People have been reluctant to examine these facts. Understandably so, because these men have behaved in unquestionably predatory ways. Still, the legal and factual shortcuts raise profound questions about the whole course of #MeToo.
That movement arose when Ronan Farrow published explosive reporting about Weinstein’s alleged assaults. Some of that reporting failed to meet basic journalistic standards, but few cared. Weinstein went to jail, and Farrow went on to a celebrated career that only now has begun to unravel.
Sure of their ability to identify heroes and villains, the promoters of #MeToo have failed to uphold journalistic ethics, the presumption of innocence and due process. Their movement has destroyed the lives of countless people, most of them far less famous than Cosby or Weinstein.
But even the most hateful people have rights. We can’t abridge them simply because a national mood commands us to do so. That is why the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned Cosby’s conviction, and why New York courts may overturn Weinstein’s. Vindicating justice requires rejecting the mistakes of #MeToo.