At long last, and under mounting pressure, Hillary Clinton released a terse statement yesterday (through a spokesperson, bravely) condemning serial sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein, from whom she's accepted substantial political contributions over the years. Her former Vice Presidential running mate -- fresh off of embarrassingly mangling factual information regarding the Las Vegas shooting and guns -- was asked on CNN whether the Clinton campaign would return Weinstein's money. As in, actually return it, as opposed to pulling a pitiful DNC-style stunt. Sen. Tim Kaine responded by suggesting that the question isn't valid or relevant anymore because the election is over:
CAMEROTA: He [Weinstein] gave I think $39,000 to yours and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election effort. Should that money be given back?
KAINE: Well, the campaign is over. So here is what's happening. You have to call out bad behavior…
CAMEROTA: But you're saying that money for your campaign has been spent? It can’t be given back?
KAINE: It's over. Yeah, it's over.
Another glaring mistake. The Republican Party, whose chairwoman has been performing intellectual gymnastics to wriggle out of inevitable Trump comparisons, is highlighting the fact that Clinton's campaign entity still has nearly $1 million in its 'cash on hand' coffers. Weinstein helped bundle six figures for Hillary Clinton last year. Is she prepared to relinquish that contaminated money? And will Ronan Farrow's harrowing expose in The New Yorker (to which we alluded last evening) make this story even less tenable for people who are trying to duck the controversy by waiting it out? Farrow has called out Hollywood's silence over the sexual allegations against his father, Woody Allen, and now he's blown the lid off of even more disturbing accusations about Weinstein -- including criminal sexual assault. This long investigatory piece is packed with lurid details, and upsetting to read [content warning]. A few excerpts:
In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’ revelations, and also include far more serious claims. Three women—among them Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans—told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is “used to.” Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them...
Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company...“This wasn’t a one-off. This wasn’t a period of time,” an executive who worked for Weinstein for many years told me. “This was ongoing predatory behavior towards women—whether they consented or not.”
This alleged (and, in at least one case, admitted) conduct is revolting. It spanned years, and was directly aided and abetted by a lot of people, and hushed up or ignored by countless others. Weinstein's alleged actions have led to people unearthing all sorts of flashback-style reminders, from the producer bragging that "Hollywood has the best moral compass" to moments like this: