Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Political links, mostly but not entirely about sexism

I don’t usually have anything positive to say about the Christian press. So it’s nice to salute Charisma magazine for reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against Christian comedian John Crist. Way better than a Christian site publishing revenge porn.

Speaking of which: “Teens aren’t committing suicide over shared pictures of themselves vomiting at parties. Politicians aren’t bothering to resign over leaked photos of themselves in blackface. It’s “revenge porn,” the sharing of sexual photos without consent, that remains a shockingly potent form of blackmail and attack — as Katie Hill just found.” And people who Google Hill aren’t looking to learn about the scandal, they’re mostly looking to see her naked.

Heard about Trump Jr. getting booed? Writer Matthew Sheffield said it’s part of a campaign to rebrand the alt.right as Christian nationalists.

Payday lenders worry a better economy would be bad for their bottom line. So they’re working to prevent Arizona raising the minimum wage.

I’ve never had much use for right-wing economists such as Robin Hanson and Bryan Caplan. But at least they haven’t fired a gun at a crowd of protesters. Echidne (an economist herself) wonders if so many economists are creepy right-wingers because those beliefs go hand-in-hand with free-market fanaticism.

A number of conservative specfic writers have objected that markets accepting stories from women, black writers or other non-WASP male groups are objectionable and exclusionist. Even though an anthology by writers named Dave obviously excludes most women, that’s apparently OK. Case in point.

Crackpot and liar Dave Daubenmire claims women get pregnant, then have abortions so they can use the body parts in Satanic rituals. Because his gullible audience are always ready to believe in Satanic babykiller lies. They always have.

Remember when Republicans thought Hilary Clinton would be the first female president — and were already plotting to impeach her.

According to abstinence-only education, if you sleep around, you are as worthless as a cup of spit or dirty chocolate. Technically this applies to anyone but as Samantha Field says (I can’t find the specific link) “boys who fail to save their pure gift of pure snow-white virginity for marriage aren’t compared to pre-chewed gum.”

Heather MacDonald pretends it’s the fight against racism that makes whites racist.

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So even Harvey Weinstein isn’t as awful as Harvey Weinstein

One of the standard complaints about the #metoo movement is that it treats ordinary men, men who may have said or done something inappropriate but clearly aren’t bad people, like they were Harvey Weinstein, destroying their careers and crushing their lives. They do not, however, offer much in the way of examples, and the examples are usually wrong: an in-depth investigation by the employer gets treated as a he said/she said situation (more here). I’m beginning to think “he’s being treated like Harvey Weinstein!” means something along the lines of “he got fired, Weinstein got fired, ergo they’re treating him like Weinstein!”

Now it turns out even Weinstein, the poster boy for absolute rock bottom, has his defenders too. Weinstein recently showed up at Actors’ Hour, an event in NYC for young performers (there’s some debate whether he was invited or just showed). Comedian Kelly Bachman cracked jokes (“I didn’t know we’d have to bring our own Mace and rape whistles.”); some audience members booed. A male comic got up and mocked her. Another woman confronted Weinstein at his table, with profanity hurled on both sides (not by Weinstein but by some of his entourage); the woman was asked to leave.

So why not ask Weinstein to leave? I’s a private space and the organizers could certainly have told Weinstein he wasn’t welcome. The organizer said she protected the women by letting them have “freedom of speech” — the comics were free to mock him — but then why ask the one woman to leave?

Partly it may just be that Weinstein wasn’t actually doing anything other than being there. Admittedly with his record that’s pretty alarming but it wouldn’t surprise me if the event organizers just didn’t want any confrontations. A lot of us (myself included) tend to be confrontation averse. Though that’s not a good reason: women have good reason to scream at a guy who preys on them.

And part of it, undoubtedly, is that we seem to have a reflex to forgive sexual harassers. They’ve suffered enough by being criticized and shunned for a while; surely we should forgive and move on. As Weinstein’s spokesperson put it, he was at Actors’ Hour “trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public.” Of course it ain’t an issue of due process; it’s true he hasn’t been convicted of anything, but private citizens outside the jury box are free to believe the victims. And if his life has been turned upside down — well, given the reasons, why should we feel sympathy for him? Yet somehow people do, far more than for the many women he allegedly assaulted, or whose careers he ruined for refusing him.

Similarly we have one Heather Mac Donald arguing that Placido Domingo’s alleged history of sexual assault (apparently one of those open secrets in the opera world) should be forgiven because Domingo’s that awesome. We cannot punish a singer of such caliber merely because he assaulted a bunch of nobodies! Which is not a new thought: Rebecca Traister has written about being told “That’s just Harvey being Harvey” when she heard stories about his behavior; simply being a powerful man is held up as an excuse.

Of course, we don’t know what the women whose careers Weinstein allegedly destroyed (I believe the women, but I think sticking with “alleged” covers my butt) might have accomplished without his interference. Or how good the women who left opera rather than stay around Domingo and people who supported him might have been. We’ll never know. But somehow their careers dead-ending, their lives turning upside down, isn’t as important as the suffering of powerful men.

We have a long way to go.

 

 

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Undead sexist cliche: date rape is just “buyer’s remorse”

So let’s say a young woman hooks up and regrets it. Bad judgment. Creepy guy. Unsatisfying sex. Guy didn’t even try to make her come. Whatever. The morning-after reaction, I imagine, might be disappointment, kicking yourself, wishing you hadn’t done it. But according to rape apologists, I’m wrong: the woman’s natural reaction is to call police or campus authorities and claim you were raped!

This is a popular apologist rationalization for why so many women report rape: it’s not that a lot of guys like to rape, it’s that the accuser is suffering “buyer’s remorse.” She feels bad, so she’s going to make him pay. Some examples:

  • “Accusaitions — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’” according to Education Department official Candice Jackson. Her odious boss, Betsy DeVos has claimed she doesn’t know if true reports outnumber false reports of rape. Both women subsequently walked it back.
  • Right-wing pundit Mona Charen claimed in a column some years ago, that date rape is the result of feminists brainwashing young women into thinking sex without commitment is good. When they wake up the next morning and realize they’re now sluts, the women go into denial and delude themselves it was rape. She repeated the argument in her book Sex Matters, claiming that because of feminist political correctness, women can’t admit they don’t want sex or didn’t like the sex, so the only way they can express their revulsion is to cry rape.
  • “Some men are jerks and will treat you like garbage after sex. However ‘buyer’s remorse’ is not rape” according to the Chaste Courtship website.
  • Back when Colorado Rep. Ken Buck was just a DA, he told a rape victim that he wasn’t going to prosecute her case, because a jury would just write it off as “buyer’s remorse.” (he subsequently said the remark was taken out of context)
  • Caitlin Flanagan (of the antifeminist double-standard) says, like Charen, that women have no sense of sexual regret so they can no longer admit “I sure wish I hadn’t done that … I’m embarrassed … I had hopes that it would be more romantic. I had hopes that it would be the beginning of something. I had hopes that afterward, by the time I got home, there would be three texts on my phone.”

It’s really bizarre that anyone making this claim thinks they’re describing commonplace reality. That if someone really, really wishes they hadn’t had sex they wouldn’t simply replay the night and kick themselves, or vent to their friends (Charen claims PC simply won’t let women say stuff like that. She needs to hang out with more women). No, they’d call the authorities and accuse the guy of rape. Despite the shitstorm that could descend upon his head. Despite the shit that could descend on their own, because I think most women have a good idea that rape victim is not the “coveted status” rape apologist George Will claims it is.

And if they were going to lie, why not make up a better story? Will, for example, describes a woman telling an occasional lover no; he kept going so she just laid back and waited for it to be over. The no makes it pretty clear-cut she was assaulted, but to Will it’s not sexual assault but “sexual assault.” And he’s not alone; lots of men and women think the same. So if the woman’s going to lie, why wouldn’t she cook up a better story instead of one Will can write off as an “ambiguous” hookup?

It’s not that women don’t sometimes wake up wishing they hadn’t hooked up; Rebecca Traister argues that it happens frequently because even consensual sex is often unsatisfying (“Male climax remains the accepted finish of hetero encounters; a woman’s orgasm is still the elusive, optional bonus round.”). And that women on campus are pressured to show they’re sex-positive. But that’s a far cry from calling it rape. And unlike Charen and other right-wingers, Traister’s under no illusion the solution is going back to old courtship roles (“Having humiliating sex with a man who treats you terribly at a frat party is bad but not inherently worse than being publicly shunned for having had sex with him, or being unable to obtain an abortion after getting pregnant by him, or being doomed to have disappointing sex with him for the next 50 years.”).

But for misogynists, imagining crying rape is women’s way of dealing with bad sex makes it easier not to deal with the ugliness of rape culture.

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How misogyny and harassment thrive

As Lawyers, Guns and Money puts it, all it takes is having people in power who are harassers and misogynists, and being friends, or at least allies, to others of their ilk. Not only are they attracted to people who see the world the same way, they’re less likely to do anything when their underlings harass and prey. If they do take action, it’s to bury the truth. Much like the accumulating details that create rape culture, this sends a message about what’s considered acceptable behavior. Not everyone will change their behavior in response, but lots of people will.

As a textbook example, we have Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, which claims (I don’t doubt the truth, but I think “claims” is legally safer) that NBC’s top dogs killed his blockbuster expose on Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of rape and harassment. The network heads said, quite untruthfully, that none of the victims were willing to go on the record, and that it just wasn’t complete enough; as noted at the link, the normal response to that is to keep working on the story, not to give up.  At the link, Farrow’s colleague on the expose (which later appeared in The New Yorker) suggests Weinstein threatened to make public the rape allegations against Today host Matt Lauer, which the bosses had turned a blind eye to.

Writing at The Cut, Rebecca Traister says the book presents MSNBC president Phil Griffin as “a crude boss who waves around a photo of a woman’s exposed vagina in a meeting, commenting, ‘Would you look at that? Not bad, not bad’; Farrow also reports that Griffin, while a senior producer at Nightly News in the 1990s, once pressured female producers to accompany him to a peep show in Times Square.” He hired Noah Oppenheim, the executive Farrow reported too, after reading some sexist diatribes Oppenheim wrote in college (“apparently women enjoy being confined, pumped full of alcohol and preyed upon … They feel desired, not demeaned,”). Oppenheim became president of NBC News in 2017. Traister says the real take-away isn’t the individual predators but the system that created them, allows them to flourish and then covers up the evidence: “No matter how many individual bogeymen have lost their jobs, we live in a world in which our ability to evolve is still measured by our willingness to forgive them and return them to positions of power and not by a determination to elevate other kinds of people to positions of authority.”

Or as Dahlia Lithwick puts it, “powerful men have about a three-month rehabilitation period through which they must live, after which they can be swept up once again in the slipstream of their own fame and success. The women of #MeToo, though, are never quite welcome in the slipstream again.”

Sometimes it doesn’t take that long. Trump shrugged off the videotape in which he admitted to sexual assault. I doubt having 43 more women come forward about being his vctims will change his supporters minds.

 

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Undead sexist cliches: “Women never do anything for political reasons”

If I remember correctly, I ran across that phrase in Marjorie Rosen’s Popcorn Venus. Rosen’s point (or whoever, if I’m misremembering) was that in movies, men fight for ideal (or power), women fight for men, or for ideals if men share them.

In Adventures of Robin Hood, for example, Errol Flynn’s Robin opens Maid Marian’s (Olivia de Haviland) eyes to the injustice King John and Guy of Gisborne are wreaking on the Saxons. She’s inspired, but it’s in large part by her love for Robin. In Casablanca, Victor Lazlo’s the idealist, Rick’s an idealist who needs to regain his ideals, Ilsa takes her cue from the men. She goes off to support Victor’s fight against the Axis because Rick told her it was the right thing to do.

In more recent times we have the Helen Slater Supergirl film, wherein her clash with Faye Dunaway comes off less about Faye Dunaway’s plans for world conquest and more about which of them gets to cuddle with hunky Hart Bochner. Or Paycheck, in which Ben Affleck is out to stop Aaron Eckhart’s evil plans, Uma Thurman is out to love Affleck. She’s willing to fight, but only because she’s supporting her man.

Heather Greene’s Bell, Book and Camera makes the same point about witches. Male film witches are out for power (e.g., Julian Sands in Warlock); female witches’ endgame is love (Bell, Book and Candle or I Married a Witch for example).

And as writer Shannon Thompson says, female villains are often defined by wanting the same guy as the protagonist: “When girls get antagonistic roles at all, it is usually as the dreaded other woman. She’s the soulless, vicious, popular harpy you love to hate, prepackaged in the designer clothes you’ve always wanted (but you’d never admit it), and she is on her way to steal your man.”  Of course, a lot of villains are out to get the girl, but it’s never just about the girl. Conrad Veidt in Thief of Baghdad is in love with the same princess as the hero, but he’s about getting power, too. Ditto Guy of Gisborne in the Flynn Robin Hood.

Or consider DC in the Silver Age, when Supergirl and Wonder Woman got saddles with lots of romance-comics tropes in the hopes of bringing in more female readers. Sure, Supergirl saves the world but what good is that if you don’t have a date?

I do think things have improved since Popcorn Venus came out 50 years or so ago. We have more women soldiers, more women PIs and cops, more female superheroes, and I see more of them whose motives do not revolve around the man in their lives, if there even is one. Even back in the 1940s, we had Wonder Woman, and C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry. The CW’s Supergirl fights for truth, justice and the American way, not for a boyfriend, even though romance plays a role in the series.

This is a good thing.

#SFWApro. Supergirl cover by Bob Oksner, rights to all images remain with current holders.

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David Brooks and other odious people

David Brooks has written about how he believes the old WASP elite ran the country better than today’s meritocracy because they imposed social structure and forced everyone beneath them to cling to common standards and rules. So there’s more than a little projection when he believes one of the driving forces of extremism is “I yearn for order. Blunt simplicities.” Because that’s his own approach.

Also, because Brooks can’t actually come out and say how bad the right is (they are, after all, the extremists doing almost all the killing), he has to explain this is the mind of extremists on both sides. And by implication that anyone who blames anyone specific is an extremist and potentially dangerous because smart people like Brooks know things are really, really complicated. And “Did you really think you could raise me on gourmet coffee and yoga pants and I wouldn’t find a way to rebel against your relativism and materialism? Didn’t you observe the eternal pattern — that if you try to flatten a man to the bourgeois he will rebel by becoming a fanatic?” is some really, really bad writing.

In other matters:

Trump’s campaign manager predicts Donald Jr. will follow his dad and form a political dynasty. As No More Mr. Nice Blog notes, not a chance.

A court decrees that it’s morally wrong cops can steal $200,000 in the course of its search, but even so, “the law was not clearly established” that this crosses a legal line.

The political hacks running NOAA warned its staff not to publicly question Trump’s “Dorian threatens Alabama” claim.

A Brazilian mayor tried to block the sale of Marvel comics featuring a gay male kiss on panel.

The movie Satan’s School for Girls? According to crackpot preacher Jesse Lee Peterson, it’s a documentary — educated women serve Satan! The sexist turd also believes Brett Kavanaugh isn’t a real man because he has daughters.

Speaking of Kavanaugh and sexist turds, right-wing misogynist Josh Bernstein says obviously Christine Blasey Ford was a slut who came on to Kavanaugh and when he turned her down, she decided to wait 20 years to get revenge! Yeah, that’s really plausible (it’s even dumber and nastier in detail).

Following Brett Stephens’ freakout over being insulted on Twitter, Slate looks at the history of Stephens and other NYT columnists being special snowflakes.

“Tour was all about how hard it was for the slaves,” according to one review of a plantation tour that discusses the realities of slavery.

Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw says universal background checks would be bad because he couldn’t lend guns to friends who couldn’t pass. He is, very, very upset that anyone should think this means his friends shouldn’t have guns. Because nobody ever uses a borrowed gun to — oh, wait. And wait again.

Alaska’s attorney general is working hard to destroy public sector unions.

The pastor of a Tennessee Catholic school has banned Harry Potter from the library because the spells are real (spoiler: no, they’re not!).

To end on an upbeat note as I like to do, North Carolina Republicans’ racist gerrymandering has been thrown out by a state court (based on the state constitution so it doesn’t clash with the Supreme Court’s federal ruling). Republicans have thrown in the towel, though I won’t be surprised if they have more tricks up their sleeves.

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Shootings and shooters

There’s nothing I can think of to say about Dayton, Gilroy or El Paso. So I’ll just link to people who are more articulate:

Connor Betts, the Dayton shooter, expressed liberal views but he kept a rape list of women he resented (being liberal and sexist are not incompatible) and tried sending a creepy anonymous letter to an ex-girlfriend (“I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of “Welcome to the neighborhood. You can’t outrun your past. Signed, Your Neighbor.””). He was also into the sexist “pornogrind” music scene, though his band mates say they’re shocked he took it literally. Whether his misogyny ties into the shooting or not I have no clue, but it’s remarkable how many shooters have abuse, misogyny or anti-woman violence in their pasts. Or not so remarkable. And it appears the Gilroy and El Paso shooters may have had issues with women.

Patrick Crusius, the accused El Paso shooter, was obsessed with the Hispanic invasion Trump keeps saying is swarming over the border, though Crusius said his views predated Trump. Certainly, Trump’s not the first Republican to scream about it, though he has pushed it hard. As Michelle Goldberg says, our president is a white nationalist who inspires terrorism. Aided and abetted by pundits who insists that while they are not racist themselves, they think we should listen to the racists.

Republican opposition to taking action on firearms is not playing well with a lot of voters. Neither is Trump’s racist rhetoric. For devoted Republicans, though, El Paso, like Dayton, is the work of liberals. Possibly even a false flag or Antifa. Some of them think even restricting mentally ill people from purchasing guns is a plot against white people. Antisemite Rick Wiles thinks it’s a Jewish scheme to kill Christians. Ohio State Rep. Candice Keller blames Dayton on pot, gay marriage and Obama. YouTube crackpots offer more crackpottery.

NYTs Charles Blow says it’s more than just the shooters: “I think a better way to look at it is to understand that white nationalist terrorists — young and rash — and white nationalist policymakers — older and more methodical — live on parallel planes, both aiming in the same direction, both with the same goal: To maintain and ensure white dominance and white supremacy.” Small wonder that,as the NYT notes, there’s more resistance to cracking down on white supremacists than on Muslims.

It’s as if people are getting fed up that the response to school shootings is to institutionalize them. But don’t worry, gun worshippers, Brett Kavanaugh’s got your back.

As for the idea of not giving the killers their ten seconds of fame, No More Mr. Nice Blog says it’s not working.

 

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The women of early Star Trek

A few weeks back I started doing something I’ve wanted to do for a while: rewatch the original Star Trek series. It was very much a part of my teen years as I watched episodes over and over in syndication, but it’s been years since I caught any of the episodes, except in passing when TYG was rewatching them. When I began, I discovered Netflix’s run includes the original pilot episode The Cage preceding the first episode, Man Trap. The difference between them was interesting.

Gene Roddenberry has rightfully taken crap for a vision of the future in which women, even though qualified to serve on a space ship, are primarily eye candy. The Cage is a step up from that. The ship’s first officer, Number One (Majel Barrett) is competent; Captain Pike’s female yeoman, Colt (Laurel Goodwin) is much more tomboyish in demeanor than ST: OS’ Yeoman Rand; the show emphasizes that having a female yeoman on the bridge is a novel thing.

The show does make it clear that the woman are attracted to Pike, so who knows how they’d have been written if the original pilot went to series. But having a woman as first officer, and clearly competent, is still striking, particularly in that era.

A little too striking for the network, which told Rodenberry to either dump Number One or get rid of Spock; he opted to keep Spock, believing viewers needed to see an alien on board. Colt got replaced by Rand.

The opening episodes of the regular series do feel much more sexist. Yeoman Rand is mostly there to be pretty and smile and run errands (watching as a teenager, I thought “yeoman” must be something like a valet). Uhura flirts quite a bit with Spock. It’s disappointing to compare.

But then we get to the second episode, Charlie X. This gives the Enterprise it’s first encounter with a cosmically powerful foe, a teenage boy raised by disembodied intelligences who taught him their ability to transform matter. It’s apparently a limitless power, and Charlie’s a teenager, full of raging hormones and completely unused to dealing with other humans. He reacts viciously to slights or hurts and winds up a lot like Billy Mumy’s demigod on It’s a Good Life.

He also looks like the embodiment of the #metoo villain. Once he meets Yeoman Rand she’s all he can think about, and he can’t tolerate being told no. She tries introducing Charlie to a girl his own age; he treats the girl like dirt. His feelings, his needs, are all that he cares about; he thinks he loves Yeoman Rand but she’s just a means to an end, the end being his own satisfaction.

Watching in my teens, I knew he was out of line, but I saw him mostly as a tragic figure, screwed up by his own lack of experience dealing with people. Now I see him as much creepier.

I don’t think I’ll have more to say about the series until I finish S1, but you never know.

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.

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Mississippi pol can’t be close to another woman without risking his marriage

So the Mississippi Today newspaper has been arranging for reporters to “shadow” the candidates in the gubernatorial race, following each candidate around for a day or so to see them in action. Only when state Rep. Robert Foster learned his shadow would be Larrison Campbell, a married gay woman, he freaked out and refused. His stated reason: if anyone photographed them together, they could smear him as an adulterer. Either the paper sent along a male reporter as chaperone or no go. The paer decided the requirement was too sexist, and using another reporter was impractical, so they said no.

Foster’s argument seems awfully implausible: it’s not like he and Campbell would be meeting at a cheap motel. And why should it be the paper’s responsibility — doesn’t Foster have a male staffer he can tap for the gig? And why would a chaperone help — couldn’t the paper claim they’re having a threesome? Or photograph him with a man and start a whisper campaign he’s gay — I have friends who assume any anti-gay pol (and Foster is ultra-conservative and anti-gay) is fighting down his own urges.

Tellingly, Foster’s shifted the goalposts to invoke the Pence Rule: it’s not that he’s worried about a smear campaign, he just refuses to be alone with another woman so as not to risk his marriage. As someone who’s been alone with a beautiful woman more than once since I married (friends in both cases) the only reason to worry about the effect on your marriage is if you can’t keep it zipped. Foster, however, implies Campbell’s at fault for not valuing her marriage as much, and charges “the liberal left lost its mind” because of his Christian purity.

Yeah, right. I imagine the changing rationale is pure politics — the first story didn’t play so he’s switching gears — but what’s the real reason? Is it that she’s gay?  Or that he’s uncomfortable about being shadowed and this is an easy way out? Or is it that he’s really worried he’ll do something appropriate?

Depressingly I don’t know any of this will hurt him in Mississippi.

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Some responses to the Jeffrey Epstein arrest

Michelle Goldberg: “The Epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimization of vulnerable girls. But it is also a political scandal, if not a partisan one. It reveals a deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties, and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes. If it were fiction, it would be both too sordid and too on-the-nose to be believable”

That was the good response, and I think it identifies two key issues: gender and money. Even when he taught high school, his flirting with students creeped others out. But he managed quite nicely to purchase impunity and redeem his reputation with a mix of PR, financial donations and a feeling people had that yeah, he’d crossed some lines but he’s done his time, no big. Plus he allegedly intimidated witnesses.

You know what isn’t an issue? That Epstein is Jewish. But men’s rights activist Stefan Molyneux, points to Epstein as a Jewish guy preying on Christian children. As noted at the link, Molyneux has apparently decided saying the quiet parts out loud won’t hurt his brand as a YouTube philosopher. Anti-semitic preacher Rick Wiles claims Epstein was a Mossad agent gathering blackmail material on powerful Americans.

And smug pundit Erick Erickson, who defended Roy Moore and Brett Kavanaugh, thinks the big issue is that liberals would defend Epstein if he were gay and a drag queen. Because, of course, defending the rights of gay people and drag queens is exactly the same as defending their right to assault kids (as others have pointed out to Erickson, there was no wave of liberals defending the molesters in the Penn State scandal. Or the Boy Scouts. Or the Catholic Church). I do expect biased coverage from the right, but Erickson’s take is dumb-ass.

Republicans and even some Dems are still supporting Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who gave Epstein his original illegal sweetheart plea bargain. According to what I’ve read elsewhere, some of that may be because Acosta’s not as aggressively anti-labor as his successor will probably be — although he has tried to gut 80 percent of the budget of one Labor program for fighting human trafficking. Trump’s response, though, seems to hinge on whether Acosta comes across badly on TV. But regardless, Acosta resigned last Friday.

Meanwhile the believers in the mythical Pizzagate pedophile ring are holding up Epstein as proof they’re right.

And Alan Dershowitz, Trump-supporting lawyer, has admitted he’s visited Epstein’s mansion (he was one of the attorneys on the original plea deal) and gotten a massage, but it was from a really old woman — he never saw anyone underage there, honest!

Epstein, meanwhile, is hoping for bail, while prosecutors warn he’s a serious flight risk.

 

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