Monday, September 24, 2018

Publish and Perish?

Is publishing an article by someone who has been accused of wrong doing now an offense worthy of banishment? And by the way banishment and exile are the two major sentences handed down when you run afoul of the #MeToo movement. Ian Buruma the editor of The New York Review of Books is no longer in his position  as a result of running a piece by a Canadian Broadcaster named Jian Ghomeshi ("New York Review of Books Editor Is Out Amid Uproar Over #Me Too Essay,"NYT, 9/19/18). Apparently, Mr. Buruma also created controversy due to "an interview that many interpreted as showing a lack of interest in the accusations against Mr. Ghomeshi," according to The Times. The Times story goes on to describe how the Ghomeshi piece ("Reflections ffrom a Hashtag,TNYRB, 10/11/18) has come out in the light of a 7000 word essay by John Hockenbery the former NPR radio host in Harper's called “Exile” and a controversial stand-up appearance by the Louis C.K. which was “applauded by the crowd and denounced by many others.” But this brings up another issue. Is sexism, if that is what we are talking about, a crime, or rather a crime of the heart?And is it sexism to question to the level of vilification that someone accused of being sexist (or even fully abusive) is receiving? And how are such transgressions to be dealt with? Even screenwriters during the McCarthy era seemed to have had it easier than those who dare to protest the opprobrium which some talented people have recently faced. The Hollywood Ten at least enjoyed the pleasure of occupying a moral high ground. Now it’s the so-called good guys who are doing the persecution and sending anyone who would even dare to defend them (or differentiate one case from another) to the Gulag.  

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