Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Exploitation Of The #MeToo Movement For Money And Politics-- From Michael Cernovich And David Brock To Kirsten Gillibrand


Cernovich and Gillibrand-- exploiters gotta exploit

The minute a lifelong opportunist and careerist like Kirsten Gillibrand wrapped herself around the #MeToo Movement and decided to try to ride it to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, it became more than clear that the legitimate cause of brave women protesting millennia of abusive patriarchy was about to take a back seat to self-serving exploitation. It is, after all, the story of Kirsten Gillibrand’s life— and why I’ve been calling on her to resign from the Senate and retire from politics. On Sunday Kenneth Vogel made the case that exploitation of the #MeToo movement goes way beyond Gillibrand and that it’s already “a thing,” political partisans “exploiting the moment, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support accusers who come forward with charges against President Trump and members of Congress, even amid questions about their motivation.”

Happy when a conservative gets accused but outraged when it’s a liberal? Did you see the Minnesota poll showing that the only people who thought Al Franken— the victim Gillibrand’s dirty little lynch party— should resign were Trump voters (and imbeciles pushing Gillibrand for president)?

All the political low-life profiteers from across the partisan spectrum, from Mike Cernovich and Jack Burkman on the fringes of the far right to David Brock and Kirsten Gillibrand from the discredited Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, are looking for ways to make the moment pay off for themselves. The sticky palms are out.
“There is a danger in this environment that unsophisticated individuals who have been abused by powerful people could be exploited by groups seeking partisan advantage, or by lawyers seeking a moment in the limelight,” said Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer who has brought sexual harassment cases against politicians from both parties.

The lawyers and operatives behind the most politically charged cases brush off those concerns.

“I approach this with a pure heart,” said Jack Burkman, a flamboyant Republican lawyer known for right-wing conspiracy theories who is seeking to represent sexual harassment victims. “I don’t want to see it politicized, even though, in a democracy, you see the political weaponization of everything.”

Gloria Allred, a high-profile women’s rights lawyer and Democratic donor, is raising money to fund a lawsuit against Mr. Trump by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her. The woman, Summer Zervos, has filed a defamation suit against the president that could force Mr. Trump to respond to sexual misconduct accusations made in the closing weeks of the campaign by a raft of women.

And a nonprofit group founded by the Democratic activist David Brock, which people familiar with the arrangements say secretly spent $200,000 on an unsuccessful effort to bring forward accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Trump before Election Day, is considering creating a fund to encourage victims to bring forward similar claims against Republican politicians.

Activists on the right are also involved. In November, the Trump-backing social media agitator Mike Cernovich offered to pay $10,000 for details of any congressional sexual harassment settlements, and said on Twitter that he would cover the expenses of “any VICTIM of a Congressman who wants to come forward to tell her story.” Shortly before posting that offer, a source provided Mr. Cernovich with a copy of a sexual harassment settlement that led in December to the resignation of Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, until then the longest-serving member of the House.

And Mr. Burkman, who has suggested that Russian hit men killed a young Democratic National Committee aide during the 2016 election, emerged in October to offer his services to women accusing Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He had never handled a sexual harassment matter before.

Those pushing the sexual harassment claims say they are just trying to level a playing field that has long favored powerful men, discouraging their victims from coming forward, and silencing many who do using confidential settlements.

“You got to sweeten the pot a little bit,” Mr. Cernovich said. A lawyer by training, he said he was shocked that the person who gave him the Conyers documents declined his offer to pay for them.

But, he said, “if somebody had a settlement like Conyers, I would gladly, gladly pay for that.”

Money could have costs.

“If you’re getting money from someone who has an ax to grind against the person you’re accusing of unlawful activity, that most certainly opens the door to a line of questioning that very well could undermine the veracity of your client’s story,” said Douglas H. Wigdor, a leading New York employment lawyer who has brought a barrage of lawsuits against powerful men and institutions in recent years.

The partisan efforts have already sparked some backlash. Mr. Cernovich and the far-right activist Charles C. Johnson, had to back away from claims that they possessed a sexual harassment settlement that would bring down a leading Democratic senator when it became apparent that the document— which targeted the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York— was a forgery, lifting passages verbatim from the Conyers complaint unearthed by Mr. Cernovich. Mr. Schumer referred the matter to the Capitol Hill police for a criminal investigation.

“I like to hype things in advance, and this looked pretty good,” Mr. Cernovich said. “I definitely learned a lesson there.”

Mr. Cernovich is an unlikely champion for sexual harassment victims, given his previous career as an anti-feminist blogger who cast doubt on date-rape allegations and wrote posts with headlines like “Misogyny Gets You Laid.”

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At 4:40 AM, Blogger CNYOrange said...

Rich Rodriguez got fired as the Arizona football coach amid an allegation of which he was apparently innocent. This movement has already gone WAY to far. I don't know if Minnesotans have the ability to write in their preferred candidate during an election, I'd love to see Mr. Franken win that way.

Also the VAST majority of posters on that orange satan site were happy to pile on Mr. Franken and see him resign.

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "unsophisticated individuals" comment struck home for me.

When you combine the hordes of naked opportunists with the vast masses of, let's just call us what we are, drooling morons, you have a recipe for exploitation.

On this issue, however, there exists a third of the population for whom the sexploitation of women is sanctified. Thus a serially predatory pig of a man is our president while a flawed but generally decent one is hounded into premature retirement.

Could americans possibly get any worse? Well, yes. And it's almost inevitable.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger cybermome said...

A few thoughts

I am female and a leftie and thought Franken should resign

I am ALSO in PA where more than a few status quo Dems thought Franken should go BUT Daylin Leach should stay.BTW most of them were Hillary supporters.

Not crazy about Gillibrand. She's a real opportunist in many of the same ways HRC was

I agree with Anita Hill that the lead on #metoo should NOT come from Politicians

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Anon said...

Not even close. The groupthink at DKos was that the women were partisan agents, they shouldn't complain about a little grab-ass and then many hilariously became experts on hand shadow distance to armored vest minutiae. Fake Newz!! they cried.

The "Don't believe the bitches!" hysteria got so bad kos had to come out of his cave to reprimand the community for being flaming assholes.


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