Monday, 11 December 2017

The Ghost of Jo McCarthy Rides Again

A Small Matter

We once watched actress Zoe Wanamaker describe the acute travail suffered by her father and family during the Joe McCarthy "Reds under beds" allegations and "investigations" in the fifties.  Eventually the Wanamaker family decamped from the United States to the UK.  America's loss was the UK's gain.

We are now left wondering whether a new form of McCarthyism is presently sweeping across the United States.  A Guardian writer has been lamenting the summary firing of NBC's Matt Lauer over sexual misconduct allegations.  We wonder whether columnist Jill Filopovic's mind was properly engaged when she wrote lines such as:
We must deal with complexity of admiring a man – and accepting that he may have done something awful

. . . . the latest in a string of high-profile men brought down by accusations of handsiness or inappropriate behavior toward female colleagues.

This is new. And it’s a feminist victory.
Ah, but is it true?
  Clearly Filopovic was uncertain.  She was not sure.  She does not know.  But as Joe McCarthy used to say, Where there is smoke, there's fire.  Or was it J. Edgar Hoover?  Or both of them?

Maybe Mr Lauer is another Sam Wanamaker.  Who would know?  Or, maybe, it really was Wanamaker who was the villain, and McCarthy the saint back then.

If you believe that, dear reader we have this neat bridge in New York we just know you would love to buy.  Still, we look forward to NBC laying a complaint with the police over Lauer's alleged bad behaviour.  That will surely bring everything out into the open.  You know . . . things like evidence, for example.

The claim is being made that Variety magazine had conducted an extensive investigation on Lauer's behaviour.  There was an abundance of witnesses and testimony (at least to Variety). NBC was convinced.  So, now, let's see the formal indictments, the complaints to the police, etc.  Here is the allegation:
Insiders say that NBC was forced to act quickly after this week’s complaint, given the severity of the accusations and the national dialogue around sexual harassment that has ended the careers of Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and other prominent men. Now, against a series of questions about the future of “Today,” a troubling portrait has emerged of Lauer. In front of the camera, for more than two decades, Lauer had positioned himself as America’s squeaky-clean dad. But behind the scenes, Lauer was a different person. 
As they say, "Yeah, nah".  On the matter of indictments?  Not going to happen.  Joe McCarthy appears well and truly back in town.  In his current incarnation he is found within the pages of Variety magazine.

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