It's only natural that the media would collectively do damage control for one of their own, as when Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is publicly revealed to be a serial sexual exploiter, and perhaps serial rapist.
But why isn't there more on the demand side for coverage of these practices in a major industry? All it would take would be a few journalists at a few outlets with even a few sources coming forward to break the propaganda cartel and meet that pent-up demand.
Even if more big-wigs in the media are outed and shamed for Weinsteinian exploitation -- whether in Hollywood or in the New York / DC media -- I still don't sense that much outrage at the popular level.
Contrast that with the revelations about similar longstanding patterns of sexual abuse by the Catholic church, the Boy Scouts, or public schools where adults prey on children.
The main difference seems to be that the victims in Hollywood are generally members of the elite -- and that their sexual exploitation was part of their induction into the Hollywood economy. If they want the roles, they have to let some disgusting slug have his way with them. If they don't want the roles, they can turn him down.
Now these aren't everyday blue-collar roles in the Hollywood economy that they're getting -- these roles will catapult them into elite status and wealth.
Most observers are going to see this kind of casting-couch exploitation as the actors and actresses sleeping their way into a job, or into a promotion, which nets them millions of dollars in wealth, as well as national and even international fame.
If, on the other hand, they had to sleep with some disgusting creep just to get a cashier's job in retail, or had to tolerate some fat hairy ugly boss feeling them up in the stock room, that would strike most people as real degradation and slavery. They're working class, they get very little out of it, and they don't have sustainable alternatives -- unlike actors and actresses who could make a decent living outside the entertainment or media industry.
The same goes for child victims -- now that would really nuke Hollywood, if the pedophile rings are finally outed and their ringleaders shamed. That is not consensual, not a calculated move to advance their wealth and status in exchange for degrading treatment, and not a career move they made instead of a number of well-paying alternatives (children can only make money by being in entertainment, not by being professionals or managers or stock market gamblers).
I addressed this in an earlier post about prosecuting pedophiles in order to delegitimize Hollywood. The casting-couch stories are not going to wreck Hollywood's moral credibility. Those reports mainly resonate with people who face similar pressures if they want more wealth and status -- other white-collar workers in the media / entertainment industry, and at most white-collars in general.
That might lead to a movement among media workers to seek better working conditions, like not having to let some slithering reptile touch you in order to get the job. But will it lead to a broader outcry from the public and fuel the anti-liberal side of the culture war? Not really.
The anti-pedophile stuff would, though, and that's why the media is far more dogged in doing damage control over that kind of sexual exploitation. A related post is only four months old, yet the offending tweet from a Breitbart reporter and the video clip embedded in it have already been removed from Twitter. They showed Al Franken at a roast of Rob Reiner, telling a story about Rob being molested as a baby and turned out by his well-connected Hollywood father, which was likely an outing in disguise of Rob himself as a serial pedophile in Hollywood.
But it's not just Hollywood that gets a pass for exploiting aspiring or actual members of the elite. Wall Street took rich people for a ride, yet nobody cares about Bernie Madoff's victims because they were just rich scum looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and got burned by the only type of person who would sell them such a scheme, namely a con man.
Silicon Valley replaces American computer coders with cheap foreign workers, either over in India or by bringing Indians here. Yet there is little popular outrage like there is about the decline of manufacturing in the Rust Belt. Again, the coders in Silicon Valley were more elite, and factory workers in Michigan and North Carolina more blue-collar.
This all traces back to the fundamental split between the Democrat and Republican parties, where the Democrats represent the power factions that are more cerebral, digital, and easily scale-able, while the Republicans represent the power factions that are more physical, labor-intensive, and less scale-able. These are differences at the material level -- how they develop their wealth and power -- and not at the ideological level.
Democrat industries scale up easily and are not labor-intensive, so their workers tend to be more elite. Republican industries are more physically rooted, so their workers will be some elite but mostly working-class (fruit pickers and ranch hands, policemen and soldiers, oil and mine workers, stock boys and cashiers at Walmart and McDonalds, and so on).
By their very nature, these two sets of industries are not equal when it comes to portraying their workers as being exploited. White-collar professionals who have to submit to casting-couch hiring practices are not as sympathetic as blue-collar workers slaving away at physically taxing labor.
Some culture warriors will try to score points asking "Where are all the feminists coming out against Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood?" But more to the point, where are all the women among the general public coming out in anger over how Hollywood actresses are treated?
This should be yet another reminder that gender plays little role compared to class, when it comes to collective behavior. As disgusting as Weinstein's behavior is, most women cannot put themselves in the place of Hollywood actresses who make millions of dollars and global fame on the other side of that revolting exploitation.
But some child who gets inappropriately touched or otherwise taken advantage of -- that's something that transcends class and gender. Working-class women would have no trouble relating to those kinds of crimes, and would threaten to destroy Hollywood if it came out that so much of the upper crust there have been serial pedophiles who have twisted and ruined people's lives before they even got started in adulthood.
The real culture war against Hollywood must target those kinds of crimes, which are far more heinous and would resonate with a far broader audience, and not the casting-couch practices that are less offensive and even then primarily to white-collar women.
Ditto for taking on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and higher education -- expose their exploitation of naive and innocent young people, and they will have zero moral authority left. Not just sexual abuse of their workers, but financial exploitation of youngster consumers who don't understand how the world works.