Whom to believe? On the one hand, this is just Dunham and Brown claiming they said this, with no hard evidence to back it up.
On the other hand, Hillary’s always been pretty chill about rapists who can do something for her.
Weinstein had been preying on women in Hollywood for 25 years by the time Hillary announced her 2015 candidacy according to women like Sophie Dix and Annabella Sciorra. Are we to believe that the Clintons, with endless friends in the entertainment industry, never got a heads-up about Weinstein until Brown and Dunham said something?
“I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Ms. Dunham said she told Kristina Schake [in 2016], the campaign’s deputy communications director. She recalled adding, “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fund-raisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”…
Ms. Dunham said that Ms. Schake seemed surprised at her warning, and that Ms. Schake said she would tell Robby Mook, the campaign manager, Ms. Dunham recalled in an interview.
With the Democratic National Convention approaching in summer 2016, Ms. Dunham said she also warned Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton who was leading efforts with celebrity campaigners. As far as Ms. Dunham could tell, the campaign had not responded to her concerns about Mr. Weinstein. Weeks before Election Day, the producer helped organize a star-packed fund-raiser: an evening on Broadway with Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway and others.
Brown supposedly mentioned Weinstein’s behavior to a member of Hillary’s inner circle in *2008*, telling that person “Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated.” Yet his fundraising for Hillary was allowed to proceed apace. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said no one notified him of Dunham’s warning and Schake and Elrod told the Times that Dunham never mentioned rape — which is an interesting admission, as it seems to confirm that Dunham did discuss Weinstein’s behavior with women with them irrespective of which precise terms she used to describe it. Was “rape” some sort of magic word that would have caused the campaign to sever ties with Weinstein but “sexual assault” or “serial predator” or “notorious harasser” somehow didn’t?
Hillary’s comms director, Nick Merrill, threw the allegation back in Dunham’s face: “Only she can answer why she would tell [us] instead of those who could stop him.” Fair point. Dunham has some connections in Hollywood. If she was convinced “Harvey’s a rapist,” she could have gone to the LAPD under the radar and pointed them towards people whom they should have been questioning. She probably feared that if she had done that, her role in exposing Weinstein would have gotten back to him and he would have wrecked her career over it — an entirely reasonable fear, as the NYT story in which she’s quoted today details at sickening length just how many spies, stooges, and friends Weinstein had looking out for him.
Dunham could throw the allegation right back at Merrill, though. Why didn’t the first woman major-party nominee for president, a feminist icon, use her own considerable cultural power to get law enforcement looking at Weinstein? The district attorney in Los Angeles and the attorney general of California last year were both women and Democrats; the latter is hoping to become the second woman major-party nominee for president in 2020. The attorney general of the United States was also a woman Democrat. A quiet request from Hillary farking Clinton to investigate Weinstein’s behavior would have been taken seriously by any of them. Why was that request never made despite Team Hillary apparently having been warned more than once about Weinstein?
And why wasn’t Barack Obama warned before he sent his teenaged daughter to intern for Weinstein? According to the Times, one of Weinstein’s favorite lines in bullying people was “I know the president of the United States. Who do you know?” Was protecting Harvey more important than protecting Malia Obama?
Please do find some time this morning to read the entire NYT expose, as it properly moves the focus away from Weinstein’s endless sleaze to the endless sleaze of the many, many people who looked out for him because they stood to make a buck from doing so. The passages about CAA’s complicity in procuring for him (and the details about Weinstein bullying staffers into providing him with penile injections before meeting with women) will give you a case of the creeps that’ll last the rest of the week. Quote: “At C.A.A., for example, at least eight talent agents were told that Mr. Weinstein had harassed or menaced female clients, but agents there continued to arrange private meetings.” Weinstein’s business associations were allegedly chock full of scumbags, too. Here’s a charming story:
Fellow executives helped mask Mr. Weinstein’s behavior going back to 1990. That year, a 23-year-old assistant said he sexually assaulted her when she ran an errand at his home. Bob Weinstein worked on the confidential settlement, according to two people familiar with the agreement — the first of at least three he would be involved in over the years. In a statement, Bob Weinstein said he did not recall being informed of the initial settlement, and denied being aware that his money was used to pay off two other accusers.
After the episode with the young assistant, Harvey Weinstein confessed that he had done “something terrible,” according to John Schmidt, then Miramax’s chief financial officer. “I don’t know what got into me. It won’t happen again,” Mr. Schmidt, in an interview, recalled Mr. Weinstein telling him. Mr. Weinstein denied having this conversation.
Tort lawyers must be licking their chops this morning. In fact, one racketeering lawsuit has already been filed. I can’t believe he hasn’t been indicted for anything yet.