Editorial

What is the shelf life of outrage?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It’s now an almost daily occurrence. Someone comes forward saying they were groped, grabbed, or otherwise wronged by somebody famous. How long should we credibly be asked to believe that someone was wronged? In other words, what is the shelf life of outrage?

Take, for example, the woman who claims Sen. Al Franken grabbed her fanny during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 while her husband took the picture. I’m not defending Franken if he actually did grab her butt, but the shelf life on that outrage is about 30 minutes or until you leave the fair, whichever comes first. If I’m the wife, I turn around and slap the hell out of Franken. If I’m the husband, I punch the SOB in the nose.

At some point we have to separate the wheat from the chaff. Who is to be believed. Beverly Young Nelson, the woman who says Roy Moore of Alabama sexually assaulted her in his car back in 1977 gave a very convincing performance with Gloria Allred before the cameras. It wasn’t until Moore’s attorney revealed that she had her divorce petition thrown out by Moore’s court in 1999 that she was exposed as a fraud. Even now, many in the press discount that little factoid. It’s impossible to now believe she wasn’t acting out of vengeance.

In a Vox article on suspended New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, he’s accused of leveraging his position of power in journalism to accost women. Let’s examine that for a moment, this “leveraging of power.” It’s one thing if Thrush is your boss. That kind of leverage for sex is older than the water cooler. What we’re talking about here are women who worked alongside him as reporters. Apparently it was impossible to say no to Thrush.

One reporter recounts that after a Politico going-away party, where they both worked, Thrush somehow ended up at her place. Hmmm. “I remember stopping him at one point and saying, ‘Wait, you’re married,’” she told the New York Times. “I remember that by the time he left, I didn’t have much clothes on.” Really? I wonder how that happened. Thrush’s super power must be the ability to melt clothes off women.

I should remind you that Glenn Thrush is the “journalist” caught in the Wikileaks e-mails from John Podesta sending a draft article that dealt with Podesta to Podesta to edit. He admitted in the e-mail that “I have become a hack.” Yeah, Glenn, you have. And apparently a drunk, groping, creep of a hack.

So, now the Vox folks are revisiting Bill Clinton’s predatory ways. They’ve wrongfully come to the conclusion that Monica Lewinsky was a victim via the same Thrushian logic of leveraging power. Monica Lewinsky was a stalking opportunist trying her best to “do” the president the first chance she got. That doesn’t let Bill off the hook for his rogue behavior but she’s not a #MeToo.

Whether it’s PBS’s Charlie Rose walking around naked (a revolting thought) or Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch, there seems to be a theme. Too many people for way too long believed that type of conduct passed for appropriate behavior. Here in the real world, the world of relative morality that these liberals ridiculed for generations, we all knew better.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not doubting a lot of what happened to these women happened. What I’m questioning is how outraged they actually were when it took them years, sometimes decades, to come forward. Apparently some of their outrage has the shelf life of a can of beets.

Copyright 2017 Phil Valentine