Gayle King seemed visibly shaken to learn that, after years of her unrequited flirting on CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose had been dissing her behind her back by preying on many other women who crossed his path.
Now, NBC has stuck a fork in Matt Lauer. We should have seen it coming. In 2012, Katie Couric said Matt’s most annoying habit was pinching her ass. That same year, Lauer got Ann Curry fired from the Today Show because they lacked “chemistry.”
Curry karma’s a bitch. Turns out Matt’s the one with no chemistry, or his victims would have thanked him, not ratted him out.
Myriad stories of sexual harassment and assault lately feel to me like women’s bubbling rage at Donald Trump, the proud pussy-grabber who treats his current wife like a serf.
But I think we’ve reached a tipping point. The media needs to recognize that not all these tales are created equal. A fanny grab that lasts the length of a camera click is NOT the same as a rape, and the consequences shouldn’t be equal.
We need to permanently quarantine the truly disgusting pigs and give the mere piglets a slap on the rump and a time out.
Pigs are the ones who fantasize that women share their fascination with their penis. They’ll talk about it, display it, fondle it, and use it as a weapon when opportunity presents itself.
Trump has bragged about his penis size.
Trump identifies with and supports fellow pigs like Roy Moore in Alabama because they both have a thing for little girls. With Trump, it was Ivanka. Moore would settle for any child he could force to touch his penis.
Joining them in the sty are Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, probably Matt Lauer, if stories of his affairs prove true.
Piglets are men like George H.W. Bush and Al Franken. No penises involved, just wandering paws that would have recoiled in shame if any of the stupid women whose bums they touched had simply pulled away or said, “Move your hand.”
These women talking about it years later are being treated with the same gravity as women who were aggressively harassed or assaulted. WTF?
Here’s the infamous photo of Franken that supposedly shows him “grabbing” Leeann Tweeden. See the shadows under both of his hands? He’s not even touching her.
The worst thing Franken apparently did was force an unwanted tongue kiss on Tweeden during a USO skit rehearsal. He says he doesn’t remember it like that, but has the chivalry to let Tweeden’s story stand. He even wrote her a personal, sincere apology, which she read and accepted on The View…
Tweeden says she doesn’t want Franken to lose his Senate seat over this. So what’s her point? She’s hardly one to advance this cause. She has modeled for Frederick’s of Hollywood and Hooters, was named one of the Top Hooters Girls of All Time, and has posed nude in Playboy.
Basically, Tweeden’s a woman who was fine with men jerking off to pictures of her posing as a piece of meat, but a kiss from Al Franken scarred her for life. Puleez.
So far, Al Franken has been the only man to strike a tone of appropriate guilt and remorse. He’s even saying more women may claim he did something. He’s no fool. He realizes women are out for blood, and no man who’s ever been in the same room with one is safe right now.
Which brings me to the other story that sticks in my craw and happens to involve Anthony Bourdain’s current girlfriend, an Italian actress named Asia Argento.
Argento was the first to tell her story about Harvey Weinstein to The New Yorker. She claims he forced oral sex on her when she was 21 years old, and she feigned enjoyment to make him stop. Must have been an Oscar-worthy performance because Weinstein was in her life for the next five years. She described their consensual intimacy as “one-sided and onanistic,” but he introduced her to his mother, apparently gave her “fur coats and apartments,” and helped pay for her childcare.
The Italian press didn’t buy it. And I’m sorry, but when Argento dated and accepted gifts from Weinstein, unless he held a gun on her, she was more about ambition than victimhood.
Women who spin their brief encounters with public figures into traumas they dared not reveal until a shot at five minutes of fame presented itself come off as opportunistic and muddy the waters for women who actually suffered harm.
Even worse, they don’t help the cause — which is to make men keep their hands, penises, and tongues to themselves and treat women with the respect we deserve.