About Ronan Farrow.
I always thought his reporting was major crap and said so in no uncertain terms. That first long piece in New Yorker that was at the center of #MeTooting efforts, I found it absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think it’s specifically Farrow’s fault. He sells what’s in demand, and that’s what readers wanted. There was a gigantic appetite for expanding the definition of sexual harassment into infinity, and Farrow fed it. I made no secret back in the midst of #MeToo how pathetic it all was.
There is a huge but to all this.
#MeTooters dragged us all into an insane world where everything is harassment and anybody can be squashed without an iota of proof. But now that they have to suffer from this development, they want to take it back. They are about to lose something that matters to them deeply (which is the election in November, obviously), and now they want to pretend that the entire #MeToo insanity is the fault of just one bad apple.
Of course, the moment the danger passes and their guy wins, they will be back at it, policing college campuses, workplaces, and dates to impose their prissy, ridiculous beliefs. That will, of course, apply to everybody but them.
The hounding of Farrow at this particular moment is completely self-serving and dishonest. The problem is not Farrow. The problem is the whole idiotic notion that there is a gigantic issue with sexual harassment in the US, that there is an epidemic of sexual assault on US campuses, that professors should be adjudicating rape claims, that Title IX should be expanded instead of canned, and that every uncomfortable date or purple joke should lead to firings, houndings, and unpersonning.
#MeTooters are trying to turn Farrow into a sacrificial goat. But the moment they tank him, they will be right at it, manufacturing allegations against inconvenient people and cancelling them.
Stalin used this strategy very successfully. To allow the terrorized population to let off some steam, he’d periodically accused on of his henchmen of organizing the purges and taking them too far. The henchman would be executed, everybody would feel joyous, and the new round of purges would start immediately.
It pains me to see that good, anti-#MeTooting people are getting caught in this snare. We have everything we need to win the war, and I’m afraid we’ll lose because we accept this minor sacrifice of an utterly insignificant Farrow.
Attacks on Farrow started right after engineers of #MeToo were forced to explain how “well, when we said believe women, we didn’t mean all women, and we didn’t mean believe but rather have a more nuanced approach.” They are trying to distract us, and we are letting them.
Hounding Farrow is situationally satisfying but strategically disastrous. Let’s forget about the minutiae of how Farrow checks his sources and concentrate on the hypocrisy surrounding Tara Reade. We can make sure the #MeToo insanity is dead before this year ends. That should be the goal.