In the wake of the stomach-churning revelations about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged harassment of women over several decades, a number of conservatives have seized on Weinstein’s past support of Democratic candidates to make this a partisan issue. Beyond the fact that sexual harassment should never be a partisan matter, many of those same people continued to rally behind Donald Trump even after it emerged he’d been caught on tape degrading women and reveling in it.
By far the most bizarre and dishonest response from a conservative in the wake of Weinstein’s downfall came from former White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka. He claimed, presumably with a straight face, that Weinstein wouldn’t have happened if not for liberals eroding conservatives’ traditional respect for women.
Gorka recently signed on as chief strategist for the MAGA Coalition, a pro-Trump super PAC. He dropped by “Breitbart News Daily” on SiriusXM to discuss a number of things with Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow. The conversation soon turned to the Weinstein debacle. Listen here.
About five minutes into the discussion, Marlow recalled a tweet Gorka fired off on Tuesday night in which he suggested Weinstein should have taken a cue from Mike Pence.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 11, 2017
Never mind that this rule is not only outrageously sexist, but may fall afoul of federal anti-discrimination law. But Marlow believed that it was an example of “good food for thought” and “good leadership.” He thought the media was showing a double standard by slamming Weinstein for taking advantage of women after many criticized Pence’s dinner policy.
Gorka mused that his tweet “made liberal heads explode everywhere.” It didn’t come as a surprise to him, since it proved the “hypocrisy of the left and the mainstream media.” He rolled his eyes at how liberals blasted Pence’s dinner policy in the face of reports that numerous earlier attempts to expose Weinstein’s debauchery over the years never made it to print or air.
Gorka then mused that liberals were talking about the need to “have a culture that respects women” when that culture already existed “on the right.” Unfortunately, to hear Gorka talk, liberals have been trying to destroy that culture for the better part of four decades.
“So the irony for them calling for the kinds of things they have actually tried to destroy by their value systems and the stuff they’ve been shoving down our throats in the media since the 1970s—the irony couldn’t be higher.”
Okay, Sebastian. Let’s talk about this culture on the right that supposedly respects women. The right’s favorite network, Fox News Channel, has been convulsed for the last year by reports of rampant sexual harassment by Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, and others. When these women have come forward, they have been denounced as pawns in a conspiracy by liberal “children of the lie” who are bent on destroying white men of power. The effort to expose this culture has also been branded as a demonic trick to destroy a network that has supposedly been “anointed.”
And of course, how can we forget what happened when the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out? Prominent conservatives told us that it wasn’t a big deal that Trump was caught on tape saying that he could treat women any way he wanted, even “grab ’em by the p***y,” because he was a celebrity. No, no–what really mattered was ensuring that this country had a future. And even worse, some of them tried to tell us that the tapes were nothing more than a liberal hit job. So in the process, those backing Trump essentially wanted the nation to throw victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence under the bus.
Moreover, any doubt that the man who reveled in degrading women in 2005 is the real Trump should have been erased when Trump retweeted a GIF of himself knocking Hilary Clinton down with a tee shot. Aside from a Republican congressman claiming that’s not really what happened, the silence on the right has been deafening.
One other contrast should be noted here. While the board of Weinstein’s company knew as early as 2015 that Weinstein was paying settlements to keep women quiet, it appears they were led to believe that those payments were made to cover up affairs and that Weinstein was making those payments out of his own pocket. Once the board learnedthat he was actually paying off accusers, he was fired. Of course, we know what happened with Trump.
Let’s be clear–it was nothing short of disgraceful that the lid wasn’t blown on Weinstein’s debauchery sooner. But if Gorka thinks that the right can claim the moral high ground on this, he must think that the American people are stupid. After all, he’s asking us to forget that many of his fellow conservatives condoned and continued to condone a man who was every bit as debauched as Weinstein was, possibly more so. So much for a culture of respecting women.
(featured image courtesy 7th Army Training Command, available under a Creative Commons-BY license)