Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Follow-up on prior posts

---The Nassau County Executive race was won by the Democrat Laura Curran, who defeated Republican Jack Martins.  In this generally Republican leaning county, Curran won with a 51% to 49% margin, though at this time Martins has not yet conceded.  It seems that no amount of corrupt manipulation could overcome that margin with 99% of precincts reporting.  Ironically for Martins there is a growing consensus that his hard right Trump style lying about his opponent, as detailed in earlier comment, is what pushed the election to Curran.  More Democrats than usual left their couch and voted, incensed by Martins' approach.  This was welcome news.

---Part two of the HBO documentary about Rolling Stone magazine was well worth watching.  The segment about Jimmy Swaggert, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Mickey Gilley was particularly enjoyed.  Near the end of program, there was an examination of the University of Virginia rape story that Rolling Stone exposed with great fanfare, only to learn after two weeks that their "victim" had fabricated the story.  The article began falling apart almost immediately after publication but their reporter and the magazine editors hung on for two weeks before conceding that they had erred.  The episode brought to mind the New York Times "scoop" on the Duke lacrosse team sexual assault case in which the accuser was ultimately found to be lying while aided by an overly zealous politically needy district attorney.  The general behavior of the lacrosse team may have been repugnant, but there was no crime. In both cases a female reporter was supported to the disastrous end by their publications, and the college bureaucracies were too timid to stand up to the press.

Knowing that sexual assault was an issue on college campuses, the reporters and publications apparently did not want to further damage victims by impugning their statements.  Today in the charged atmosphere generally as the Harvey Weinstein revelations have opened a Pandora's box of victims from the past across the entertainment industry and now the business community, I hope it is not too politically incorrect to suggest that all accusations should not be accepted at face value.  There is a difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment, and further difference between those and unfair gender bias.  The next category would be disagreements over performance reviews, decisions about promotions, and salary levels,  all of which are fraught with subjectivity.  The last category would be outright fabrication.

There is a pervasive and long standing problem but individual cases require individual attention.


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