soviet Union, so portraying Ho as a nationalist is extremely deceptive.
3. Ignoring South Vietnam’s valor.

The VVFH letter also attacked Burns’ documentary for ignoring “the actions of leftist U.S. politicians in cutting off funding for vital military supplies for the South Vietnamese Army” and restraining U.S. air power.

Sorley presented the war’s outcome as the result of the U.S. holding back support while the Soviets continued backing Ho. In his telling, the South Vietnamese fought heroically, and could have won with the right help.

In his interview, Sorley told PJ Media that the South Vietnamese proved very effective in the war, pushing back the Easter Offensive in the spring of 1972, when most of the American troops had already gone home. While many credit U.S. air power for securing the South Vietnamese victory, General Creighton Abrams said the resolve of the South Vietnamese won the day.

“I didn’t see anything in Burns’ portrayal” about that offensive, or about the valor of the South Vietnamese, Sorley said. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Square – A Review By Marilyn Penn

If you like a film-maker’s scolding messages delivered with a sledgehammer instead of pointed arrows, you will appreciate The Square as much as the judges who awarded it the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Beginning as a satirical jab at the contemporary art world, we see Christian, the curator of a prominent Swedish museum, struggle to interpret his own art-babble to a reporter who quotes it back to him in an interview. We also see the emperor’s clothes current exhibition consisting of piles of gravel – some of which are eventually swept up by the janitor; and we see the soon to open conceptual Square – another pathetic stab at such lofty abstractions as helping humanity and insisting on equality and trust. As the counterpoint to all the empty blather, Christian is confronted on the street by a woman screaming for help and running away from someone off camera who is trying to kill her. At first a bystander, Christian joins another man in trying to protect the woman from the enraged man who comes into focus and is restrained by these two good samaritans. After congratulating themselves for their good deed, Christian walks off and discovers that he has been robbed of his wallet, his phone and his cuff-links.

The film works best when director Ruben Ostlund confines himself to showing Christian’s self-delusions – his forgetting to pick up his two daughters after school, his willingness to drive off without stopping to see what or whom he has obviously run over, his unwillingness to see or help the omnipresent homeless begging on the streets of Stockholm. But Ostlund insists on upping the ante, not trusting his audience to perceive the disconnect between proclaimed lofty values and society’s indifference and lack of historical understanding of what has caused the enormous chasm between the haves and have-nots. Because he restricts himself solely to the sins of our own culture, these remain hackneyed observations which culminate in two shocking and violent scenes Though they make us increasingly uncomfortable, the material is too thin and obvious to succeed as a political allegory of racism, colonialism, the evils of capitalism and all the other shop-worn tropes of what’s wrong with Judaeo-Christian culture.

Elizabeth Moss appears as the reporter who has a one-night stand with the handsome curator and returns to challenge him for being someone who uses women as a way of exercising his power over them. In his defense, Christian challenges her for not admitting that she is , in fact, turned on precisely by that power. Given the prevailing absorption in this subject right now, that thought may be the least cliched observation in the film. If you have the stamina to sit through a two and a half hour film that is well-acted and wryly observed ( a baby and a dog serve as de rigeur accessories in the modern workplace), this movie has something to offer. If you are put off by self-righteous Europeans who find the root of all evil in the sins of our culture alone, you may want to skip the preaching and wallow in the remake of Dynasty instead. It’s much less pretentious.

Twilight of the Idols and the Idolaters By Esther Goldberg|

Most of us spend our lives navigating an uneven path between the altar and the mall, neither irreproachable saints nor irredeemable sinners, neither Mother Teresa nor Adolf Hitler. We spend the greater part of our lives in the marketplace, hustling, making compromises with our better selves to close a deal. But we also light the occasional candle, say the occasional prayer, and find delight in our beloved’s smile.https://amgreatness.com/2017/10/19/twilight-of-the-idols-and-the-idolaters/

In his poems, Leonard Cohen referred to the marketplace as “Boogie Street,” a scene not of prostitution necessarily, but of mutual sexual availability certainly. He identified Singapore as one such place, but he also might have tagged Hollywood, where young men and women parade their wares in hopes of being “discovered” by a big-shot producer.
If one is a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood, a meeting with Harvey Weinstein is a consummation devoutly to be wished. It’s not yet the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it’s the express train she needs to catch to get there. She is not unique, has no special talent. In fact, she’s interchangeable with the hundreds of other pretty young things prowling Hollywood. But Harvey can make her a star.

By the time a young woman lands a meeting with Harvey, she’s likely to have acquired a shocking degree of sophistication for someone her age. Zoë Brock, who was a 23-year-old-model when she met Harvey in 1998, is a good example. She describes a particularly wild time she’d had eight years earlier in the south of France. “I had watched helplessly as [Danish supermodel] Helena Christensen vomited all over the bathroom at Jimmy’s after doing too much blow with [dead rock superstar] Michael Hutchence and Jacques Chirac, who was in between his various Presidencies of France.” She was 15 at the time.

Zoë admits to having led Harvey on, telling him about her sexual exploits with famous people and how it was that she acquired a nickname associated with a popular sex toy. And that’s how she came to get what appears to be the standard Harvey Weinstein treatment. Harvey took her to his hotel room, got naked and asked for a massage. She refused. He started to cry. “You don’t like me because I’m fat.” The following day, he sent her his apologies and flowers. This is the routine. Other women have described it in similar terms.

Zoë felt “betrayed and used” and then “amused” though her amusement apparently disappeared once the other women Harvey had hit on in this way came out of the Hollywood mire and started to feed on his corpulent, carbuncled carcass with stories of their victimization. Then she signed on as well. “Me too” is the current Facebook meme.

Zoë’s story tells us something important about Hollywood’s Harvey Weinsteins. They are Robert B. Millman’s “acquired situational narcissists,” men whose latent tendencies might have worked themselves out as they matured, formed lasting relationships, focused on their families. But for the trigger and support of a celebrity worshipping culture, Harvey Weinstein might have turned out to be a fairly decent human being. His former company, Miramax, is a compound of his parents’ names.

Harvey’s “victims” come from a variety of backgrounds. Some, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, are the offspring of Hollywood royalty or, like Katherine Kendall, the children of Washington socialites. Others were anonymous and unpedigreed, like Zoë. What all of them wanted from Harvey—with a want that bordered on obsession–was celebrity.

Good Will Hunting by Mark Steyn

Tina Brown on her former business partner Harvey Weinstein:

I often used to wonder if the physical dissonance between his personal grossness and his artistic sensibility — which was genuine — made him crazy.

I’ll be talking about Weinstein’s “personal grossness” with Judge Jeanine later this evening on Fox News, at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. But our Saturday movie feature is generally more preoccupied with “artistic sensibility”, so we might as well feature an old Weinstein hit, as there aren’t going to be any new ones. Obviously, nobody’s going to be putting “The Weinstein Company presents…” on anything from now on. But it’s not just the name: Without the pot-plant masturbator, there is no company. Indeed, even without his ejection from it, the long-term prognosis wasn’t good for TWC: as Weinstein’s employment contract suggests, minding Harvey’s pants was becoming as important as minding the store. As a producer, his best days were behind him.

So let’s go back a couple of decades to when Weinstein had, so to speak, a surer touch, and plucked an excellent script by two new guys who stuck with him like brothers until a couple of days ago. Around the time this film came out in 1998, there was a radio commercial for some sort of amazing do-it-yourself “literacy” course which began: “How would you like to read an entire novel in your lunch hour?” Personally, I can think of few things worse – and certainly few less rewarding ways to read a novel. Nevertheless, in Good Will Hunting, the eponymous Will, a genius, demonstrates said genius by memorizing a book simply by turning the pages and regurgitating a lot of information at extremely fast speed. This is a very Hollywood idea of genius: there isn’t a studio exec in town who wouldn’t love a kid in the outer office who could read an entire novel over lunch and then pitch it in eight seconds. No more “I just read part of it all the way through,” as Cole Porter summed up one honcho’s approach.

The writers of Good Will Hunting are, in fact, actors — Matt Damon, who back in 1998 was best known for The Rainmaker, and Ben Affleck, who’d turned in a very dreary performance in the boy-meets-lesbian romance Chasing Amy. That said, they had their own peculiar genius: The script is said to have started out as an action thriller about a race against time to avert mass destruction. Then, at Rob Reiner’s suggestion, the boys converted it into an all-talk-and-no-action touchy-feely cockle-warmer about male bonding. The final version trembles on the brink of a dysfunction-of- the-week TV movie but never quite dives in, thanks mainly to Gus Van Sant’s direction and two oral-sex jokes.

Will, played by Matt, is now a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, loitering with his mop and pail by the blackboard and anonymously solving the most complicated mathematical theorems, like:

Σ = (y-¿) x zzz*/7 (@§ç) [$$$$]
a ¶

(I quote from memory)

Actually, that one isn’t too difficult, as it represents the precise formula for late Nineties Weinstein Oscar bait, where zzz = upscale Brit source material, ¿ = Gwyneth Paltrow’s breasts and § =the differential between a film directed by Quentin Tarantino and a film with a cameo by Quentin Tarantino. The line represents the line that sensitive artistic executives know not to cross, and the a=actress and ¶=Harvey’s head peeking out from the bathroom door.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Good Will Hunting’s trump card is Mr Damon, who struts through the film with the cockiness of a good-looking serial killer. He’s not very plausible as a genius, but then he’s not very plausible as a janitor either, so it all evens out. What he has is a breezy intensity and the same kind of bantam rooster quality as the young Cagney, albeit gussied up and airbrushed, as was the Nineties’ wont. With the exception of his three minutes singing “Scottie Doesn’t Know” in Eurotrip, this remains his greatest screen performance.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women – A Review By Marilyn Penn

Purporting to be a biopic of the unconventional Dr. William Moulton Marston, professor of psychology at Radcliffe, inventor of the lie detector, polygamous husband, afficionado of bondage and creator of Wonder Woman, this movie would seem to have all its bases loaded for box office success Add to this the photogenic quality of the cast – Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote – stunners who don’t age a minute during a 20 year time span – and you can only scratch your head at how seriously this movie loses its mark.

The first problem is a confusing script that doesn’t clarify the time frame of the ongoing investigation of Professor Marston’s comic book and its suitability for young readers. It appears to be simultaneous with his professorial career but we find out later that it only began after he was fired from that position. The second is our incredulity at how the professor, his wife and their considerably younger lover, three very intelligent people, ever imagined that they would fit seamlessly into a conventional 40’s suburban family community. After their involvement with sado-masochistic bondage is discovered by a shocked neighbor, they become personae non grata and the threesome dissolves for “the good of the children” with two mothers and one father. How the children react to their parents’ open self-indulgence never makes it to the screen but we have witnessed the three adults in the family bed at a time when such behavior was not considered normal so presumably there was some fallout for the younger generation. It’s also never clear how an unemployed professor and a wife working as a secretary are supporting all of them prior to Wonder Woman’s success Knowing what we do about how little the creators of other comics earned, it’s still not clear what kept them going.

What begins as a look at a serious academic, his brilliant wife and an intuitive student whose mother was a leading suffragist and Margaret Sanger’s sister, intermittently turns into a Hollywood production with a pop vocal score reminiscent of a Bobby Darin movie. The bondage scenes are more embarrassing than erotic as is the attempt to justify Wonder Woman’s scanty costume , frequent entanglements with a rope and talented handcuffs as symbols of power for young American girls. The cast is compromised by the silliness of too much of this and alternatively, the ludicrous grandiosity of what Wonder Woman is meant to represent. We are left with a portrait of a charismatic man who finagled two women into a lifelong relationship that served him well and outlasted him for a long time after his death. But given the temper of today’s times, where is the authorial cynicism concerning the imbalance of power when a professor convinces his student to have sex with him and his wife? And where is the obvious question about how much his “philosophy” conveniently allowed the manipulation of a girl who had been raised by Catholic nuns and a wife reduced to sitting on a window-sill at her husband’s lectures?

The story of the professor is a fascinating one but given the fact that he was a psychologist, the film’s subject and audience merit at least a modicum of skepticism concerning his motivation and rationalization of submission to bondage. Though Wonder Woman eventually morphed into a fighter for truth and justice, she seems to have begun as a controlling man’s sexual fantasies come true.

The Nominees for Best Hypocrite in a Documentary Are… By Julie Kelly

Hollywood’s favorite plotline is when the little guy (or girl) triumphs over the powerful. Whether it’s a curious secretary, an intrepid reporter, or a low-level government bureaucrat, Hollywood has made gazillions of dollars selling a narrative that anyone can take down the evil rich guy, his abettors, and the entire power structure around him.https://amgreatness.com/2017/10/12/the-nominees-for-best-hypocrite-in-a-documentary-are/

Well, lookie what we have here. It’s Hollywood’s favorite story, but this time, it’s a reality show. The craven villain is real and his victims are real. His accomplices are not nameless, faceless flunkies; they are some of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry, media, and politics. Most of these cowards have gone into hiding, playing the “babe-in-the-woods routine,” to borrow a line from a famous mob movie. When they do finally emerge, their scripted lines are delivered as convincingly as a hostage statement. They cleverly give short-shrift to Weinstein’s actions and pivot right to “how brave the women are” who’ve come forward. Others claim they never personally witnessed the misconduct (no duh) and are shocked, SHOCKED that a Hollywood titan would behave this way.

The audience is not cheering. Americans, for the most part, are disgusted by the Harvey Weinstein drama, which is worsening by the day. The outrage is well-placed and well-deserved; the celebrity-political class that yammers about empowering women and protecting the vulnerable are now fully exposed for the frauds they are.

Not like we deplorables didn’t have a clue. These are the same people who lecture us about global warming while they own private jets and multiple mansions, demand gun control while they employ armed security details, oppose border security while they live behind gates and walls. So, giving lip service to sexual harassment while they keep the secrets about a sexual predator who gave them jobs and political donations shouldn’t be any surprise.

If they give an award for Best Hypocrite in a Documentary during next year’s Oscars, it will be a very tight category with many deserving recipients. Let’s run down the competition so far, shall we? Hit it, orchestra:

Michelle Obama: The former first lady recently said, “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice…to me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.” Since the Weinstein accusations were published last week, Mrs. O has strangely lost her own voice. Her husband released a statement on Tuesday to speak on her behalf, saying the couple is “disgusted” at the allegations.
Jimmy Kimmel: The comedian-turned-Democratic-puppet hasn’t addressed the Weinstein affair on his late-night political platform, despite the fact he interviews celebrities for a living. Kimmel’s only mention was a twitter spar with Donald Trump, Jr. where he calls the “big story” from the New York Times “disgusting.” (Notice how he masterfully calls the story, not the person, disgusting.) Even more outrageous is the fact Kimmel had Matt Damon on his show Tuesday night; Damon has been accused of helping torpedo an article back in 2004 about Weinstein procuring young women in Italy (Damon denies the claim.) Kimmel also had Mark Ruffalo on his show; Ruffalo is prolific Trump-hater and self-proclaimed champion of women and who routinely tweets about his solidarity with the softer sex. (Ruffalo has sent out one tweet about Weinstein and could also be a nominee in this category.) Kimmel did not ask either one to comment on the Weinstein accusations.
Basically everyone at NBC News: In what could become the biggest Weinstein cover-up story, Ronan Farrow revealed this week how the media succumbed to pressure from Weinstein and others to not report on the accusers coming forward. In a jaw-dropping interview on MSNBC Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow asks Farrow, “you just said one of these women spoke on camera in back in January, why did you end up reporting this for the New Yorker and not for NBC News?” When Ronan told her to ask NBC executives why it wasn’t reported, Maddow responded that “NBC executives said the story wasn’t publishable, wasn’t ready to go by the time you brought it to them.” Ronan pushed back: “It is not accurate to say it was not reportable, in fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.” Think about that. NBC said it wasn’t publishable. The same network that has pushed phony Russia-conspiracy stories non-stop for a year? The same network that claimed it had Donald Trump’s tax returns? The same network whose news coverage, according to a study published last spring, is 93 percent negative against Donald Trump? Suddenly the NBC higher-up became scrupulous vetters of news stories? Gimme a break.
Alyssa Milano: In a Marie Claire story published in March, Milano said this about the women’s movement resisting President Trump: “So, with powerful hearts and pussies, we began the fight. We realized the power of our collective voices and awakened a sleeping, feminist giant. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s strong. She’s pissed.” In a post Monday, five days after the New York Times article appeared, Milano said she was “sickened over the disturbing allegations” but that her statement was “complicated for me” because “Georgina Chapman (Weinstein now-estranged wife) is my friend. It is because of my love for Georgina…that I haven’t publicly commented on this until now.” The next day, she tweeted out a year-old NPR article about allegations against Trump.
George Clooney: The husband of an international rights attorney has minced no words when it comes to his criticism of Donald Trump and his support for women’s causes. The actor admitted he started hearing rumors about Weinstein nearly 30 years ago but “took those rumors with a grain of salt.” He claims he never saw any of this behavior by Weinstein even though Clooney acknowledged the producer was a bully but “you just put up with certain bad behavior because, if he yells and screams but he gets ‘Pulp Fiction’ made, who cares if he yells and screams.” Clooney also subtly blames another female reporter for not breaking the story sooner and “if she did these interviews and this investigation, she didn’t run the story, and I and a lot of other people would have liked to have known it.” (Ouch, my sides. Must stop laughing.)