Today, the Top News Story in the United States — and probably in some other countries — involves our embarrassing, dangerous government and how Donald Trump got into power. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been indicted and have unresolved criminal charges against them, while George Papadopoulos has entered a guilty plea.
This may be one time when the American public’s fascination with Hollywood celebrities will work to our advantage. No, it isn’t a day to ponder what Kim Kardashian is wearing, and log onto TMZ for relief from the real world.
Today, the Top Story should be the indictments against Trump’s puppets. We had better hope there are more indictments later, gradually moving up the power chain to an impeachment. Then hope our President (sic) doesn’t throw a tantrum with the nuclear codes.
In spite of that, we can still recognize that October 2017 has been the month when obsessed Hollywood fans have become more educated, even if their comforting fantasies were shattered in the process. They’ve been enlightened on the sleaze that any powerful institution, including their favorite, uses to control people and ruin lives. They’ve heard commentary from at least one actor who has told them to ignore the public relations I-didn’t-know-what-Harvey-was-doing-to-those-poor-women statements. Those statements were written as damage reduction pieces, and in this instance the only damage we should be concerned with is the harm suffered by sexual harassment and assault victims.
In spite of the current high-profile scrutiny of corruption in Hollywood, Kevin Spacey must be sweating fewer bullets than other sleazy show business people right now. The sexual misconduct allegation against him — made by a man who was fourteen at the time of the alleged incident — became public during the weekend. At the time, we were waiting for indictments against Trumpies who weren’t identified by name until today. Under the circumstances, Kevin Spacey’s photo probably won’t be on the cover of the next issue of TIME. Harvey Weinstein wasn’t that lucky. It’s all in the timing.
At some point during George W. Bush’s Administration, Donald Rumsfeld made an arrogant statement about how the United States had the military firepower to conduct two wars at once. It was a chilling remark, and we had good reason not to dismiss it as idle talk.
The American public can offer a more ethical parallel to then-Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s statement: We can observe scandals simultaneously in two separate entities, and demand justice in both cases. That sort of multitasking isn’t just a constitutional right. It’s also a responsibility, if we care about vulnerable people and the integrity of our country. Decent Americans aren’t represented by sexual predators, political power climbers and others who refuse to recognize boundaries.
A screenshot of Kevin Spacey’s Twitter post, issued on Sunday night, October 29, appears below. He wants us to think it’s a sincere apology, for something he’s not quite admitting (?!?!). More than anything, it’s a denial that he’s one of Hollywood’s creepy-crawlies. Mr. Spacey may be hoping to receive praise from LGBT activists for coming out of the closet, but Dan Savage isn’t having any of it. Way to go, Dan!