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NY Times Columnist Michelle Goldberg Blasts #MeToo Critics and That ‘Awkward’ Bill Maher Appearance

Goldberg is “not interested in seeing these #MeToo castoffs engage in Maoist struggle sessions to purge their patriarchal impulses”

Last Updated: September 14, 2018 @ 8:14 AM

New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg feels bad for a lot of the men who have been #MeToo-ed. Not Les Moonves or Harvey Weinstein — but some of them.

“I can only imagine how disorienting it must be to have the rules change on you so fast, to have your reputation obliterated in an instant, to be suddenly unable to do the work that gives you your identity,” Goldberg writes in a column published Friday titled, “The Shame of the MeToo Men.” “Shame, in my experience, feels even worse than injustice.”

That’s why Goldberg said that she’s “not unsympathetic to those who want to begin the fraught conversation about how these men — and, now, a couple of women — might redeem themselves and re-enter public life.” But she’s not a fan of how people are going about it — namely by criticizing the #MeToo movement and the victims and accusers who have come forward.

“There’s a difference, however, between arguing that someone merits a second chance, and insisting that he didn’t do anything all that wrong in the first place, that his accusers are exaggerating, or that his humiliation makes him the real victim,” Goldberg wrote. “Maybe this distinction seems obvious, but recently I’ve seen it elided again and again.”

Goldberg then recounted her appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher” last Friday where host Maher’s closing monologue was a call for Al Franken — the disgraced Minnesota senator who resigned in January amid groping accusations — to return to politics.

“It’s fair to argue that the things Franken was accused of — pretending to molest a sleeping woman while posing for a photograph, grabbing other women’s butts — aren’t irredeemable sins, and that he shouldn’t be permanently banished from politics,” Goldberg wrote.

“Instead, Maher disparaged the credibility of the women who spoke out against Franken, and mocked their complaints. ‘You know, when you’re a politician, being touchy-feely is kind of part of the job,’ he said,” Goldberg wrote and added: “(At one point I interrupted him, which you’re not supposed to do in that segment; it was awkward.)”

Goldberg said that incident alone wouldn’t be worth writing about, but in recent days other “high-profile men” like Norm MacDonald and former public radio reporter John Hockenberry (accused of sexual harassment himself) have “made arguments about #MeToo’s unfairness.”

The journalist writes she’s “not interested in seeing these #MeToo castoffs engage in Maoist struggle sessions to purge their patriarchal impulses.”

“But maybe they’d find it easier to resurrect their careers if it seemed like they’d reflected on why women are so furious in the first place, and perhaps even offered ideas to make things better” she concluded. “What ideas? I don’t know, but they’re the ones who are supposed to be irreplaceably creative, and they’ve got time on their hands.”