Weinstein got away with it for a long time

Harvey Weinstein has been exposed as a sexual harasser – he has accepted some faults, but has denied non-consensual sex. His wife has separated from him over the revelations.

A number of actresses have now come out and say that Weinstein harassed them. How did he get away with it for so long?

NZH: How many fixers helped Harvey Weinstein?

 Finally, after decades, his come-uppance has arrived.

It’s an all-star cast of complainants. Not to mention the volume. The names just keep going, like donors on a crowd-funding site. He was prodigious, he was consistent. And his people – his efficient, whip-smart team of people – kept sending women up to the room.

Actresses went up to that doorway, to fulfil their dreams. But instead of a genie behind the door, doling out wishes, there was a creepy ogre instead, all-powerful, all-wealthy. Indeed, above wealth. Above even fame – so far above fame, he was capable of bestowing it.

The New Yorker site has police audio, taped by a brave actress who’d been molested by him previously, wearing a wire.

It’s chilling. He works every angle in the space of a minute, trying to get the actress into his room – good cop, bad cop, multiple-personality cop, beggar, bully, confidant, henchman, ally, assassin, and back again – no doubt the negotiating tactics that made him a successful producer. The menace is stone cold.

But the audio doesn’t seem to have been enough to start a prosecution.

When you’re a star, they let you do it. More like, help you do it.

How many fixers were there? The people who delivered the actresses. Then the people to draft the settlements, haggle the victims down to below six figures, collect the signatures promising silence, agreeing nothing had happened. What a team. They really put the HR into harassment.

The US legal and entertainment systems have allowed this sort of thing to go on for a long time, actively enabled by some, abetted by silence.

(It’s not clear whether that was written by Toby Manhire or Raybon Kan).

Guardian: The allegations against Harvey Weinstein: what we know so far

New Yorker: From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories




Dotcom overkill and US puppets…

…but how much is our government involved?

A Waikato Times editorial points out some major concerns over the Dotcom fiasco.

NZ: 51st state of the US

In a brief media statement Prime Minister John Key heightened suspicions that this country’s relationship with the United States has become one of servility rather than friendship.

The statement said the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has been asked to inquire into “the unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals” by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

It seems unlikely we will ever know the full truth about the circumstances surrounding GCSB’s breach of the law, despite the prime minister’s recognition that intelligence-agency operations depend on public trust. He wants us to believe this was a rare error, rather than egregious wrongdoing by agents keen to help the Americans bring Mr Dotcom to book, by hook or by crook.

Mr Dotcom is wanted in the US to face nothing more threatening than breaches of copyright laws. The GCSB’s involvement – like so much about this case, including FBI agents, helicopters, heavily armed police and botched search warrants – has turned the pursuit of him and the operations of our law-enforcement agencies into the stuff of farce.

It is preposterous to suggest Mr Dotcom threatens our national security. The Government’s unquestioning readiness to co-operate with American authorities, on the other hand, seriously corrodes our claims to be an independent state.

But we don’t know how much the Government has been involved in co-operating with American authorities.

We know that the police have been heavily involved in what appears to be a gungho operation panedering to the FBI. And both pandering to Hollywood business interests and overdoing Hollywood type dramatics.

And the police involved the GCSB – that is a major concern, even though that involvement appears to have been on a relatively minor scale.

But so far, despite many accusations, there is scarce evidence of Government involvement.

So while New Zealand police and spies look to be guilty of overkill the Waikato Times seems to be over-emphasising  the known Government role.

There should be a clear separation between policing and governing, and ironically most criticisms of John Key and his government have been that he has been too separated from the GCSB he has overall responsibility for.