Weinstein sex coverup exposes a culture of enablers

first_imgEven some of the ostensibly good guys in this saga cannot be let off lightly. In The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow reports that Irwin Reiter, a top Weinstein Co. executive, sought to console one of the office assistants harassed by Weinstein by saying the “mistreatment of women” was a long-standing company issue and that “if you were my daughter he would not have made out so well.”But Reiter never went public.Perhaps it should come as no surprise that an industry built around pretended characters and scenarios could have pretended for so long that nothing was amiss.Perhaps it should be no surprise, either, that its concept of ethics is every bit as ersatz and inconstant as most everything else in Tinseltown.The outrage over Weinstein also has a whiff of opportunism.In recent years, notes New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister, Weinstein has “lost power in the movie industry” and is no longer “the indie mogul who could make or break an actor’s Oscar chances.” Lame horses get shot.It’s in this context that one can mount a defense of sorts for Weinstein, who inhabited a moral universe that did nothing but cheer his golden touch and wink at (or look away from) his transgressions — right until the moment that it became politically inconvenient to do so. There is a storybook villain, Weinstein, whose repulsive face turns out to be the spitting image of his putrescent soul.There are victims, so many of them, typically up-and-comers in an industry where he had the power to make or wreck their careers, or bully or buy their silence, or, if some allegations are to be believed, rape them.But mostly there are enablers, both those who facilitated his predations and those who found it expedient to look the other way.The enablers were of all sorts.Corporate board members who declined to investigate allegations of his sexual behavior and now claim the news comes as “an utter surprise.”Assistants who acted as “honeypots,” joining meetings between Weinstein and his intended victims to give them a sense of security — and then leaving the predator to his prey.Reporters who paid him tribute with awards, did his bidding with fawning coverage, or went after his enemies with hit pieces. Categories: Editorial, OpinionOf all of the dismaying and disgusting details of the Harvey Weinstein saga, none is more depressing than this: It has so few heroes. A lavishly paid Italian studio executive whose real job, according to former Times reporter Sharon Waxman, was “to take care of Weinstein’s women needs.” (A lawyer for the executive reportedly denies the allegation.)And then there was the rest of Hollywood.Weinstein’s depredations were an open film industry secret, the subject of an onstage joke by Seth MacFarlane at the 2013 Oscar nomination announcement.Everyone laughed because everyone got it.Some of his victims, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, became Hollywood powers in their own right but never publicly rang an alarm until this week.The actor Ben Affleck, who owes his start to Weinstein, is an overnight laughingstock because he acts surprised by the producer’s behavior.He won’t be the only celebrity doing his best Claude Rains “shocked, shocked” impression.center_img Conservatives are trying to make hay of the fact that Weinstein donated lavishly to Democratic politicians, backed progressive causes and distributed films such as “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about campus sexual assault.But the important truth about Weinstein isn’t his moral hypocrisy: In movies as in politics, hypocrisy isn’t just an accepted fact of life but also an essential part of the job.The important truth is that he was just another libidinous cad in a libertine culture that long ago dispensed with most notions of personal restraint and gentlemanly behavior.“I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” Weinstein wrote in his mea culpa to The Times last week. “That was the culture then.”That line was roundly mocked, but it contains its truth.Like those other libidinous cads — Bill Clinton and Donald Trump — Weinstein benefited from a culture that often celebrated, constantly depicted, sometimes enabled, seldom confronted, and all-too frequently forgave the behavior they so often indulged in.Hyenas cannot help their own nature. But the work of a morally sentient society is to prevent them from taking over the savanna. Our society, by contrast, festooned Weinstein with honors, endowed him with riches, and enabled him to feast on his victims without serious consequence for the better part of 30 years.The old saw that all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing was never truer than it was in Weinstein’s case.It may be that Weinstein’s epic downfall will scare straight other sexual miscreants, or at least those who tolerate their behavior and are liable for its consequences.Don’t count on it.Our belated indictment of him now does too much to acquit his many accomplices, and too little to transform a culture that never gave him a reason to change.Bret Stephens is a contributing columnist at The New York Times and senior political contributor to NBC News.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Nov. 1

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionPolimeni shows true meaning of serviceI am writing in strong support of Councilman John Polimeni, who is coming up for re-election on Nov. 5.I want to comment on the eminent response and service he has provided to his constituency in the last four years.I spend a lot of time in Schenectady with family and friends, and their comments about Councilman Polimeni have been stellar.He has been highly responsive and dedicated to his constituents and is the epitome of integrity and service.Ray ChandrasekaraAlbany Glenville candidate has a clear conflictTo be clear, Scotia DPW Superintendent Andrew Kohout holding a Town Board seat in Glenville is a conflict of interest.It is a conflict since it directly violates the Village Code of ethics in Chapter 24, Section 3C.The first standard states: “No village employee shall accept other employment which will impair his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.”The code is found online, and I encourage town and village residents to read it.Letters from the Democratic town committee chairperson and the village mayor attempt to deflect voters from this fact.These standards exist to protect us from overly conflicted persons who cannot vote on vital issues because they violate these standards.How will Mr. Kohout vote on matters regarding service districts (water, sewer, and fire)? Receiving a salary from both municipalities, how will he vote on budgetary matters? Why elect someone who cannot fully represent all residents on vital issues? This is not personal. It is not a matter of political leverage. It is a matter of common sense and making sure that we have proper government by electing people who do not violate our adopted ethical standards.Clarence W. MosherGlenvilleMarc Schultz photo brightened the dayWith all the negative energy being generated by our dishonest, incompetent and mean-spirited president, we all needed a good laugh, and The Daily Gazette gave us one on Oct. 29.Kudos to Gazette photographer Marc Schultz for capturing the wonderful Halloween display you have titled “Oops!” in the paper.This is a photo that certainly deserves national (shall we say) exposure?John KucijSchenectadyJaquith shows off her leadership skillsEarly voting is here in New York and I’m excited to vote early for Rosemarie Perez Jaquith for Niskayuna Town Board. I’ve known Rosemarie for over 10 years, and witnessed her dedication and hard work, continually serving our community as a tireless, caring volunteer and school board member, creating lasting, positive change.Rosemarie has served on the school board since 2014, and her leadership as a consensus builder during her term as president, She took our school board from conflict and chaos, to the effective, collaborative board we have today.For example, when the later high school start time idea was petitioned by parents, rather than assert her own opinion as board president or put it on the agenda for a vote, Rosemarie acknowledged the benefit for students. But she also understood the impact and complexity of scheduling, especially on our sports program. So she supported the formation of a committee of stakeholders to look more in-depth into implications. Flash forward: The committee recently presented findings, and the board voted unanimously to begin feasibility studies for an 8:30 a.m. start time.Rosemarie will bring respectful listening and leadership skills to the Town Board, and I’m urging Niskayuna residents to vote for her.Anne SkrebutenasNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Cap & Reg leads race to snatch MWB arm

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Supermarket scramble gives property price-check

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Grantchester in MBO bid

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Ex-GAM official demands improvement in Aceh 15 years after Helsinki MoU

first_img“For example, the issue of land that was promised to be given to [former] combatants. There are also problems with regional administrations and economic problems that have yet to be solved,” Malik said.A point in the 2005 MoU stipulates that the government will provide farmland and adequate funds to the Aceh administration as part of reintegration efforts for former GAM combatants. Such efforts were carried out to make sure former combatants integrated back into society and were treated as regular citizens after the conflict.Malik also demanded that Jokowi’s administration sort out regulatory inconsistencies between the central and regional governments.Read also: Aceh peace process: Revisiting ‘white Helsinki’ Former self-styled prime minister of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), Malik Mahmud al-Haytar, demanded that the government follow up on various points of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that ended three decades of armed conflict in Aceh.Malik, who now serves as wali nanggroe (traditional leader), talked about the demand with President Joko “Jokowi” during a meeting on Thursday.Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Malik said some points in the MoU had yet to be fully implemented. He hoped the government would realize them soon. Signed in the Finnish capital in August 2005, the MoU ended the bloody 30-year conflict in Aceh between the Indonesian government and GAM. The conflict was thought to have resulted in the death of between 20,000 and 30,000 Acehnese civilians, thousands of combatants on both sides and caused an unquantifiable amount of damage to public infrastructure and private property.Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said the government had accepted the insight from Malik and would work to solve the issues.“They feel that there hasn’t been significant change in terms of development [in Aceh] over the past 15 years. This is related to the established perception that the situation in Aceh [is not favorable] but in fact it is safe,” Moeldoko said.He added that the President had appointed his office to handle the issue. “We’re hoping that in the next three months, there will be solutions regarding this. We will work intensively with teams from Aceh.”Topics :last_img read more

Three more dead in Iran coronavirus outbreak: state media

first_imgThe novel coronavirus has claimed three more lives in Iran, state media reported, taking the country’s overall death toll from the outbreak to 15 — the highest outside China.Iran has been scrambling to contain COVID-19 since Wednesday when it announced its first two deaths in Qom, a center for Islamic studies and pilgrims that attracts scholars from abroad.Two of the dead were elderly women in the central province of Markazi and the other was a patient in the northern province of Alborz, state news agency IRNA said. Topics : IRNA did not name the patient in Alborz or detail any underlying health conditions.”This patient was under special care in recent days when he passed away,” Hassan Inanlou, deputy head of Alborz’s medical university, was quoted as saying.According to IRNA, there are two more confirmed cases hospitalized in Alborz.Iran has confirmed 61 cases of coronavirus infection so far.center_img “One was an 87-year-old woman with a history of cardiovascular, pulmonary, liver and kidney diseases who passed away after being hospitalized for two days,” Abbas Nikravesh, head of Saveh city’s medical university, told IRNA.The other was an 82-year-old with “serious blood and cardiovascular diseases” and died after being hospitalized for a day, he added, noting that she had a history of visiting Qom as her children live there.”Three cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Saveh city so far, with two dead,” Nikravesh said.”There is now one infected 78-year-old woman from Afghanistan under special care.”last_img read more

House calls for ‘stricter’ social distancing through regional quarantines

first_imgThe House of Representatives has called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to enforce stricter social distancing measures by implementing “regional quarantines” following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in several regions of the country.House Speaker Puan Maharani said the House supported the government’s move to encourage people to limit their interactions outside their homes to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. She said the move was in accordance with the 2018 Quarantine Law. “The House demands the government and the public be disciplined in implementing social distancing,” the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said in a statement on Monday.She also said the House had urged the government to provide free treatment and tests to those exposed to the virus. The House has also urged the government to distribute testing kits to regions and for the tests to be carried out outside the Health Ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency’s (Balitbangkes) offices.Furthermore, Puan also stressed that transparency was key to handling the outbreak and called for the the special fast response team lead by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to announce to the public the steps that would be taken to curtail the spread of the disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.“The fast response team must be the state’s representative in providing security for the public and must take concrete moves on education, mitigation and emergency actions to handle the outbreak,” she added.Saleh Daulay, a lawmaker in House Commission IX overseeing health, said that regional quarantines were similar to lockdowns and, therefore, required academic studies on their implementation, including ensuring measures were taken to fulfil people’s basic needs during the quarantine period.The National Mandate Party (PAN) politician recommended that the special fast response team hold discussions with experts to determine the best course of action.Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia looks to China, S. Korea for medical supplies

first_imgIndonesia is looking to China and South Korea to become the country’s main suppliers of medical equipment as countries worldwide scramble for supplies amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.The government expects South Korean and Indonesian companies to produce test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) in Indonesia, while China’s enterprises have been importing test kits, ventilators and medical-grade PPE, such as N-95 masks.“We are taking coordinative steps between industries, factories and the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Ministry to obtain materials,” Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Bahlil Lahadalia told a broadcasted video conference on Tuesday, citing air cargo to expedite shipping.  Demand for materials to produce medical supplies are spiking, as industries change and ramp up their production lines to mass produce medical and protective equipment. The Group of 20 (G20) major economies has also pledged to create a supportive global supply chain in addressing the global deficit of medical equipment and protective gear, primarily PPE, test kits and ventilators.“The United States obtained raw materials in China in a way that’s like ‘if you have the money, we have the products’. If we are late to order, we can’t secure orders. This happened a few days ago when an industry player was late to place a down payment and then US took the orders. We don’t want this to happen, so we support their airplanes, maybe from SOEs, so production can carry on,” Bahlil said.Read also: Indonesian manufacturers step up as G20 nations coordinate global medical supplyTo better secure medical supplies, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto engaged in a bilateral call with South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee on Monday to discuss a potential collaboration that includes joint test kits and PPE production. South Korean biotechnological companies Kogene Biotech and Seegene could run a joint production with Indonesian companies to produce test kits in Indonesia, Airlangga said. In addition, he also said the two countries would cooperate in producing PPE, with the raw materials imported from South Korea and the manufacturing carried out in Indonesia.“We are also grateful for the South Korean government’s US$500,000 in-kind grant to the Indonesian government, which will be used to support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak,” Airlangga said.South Korean Trade Minister Myung-hee also said his side had listed Indonesia as among prioritized countries to receive exports of medical equipment, alongside the United States and the United Arab Emirates, according to a press release from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister. On Friday, 500,000 protective gowns were sent to various regions in Indonesia from a production consortium between PT GA Indonesia and five South Korean garment companies that operate in West Java. The consortium is producing PPE after obtaining production certification from the government and raw materials from South Korea, according to the BKPM.South Korean industrial conglomerate LG, known for its electronics subsidiary LG Electronics, will also ship 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits as a donation to Indonesia.Read also: COVID-19: Textile factories face hurdles as they switch to producing medical gearDespite its manufacturing capacity to produce PPE, Indonesian companies are struggling to manufacture medical-grade gear, which only account for 6.5 percent of their protective gear capacity, Industry Ministry data shows. Indonesian manufacturers have yet to domestically produce their own ventilators and test kits, although several local companies are moving toward producing them.There are 35 Indonesian manufacturers preparing to produce, together, about 18.3 million pieces of protective gear per month by early May, according to the Industry Ministry. That compares with a monthly domestic demand of up to 16 million, potentially leaving room for exports in case of an excess.“Insya Allah [God willing] we will be able to export the excess production, and with the world in need of PPE, we could use the exports as a bargaining chip to acquire ventilators from producing countries. We’ll send them PPE and they’ll send us ventilators in return,” Industry Minister Agung Gumiwang Kartasasmita.To produce PPE, textile industries in Indonesia mainly source their materials from China, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) vice chairwoman for international relations Shinta Kamdani said.“The majority of imports came from China, as they are able to supply the market demand. Maybe other countries also produce them but China has a major supply and is willing to export,” Shinta told The Jakarta Post over the phone.Indonesia also imports test kits, ventilators and medical-grade PPE, such as N-95 masks from China, Shinta said, despite various countries’ concerns over the equipment quality. Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards. Spain also rejected thousands of rapid test kits sent by an unauthorized Chinese company after it found that they were unreliable last week.Chinese officials hit back on Sunday at media reports over defective medical supplies, saying that they “did not reflect the full facts”. China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 test kits since March 1, according to the country’s customs official.Shinta said Indonesia did not have the luxury of picking and choosing its imports of medical equipment and material, as every country was taking what they could to fulfill their demand for PPE and medical equipment. “The most important thing right now is how we are able to import the products as quick as possible,” she added.Topics :last_img read more

Public transportation use in Greater Jakarta plummets during COVID-19 pandemic: BPTJ

first_imgShe said the agency noted a decline in Transjakarta passengers since March, when the city-owned bus operator recorded an average of 550,000 passengers per day, down from around 840,000 in January. The company had broken its own record of achieving 1 million passenger per day in February. In the first half of April after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the capital, the number fell further to only 83,000 per day.The decline in passengers also occurred on the Commuter Line service provided by state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), where only around 183,000 passengers per day were recorded in April, down from 598,000 passengers per day in March and 859,000 in January.City-owned MRT Jakarta also suffered a similar problem as the country’s first subway service recorded around 5,000 passengers per day in April, down dramatically from around 45,000 passengers per day in March and 85,000 in January.Meanwhile, another city-owned transportation service LRT Jakarta carried only around 264 people per day in April, from the previous 2,000 people per day in March and 3,800 in January. Polana said her agency had yet to obtain data on the volume of public transportation passengers outside the capital, but she believed the number of passengers transported by feeders to each region had also decreased significantly.“After the official PSBB status, it can be ascertained that public transportation user numbers have declined as people’s mobility has been limited,” she added.During the partial lockdown, there has been a limitation on the operational time for all public transportation modes, whereby they only operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Jakarta and from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. in other areas in Greater Jakarta.The BPTJ claimed there had been few violations of the PSBB provisions because people had been prohibited from using public transportation services if they did not meet health protocols.Read also: ‘Outbreak won’t end in 14 days,’ says Anies as he gears up to extend PSBB in JakartaMeanwhile, the agency said, most private vehicle users had complied with the correct physical distancing protocols as they used proper masks and limited the number of passengers, as noticed by officials at checkpoints.Greater Jakarta-based intercity and interprovincial (AKAP) buses also carried many fewer passengers during the pandemic, as observed from the service data on several bus terminals under the authority of the BPTJ.Baranangsiang Terminal in satellite city Bogor in West Java recorded an average of only 3,356 arrivals per day in March, down from 20,164 arrivals in January. Meanwhile, the average departing passenger numbers declined to 8,467 people per day in March, from an average of 50,718 people in January.In several other terminals such as Poris Plawad Terminal in Tangerang, Banten; Pondok Cabe Terminal in South Tangerang; and Jatijajar Terminal in Depok, West Java, a significant decrease also occurred in the number of arrivals, but not in departing passengers.The BPTJ said it had been consistently applying health protocols at the terminals since early March, based on its Circular No. 4/2020 regarding the prevention of COVID-19.Topics : Public transportation use in Greater Jakarta declined sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic even before the implementation of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), according to a report compiled by the Transportation Ministry’s Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency (BPTJ).BPTJ head Polana B. Pramesti said that Jakarta in particular had initiated various restrictions including transportation restrictions in March, when a significant decline in the number of mass public transportation users had begun.“We have recently been very intensive in coordinating with transportation agencies across Greater Jakarta, and the result of their field monitoring has shown that ridership on public transportation has been decreasing,” Polana said in a written statement on Monday.last_img read more