By Kennedy Jones
Let us take a brief moment to put into the context the cascade of allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct flooding and titillating the media. Some big names have been drawn into it including Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Jefferey Tambour, James Franco, and a whole host of Hollywood and media types.
Now, the resignation of Patrick Brown, the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.
So, the #MeToo movement is active in the political arena. Isn’t it the slightest bit strange that the allegations against Patrick Brown surface four months before a provincial election in Ontario? Interesting also that McCarthy also loved to hit the entertainment industry, fueling the famous blacklisting system of actors, directors, producers, and screenwriters.
It is as if history is repeating itself.
Yes, there is a difference between ideology and inappropriate sexual conduct, but at least during the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, and the McCarthy era, there was at least an appearance of judicial process, as corrupted and tainted as it may have been.
During McCarthyism there was the Congressional Committee on Unamerican Activities and similar local boards and administrative tribunals. “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”
In the latest round of lunges at celebrities by the titillating media, no longer, in many cases, is there some judicial or administrative tribunal process in place to offer a defence or refuge to the accused. The media, and social media especially, has become, in many ways, the court that metes out stories, declaring guilt, and causing networks to cancel shows and terminate actors and producers.
What has happened to the crucial concept of innocent until proven guilty? Where has the right to defend oneself in a court of law arisen? Due process, in other words.
Senator McCarthy and his destructive machine was called out by the US Congress in 1954 for his dubious behaviour. Who is going to call out the media and networks from jumping on unproven allegations and destroying the careers of many.
I deplore inappropriate sexual conduct, but with a defense of consensus it becomes less black and white.
As a citizen in a democratic society I deplore undue process before the law. Scandal and sensationalism lives on in the entertainment industry. We now have a category of witches and perceived communists.