Who will be the Joseph Welch of #metoo?

In 1954, Joseph Welch stunned Senator Joseph McCarthy and his aide Roy Cohn by challenging the out of control committee accusing pretty much everyone of being a Communist.

What we have going on at the moment is a cross betwen the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials where men are losing their careers over decades old allegations of improper sexual conduct as mild as a kiss at a Christmas Party or a man soothing a woman’s bare back. While there were real Communists and real sexual predators, there are fundamental rights to due process in our society – a right to confront your accusers, the right to a quick trial, right to trial by your peers and a prohibition on ex post facto laws. A person cannot be charged with improper conduct for events that occurred before the leaders of our representative democracy declared them to be improper.

Leonard Lopate could be that guy. He is a very smart thoughtful 77 year old man – hosting a daily live two hour interview show on WNYC radio in New York City for 32 years. Without any due process and any details of the allegations, he has been suspended from his career. This comes on the heels of American Public Media terminating its relationship with “Prairie Home Companion” creator Garrison Keillor.


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14 Responses to Who will be the Joseph Welch of #metoo?

  1. TheChairman says:

    Thus my comment on the liberal strategy for the next election: ‘man-hate 2020’ replaces ‘white guilt 2008’. I think the voice of reason this time will need to come from a woman, one who loudly proclaims that –in several of of these cases– “it takes two to tango.” As you alluded, 50 years ago the legal age for marriage was 14 in several states. In fact, there are still many states where 15 is legal, but only with parental and/or judicial consent.

  2. briand75 says:

    I believe the backbone of our legal system is “innocent until proven guilty”. I can’t cite the exact source of that claim, but we are well served to remember this regardless of whether we agree with the persons politics or not. Even Harvey Weinstein – who smells as bad as they come, should get his day in court.

    I believe they crucified Christ after the Kangaroo Court found him “guilty”, not before.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Presumption of innocence is not in the Federal Constitution – it is a legal tradition based in English Common Law. Most of the accusations do not reach the level of a criminal act or the person accusing chose not to pursue the issue at the time.

      A broadcaster out west is now accused of having boys sleep with him in bed.0

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Tom Ashbrook, the host of WBUR’s syndicated “On Point” show, has been yanked off the air. The main complaint seems to be that he tells his underlings if their work sucked and doesn’t treat the young women differently…

  4. Fred Stiening says:

    Add Ryan Lizza of New Yorker to the list.

    These men should be forced to have their genitalia removed to prove their innocence. Only a guilty man would object to that.

  5. Fred Stiening says:

    The Russian colluder Larry King now stands accused of touching a women on the butt who described her dress as backless with a deep plunge in the back.

  6. briand75 says:

    The very dangerous Larry King! I would ask the Countess if she agrees – my wife would have taken Larry down to the floor. No need for future recriminations and gnashing of teeth over harassment claims.

    Seems to me that we have a proliferation of folks who suddenly feel they need to report harassment. Were it not for the tidal wave of them, they would help the woman’s movement. As it is, they hurt the movement.

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