Charles Vignola: Story sounding all too familiar


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a Hollywood power broker and celebrity in his own right is suddenly accused of sexual harassment and assault – and not just by one woman, but by well over a dozen.

It’s like a bomb has suddenly gone off in the media, as more women who finally feel the safety in numbers speak out with shocking new claims every day, decades of sexual misconduct finally exposed. There’s even a disturbing audiotape released where you can hear this celebrity’s sexual aggression on display.

The public outrage is so overwhelming and the concern for these victims so pronounced, that tens of millions of Americans respond exactly the way you’d expect them to… by electing this depraved celebrity President of the United States.

Oh, sorry… you thought I was talking about Harvey Weinstein? Yeah, I can understand the confusion: he’s a world-class slimeball facing dozens of lurid accusations and is justly facing public condemnation and legal consequences for his repugnant actions.

But no: I’m talking about the other celebrity and Hollywood power player who one year ago was faced with virtually identical charges of sexual misconduct from at least 16 women – Donald J. Trump.

Let’s just get one thing perfectly clear: sexual harassment is not about “Left/Right” politics, but about sexual politics. It’s not about liberal versus conservative principles, but about abuse of power and a total lack of principles.

What I’ve found amazing this past week, however, is conservatives’ demented belief that they could somehow exploit what’s happening with Harvey Weinstein as a partisan cudgel to pound Democrats with, simply because Weinstein was a big liberal political donor.

But I’m afraid my conservative friends lost the moral high ground on this subject last October, when their hero Trump was slammed with the exact same accusations by an equally vocal and growing chorus of victims… and they could’ve cared less. Now they want to express concern? Sorry, too little too late.

For the past week, conservatives have been screaming, “Where’s the liberal outrage over Harvey Weinstein?”

Let’s see: The liberal outrage is that no one in liberal circles came to his defense, his wife left him, he got fired from the company that bears his name, whatever projects he had around town were instantly cancelled, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences stripped him of membership – only the second time in history that’s ever happened.

Some conservatives actually had the gall to criticize Weinstein’s victims for not speaking out sooner about what they’d suffered – as if conservatives get to dictate when it’s appropriate for victims to publicly share their trauma.

Hey, remember when all those women courageously spoke out about Trump’s sexual misconduct last year, and Trump and his sycophants accused them all of being attention-seeking, gold-digging liars, and attacked them on the internet to make their lives a living hell?

Call me crazy, but crap like that might be a big reason why average women – never mind movie stars – are so reluctant to speak out against powerful men and risk having their reputations destroyed, inflicting further emotional pain.

Yes, it’s curious how Republicans are convinced that all of Bill Clinton’s accusers were telling the God’s honest truth, and all of Bill Cosby’s accusers were brave and honest for sharing their stories… but the 16 women who’ve accused Donald Trump? Turns out every single one of them is a dirty liar, none of them to be believed!

Funny how that double standard works, depending on the politics of the accused.

And pay no attention to the fact that Trump was the only creep caught on videotape bragging about being entitled to commit sexual assault because, “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” The fact that his comments match up to his accusers’ claims is just a weird coincidence.

You’ve also got to admire the sheer chutzpah of Fox News, the main media outlet leading the charge to attack liberals for Harvey Weinstein and accusing the Left of “enabling” him by not outing him sooner.

See, Fox News lives in a lovely glass house where they think no one remembers they just had to fire their founder Roger Ailes, and their number one attraction Bill O’Reilly, and popular Fox host Eric Bolling, all for sexual harassment – which was accompanied by a mass exodus of their top female talent.

Not only did Fox News barely cover this disgusting story on their own network or bother to apologize to their viewers for this debacle, but there was a sharp silence on the right about Fox News’s shameful record of paying off accusers and literally enabling Ailes and O’Reilly’s criminal behavior for decades.

Not to worry though: Fox News viewers stuck with them anyway, integrity be damned. It’s still Trump’s favorite news source – go figure! – and the only network where Trump fans can blissfully tune out his daily screw-ups.

Want to know the real difference between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein? 62,985,106 votes.

Charlie Vignola is a former college Republican turned liberal Democrat. He lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

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