Via the Daily Beast, this is welcome and surprising.
Or is it? Go figure that celebrities who made their name in comedy have less patience for “cancel culture” than many of their colleagues.
This is what she’s mad about:
Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know. https://t.co/YV4UoxrPHI
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) August 31, 2019
That smells like a call for a blacklist, something with which Hollywood has some experience and which has new currency on the left in the age of Resistance. Arguably Messing’s impulse is less obnoxious than what Joaquin Castro did to Trump donors in San Antonio for the simple reason that anyone who can afford to attend a presidential fundraiser in Beverly Hills can afford private security and a few lost job opportunities. But the point of both efforts is the same — making support for Trump a sanctionable offense, whether professionally or personally in the form of harassment by fringey wackjobs.
And one could argue that what Messing is doing is worse. The info on Trump donors posted by Castro was publicly available in FEC reports. I don’t think that’s much of a defense to the charge of “doxxing” since the intent behind curating and amplifying the list of donors to cause them grief is the same as it is in true doxxing, but the fact remains that the info is out there and accessible. The fundraiser is a private affair. If the attendees don’t want their participation to be publicly known, what’s the ethical reason to reveal it? Is it a matter of such burning public interest that it qualifies as “news” if Adam Sandler, say, shows up to give Trump a check? Are there complete lists available of the attendees at every Democratic presidential fundraising event this year?
I don’t recall there being a clamor for that information to be revealed.
One point to counter Whoopi, though. The public *should* know when a donor contributes so lavishly to a top official’s campaign (or to associated Super PACs) that he or she is conceivably buying influence over policy, no? One of the egregious things about Castro’s quasi-doxxing effort was that it roped in people who had given nothing more than a few thousand dollars to the Trump campaign. They were “maxxed out” donors, but no one’s setting pharma policy based on what a retiree who cut Trump a check for $2,800 thinks about the issue. Those people have no influence. A Charles Koch or George Soros who can plow tens of millions into a politician’s operation really does move the needle potentially on what the U.S. government does with policy, though. How much dough should a private citizen have to donate before his or her interest in privacy is outweighed by the public’s interest in knowing who’s buying and selling its leaders? The San Antonio “maxxed out” threshold is way too small. Is a Beverly Hills fundraiser also still too small? Laying aside that Messing’s intimation of a blacklist is pernicious, should the public know when six-figure checks are changing hands between citizens and politicians?