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The #MeToo Movement Missed This One: “You Fucking Communist Cunt, Get Out of Here!” (Richard Mellon Scaife’s Directive to a “Columbia Journalism Review” Reporter, Related by Al Franken)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of of 2017. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE [2].

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[5]

Lee Ann Twee­den’s Play­boy Cov­er

COMMENT: With Al Franken’s depar­ture from the Senate–an event that fig­ures to make the Democ­rats’ chances of regain­ing con­trol of the cham­ber more precarious–we reflect on aspects of Franken’s and John Cony­ers’ depar­tures:

  1. Franken’s trou­bles were fore­shad­owed [6] by long-time GOP (and Trump) dirty tricks oper­a­tive Roger Stone. Might Stone, as is his wont, have played a role in arrang­ing this gam­bit?
  2. Lee Ann Twee­den worked for Fox News [7] for years.
  3. Twee­den’s CV also includes mod­el­ing stints for Play­boy [7], among oth­er out­lets.
  4. We do not pass judge­ment on Twee­den’s work for out­fits like Play­boy and Hoot­ers. In a soci­ety that is sex­ist and hier­ar­chi­cal, “strut­ting one’s stuff” is a com­mon tac­tic on a career path­way for women for­tu­nate enough to be suf­fi­cient­ly endowed to effect such a move. Nonethe­less, for her to emerge as an icon for sex­u­al harass­ment is “dif­fer­ent.”
  5. Although the famous pho­to­graph of Al Franken touch­ing her breasts was non-con­sen­su­al, it occurred in the con­text [8] of a script call­ing for such things. That this is emerg­ing twelve years lat­er is some­thing that war­rants more intense scruti­ny than it has received. “ . . . Con­sent is the key. Con­sent is the cor­ner­stone, the foun­da­tion of all sex­u­al assault statutes in the U.S. and like­ly all nations. Although cer­tain­ly not inter­pret­ed or applied uni­form­ly across the wide spec­trum of juris­dic­tions in equal mea­sure. What Leeann Twee­den did say was that the pho­to­graph Sen­a­tor Al Franken staged 12 years ear­li­er with him pre­tend­ing to, or light­ly touch­ing her breasts as she slept and a kiss dur­ing a rehearsal of a scene, in the same time frame, in which a kiss was part of the script, were non-con­sen­su­al. . . .”
  6. Twee­den’s accu­sa­tions have been echoed by oth­er accusers, sev­er­al of whom have cho­sen to remain anony­mous.
  7. [9]

    Com­bat hel­mets of the Azov Bat­tal­ion, whom John Cony­ers opposed.

    John Cony­ers’ trou­bles were sig­naled [10] by long-time “Alt-Right” fig­ure Mike Cer­novich.

  8. Cony­ers had been labeled “Putin’s Man in Con­gress” [11] for crit­i­ciz­ing the Azov Bat­tal­ion. Well, he ain’t in Con­gress any more. In addi­tion to its open­ly Nazi sym­bols, Azov’s spokesman is Roman Svarych [12]–who, in the 1980’s,  was the per­son­al sec­re­tary to Jaroslav Stet­sko, the wartime head of Ukraine’s Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist gov­ern­ment and a key archi­tect of Nazi eth­nic cleans­ing in that state.
  9. Even before enter­ing the Sen­ate, Franken would have been in the GOP’s crosshairs. We note that he relat­ed stri­dent­ly misog­y­nist behav­ior by GOP finan­cial bene­fac­tor Richard Mel­lon Scaife–a main fun­der of the far right and a mem­ber of the sto­ried, extreme­ly wealthy Mel­lon fam­i­ly. Scaife’s remark–to a reporter from the Colum­bia Jour­nal­ism Review no less–has not gar­nered much atten­tion. Scaife was using the kind of lan­guage we might expect from–Edward Snow­den! [13]
  10. All of this is not to say that many–perhaps most–of the sex­u­al harass­ment charges sur­fac­ing in recent weeks against var­i­ous fig­ures may not be true. One pays a price for doing work of this kind. After close to forty years on the air, part of the price I have paid is mis­an­thropy. Echo­ing Ham­let “I care not for man.” I have a VERY low opin­ion of human nature. It is not unusu­al for peo­ple com­mand­ing pow­er and influ­ence to rou­tine­ly lever­age such grav­i­tas for finan­cial and/or sex­u­al gain. Nonethe­less, in the con­text of the Four B’s of Amer­i­can politics–Bullets, Bribes, Beds and Black­mail, I think the Cony­ers and Franken sit­u­a­tions bear more scruti­ny than they have received.
  11. From the stand­point of counter-intel­li­gence analy­sis, the #MeToo phe­nom­e­non sig­nals a superb tac­tic for polit­i­cal destruc­tion: a) infil­trate a woman into the entourage or pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment of a male politi­cian, media or busi­ness fig­ure tar­get­ed for destruc­tion; b) have her gain the trust of her polit­i­cal tar­get and his asso­ciates (the car­di­nal rule for a good dou­ble agent is “make your­self indis­pens­able to the effort”); c) after suf­fi­cient pas­sage of time, sur­face the alle­ga­tions of sex­u­al harass­ment; d) IF the oppor­tu­ni­ty for actu­al sex play and/or flir­ta­tion presents itself, take advan­tage of it for lat­er use as political/rhetorical ammu­ni­tion; e) with accusers hav­ing the tac­ti­cal lux­u­ry of remain­ing anony­mous, the oper­a­tional tem­plate for a form of sex­u­al McCarthy­ism and the prece­dent-set­ting con­tem­po­rary man­i­fes­ta­tion of a sex­u­al Star Cham­ber is very real–the oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties between much of the #metoo move­ment and the Salem Witch Tri­als should not be lost on the per­se­ver­ing observ­er; f) prop­er vet­ting of the accu­sa­tions is absent in such a process; g) for a pub­lic fig­ure in the U.S., prov­ing delib­er­ate defama­tion (libel/slander) is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult and lit­i­ga­tion is very expensive–the mere sur­fac­ing of charges is enough to taint some­one for life and the exor­bi­tant expense of lit­i­ga­tion is pro­hib­i­tive for all but the wealth­i­est among us.
  12. The CIA has long been involved with the wom­en’s move­ment. (Check out Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M4 [14]: Glo­ria in Excel­sis [15]: The CIA, the Wom­en’s Move­ment and the News Media [16].)
  13. We can’t help but feel a bru­tal­ly iron­ic degree of schaden­freude, with the so-called “pro­gres­sive sec­tor” now being impaled on the very one-dimen­sion­al iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics they have cham­pi­oned for so long. If Adolf Hitler had been a Pales­tin­ian les­bian, folks in Berke­ley would be walk­ing around in brown­shirt uni­forms, Sam Brown belts, jack­boots and swasti­ka arm­bands.
  14. The so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor has had lit­tle to say about the rape charges against Julian Assange.
  15. We don’t expect so-called pro­gres­sives to take a crit­i­cal look at the issues we have raised here. Polit­i­cal come­di­an Mort Sahl hit the nail on the head decades ago, when he observed: “A lib­er­al’s idea of courage is eat­ing at a restau­rant that has­n’t been reviewed yet.”
  16. Past a point, we find it impos­si­ble to stom­ach what is going on. In the last elec­tion, with the first female major par­ty can­di­date in this coun­try’s his­to­ry (Hillary Clin­ton) and an open­ly avowed sex­u­al preda­tor (Don­ald Trump) run­ning against each oth­er, 52% of white Amer­i­can women vot­ed for Trump–#PhysiciansHealThyselves!

[17]Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them [18]by Al Franken; Dut­ton [HC]; Copy­right 2003 by Al Franken; ISBN 0–525-94764–7; p. 132. [18]

. . . . Where did this mali­cious tone come from in the first place? I sub­mit that it can be traced to a day in 1981, when bil­lion­aire Richard Mel­lon Scaife field­ed a reporter’s ques­tion about his finan­cial back­ing of con­ser­v­a­tive groups.

“You fuck­ing Com­mu­nist cunt, get out of here,” he said to Karen Roth­my­er of the Colum­bia Jour­nal­ism Review. He went on to tell her that she was ugly and that her teeth were “ter­ri­ble.” Of Ms. Roth­my­er’s moth­er, who was not present, he said, “She’s ugly, too.” Sens­ing that it was time to wrap up the inter­view, ms. Roth­my­er thanked Scaife for his time. He bade her farewell with a cheery “Don’t look behind you.” . . . .