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The fantastic effectiveness of the right wing noise machine

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Harvey Weinstein is a movie mogul who has used his position over the years to engage in large amounts of quid pro quo sexual harassment, as well as apparently a good deal of out and out sexual assault. In a just world he would go to prison for a long time and have his wealth expropriated for the benefit of his many victims.

That said, the fact that the Weinstein scandal has become one of the top two or three news stories for several consecutive news cycles is a tribute to how good the right wing has become at media manipulation.

I mean this guy is, relatively speaking, a nobody. How many people knew who he was a week ago? I bet the proportion of people who knew who Bill Cosby was prior to his outing as a sexual predator relative to people who could identify Harvey Weinstein was probably 100 to 1. Rich powerful man using his money and power to sexually harass/assault women in his social orbit is, sadly, the ultimate dog bites man story — and this story, unlike the Cosby, Bill Clinton, etc. scandals didn’t have a celebrity hook to give it any broader newsworthiness, at least as such things are normally evaluated by newsmakers.

But because he gave some money to Democrats and maybe shook Hillary’s hand one time or something, we’re getting wall to wall coverage. I mean you can’t condemn Donald Trump for being a serial sexual predator unless you condemn Harvey Weinstein too, right? Not that anybody is actually failing to condemn Weinstein as far as I can tell. (OK, Donna Karan, although she’s now claiming she misquoted herself regarding her actual views.) And not that Donald Trump is president of the United States while Weinstein . . . you get the idea.

It’s completely despicable, but they are really, really good at it. Of course progressives could play this game equally well: all that’s required is a willingness to mortify any sense of shame, ethics, and fairness.

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