The Widdershins

First Thing We Do Is Kill All The Men

Posted on: September 14, 2018


The #MeToo movement blasted the door off Hollywood like a tsunami. The first villain to go down was Harvey Weinstein, the notoriously vicious and deranged producer who produced some extraordinary films. In his wake many others have fallen, some perhaps unfairly (Al Franken is still hotly debated on Twitter.) The last couple of weeks saw the fall of 2 big CBS figures: the president of the network Les Moonves and the 60 Minutes’ chief Jeff Fager.

After Ronan Farrow’s article in The New Yorker discussed allegations against Fager, CBS journalist Jericka Duncan, preparing a report on the story, contacted Fager for comment. Fager wrote back via text:

If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.

Once head of CBS News learned of this message, Fager was fired.


Former CBS president Les Moonves

The bigger fall at CBS, however, was its very president, Les Moonves. Moonves has been accused of not just harassment, but assault, forcing women to perform oral sex on him. And, of course, he ruined many careers. Moonves (who is married to CBS host Julie Chen) carried a vendetta against Janet Jackson because of the “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, and ordered MTV and VH1, as well as Viacom owned radio stations, to stop playing Jackson’s music. The “disappearance” of Janet from much of the music scene over the past decade is now being largely attributed to this. Before Jackson, Moonves set his sights on Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the hit show Designing Women. Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a searing article in The Hollywood Reporter describing her relationship with Moonves and how he ruined her career. One story is that high on the success of Designing Women, she wrote a pilot for a new series (actually she wrote many pilots, all of which Moonves rejected, including one with Bette Middler) and arranged a reading of the script with big names, including Ileana Douglas. At the reading, Moonves sat across from Bloodworth-Thomason and just stared at her:

Having been voted most popular in high school, I felt confident that I would be able to charm him. I was wrong. He sat and stared at me throughout the entire reading with eyes that were stunningly cold, as in, “You are so dead.” I had not experienced such a menacing look since Charles Manson tried to stare me down on a daily basis when I was a young reporter covering that trial. As soon as the pilot was completed, Moonves informed me that it would not be picked up. I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years.

When Bloodworth-Thomason finally left CBS after Moonves rejected all of her writing, his last words to her were “Go fuck yourself.”

Remember too that Les Moonves said this about Donald Trump in 2016:

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS… Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun… I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

CBS Board of Directors – all men – tried their darnedest to save Les. Arnold Kopelson, who once upon a time won an Oscar for producing Platoon, said in a board meeting: “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” Another member fo the board, William Cohen (yes, Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary in the 1990s) said: “We are going to stay in this meeting until midnight if we need to until we get an agreement that we stand 100 percent behind our CEO, and there will be no change in his status.” These are the type of men who protect other men’s perversions. They are why people like Moonves and Weinstein, and there are so many others, have thrived and will continue to thrive.

One other note on Arnold Kopelson: after Kathy Griffin’s debacle with the fake Trump head, Kopelson wrote Griffin a letter telling her how to get her career back. It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a long time. He thinks he’s being helpful, but…


Mr. Kopelson is no longer a member of the board of directors of CBS, incidentally.

Margaret Sullivan of Washington Post (and a former public editor of the NY Times, a position that paper got rid of) wrote a powerful column discussing the fact that the damage done by men like Moonves – and Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose – is incalculable. They have shaped our culture’s view of women for decades.

What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as “a political kingmaker and narrative shaper” and “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.)

What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time?


A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm, though that strange practice has turned out to be something of a leitmotif.

He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line and remember who really runs the show around here.

All these little moments add up, though we’ll never know their full cost. Only that it’s very, very high.

56 Responses to "First Thing We Do Is Kill All The Men"

Manafort went to work for Trump for free.

Manafort agrees to cooperate with Mueller. Can you imagine how much they have on Manafort for him to agree to cooperate??

Texas Board of Education votes to erase Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from history books. That’s not The Onion.

What an awesome post. Thanks D! I hope people know that the title isn’t literal. It refers to the patriarchy, not to every man in the world.

I knew Manafort would cooperate. Drumpf is badly wounded by the Woodward book and his crazy tweeting about Puerto Rico, and is losing political capital. Paulie isn’t going to go down with that ship.

The TBE is horrific. Yet another reason to kick the crazies to the curb there!

@4; And the Texas group that selects books for Texas schools plays a big part in what will go into books for other school systems in the country.

Texas textbooks — and how they address aspects of history, science, politics and other subjects — have been a source of controversy for years in part because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In 2010, the Texas Board of Education approved a social-studies curriculum that put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, including emphasizing Republican political achievements and movements. State-sanctioned textbooks have been criticized for passages suggesting Moses influenced the writing of the Constitution and dismissing the history of the separation of church and state.

BTW, on the title of the article, if someone does not recognize Shakespeare, I can’t help them! I would only suggest they NOT move to Texas. Shakespeare has probably also been erased from text books.

Great post DYB.

Texas Board of Education votes to erase Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from history books.

All of the books that are printed without Hillary and Keller need to be burned. Freakin’ crackpots and Dumbo supporters.

@14, Hells to the No! I don’t care what the fck emergency it is, I do not want to get a message from that creepy thug!

More from what Fredster posted:

The test is supposed to take place at 2:18 p.m. EDT on Sept. 20. Under the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act of 2006, cellphone users cannot opt out of the presidential alerts.

When I read this I swore so loudly the cats ran away to hide under the bed.

“if someone does not recognize Shakespeare, I can’t help them!”

Harsh, DYB! Harsh. (:D)

I was in a Shakespeare Club at school even, but don’t remember that line. Can you give us a hint?

@18 quixote: Hahaha. “First thing we do is kill all the lawyers.” I’m sure you must know that one! It’s one of the most famous of Shakespeare’s lines!

Excellent post, D. Lots of new info I hadn’t read.

Why do we have to get emergency texts from dump? Is he planning to have his buddies nuke us or something?

Fredster, the sidebar pix still crack me up. Especially the “Who Wore It Better?” pic. What the hell was she thinking?

So I wonder if there is any way to block this?

FEMA’s testing a new “presidential alerts” system that sends messages to your phone

Under a normal president, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Under Trump, not so much.

I wanna block it.

Thanks, DYB! And, no, I did not actually know that lawyers line came from Shakespeare. :redface: And I didn’t connect your title with the lawyers line. :redder face:

:goes off to sit in corner wearing dunce cap:

Okay people. It’s time to get serious here. We’re obviously in the middle of a national emergency. Someone has kidnapped the “president”!


How are they keeping him quiet? Which padded closet inside a Faraday cage has he been locked in to?

Maybe this is what’s behind the “presidential alerts.” It’s so he can call for help.

Did DYB ever say which play the line came from?

I’ll admit I had the wrong in mind when I checked it.

Henry V, fide Wikipedia. I had to look it up too 😀

21 DYB

Chelesa would never have this perspective without the protection, love and support of her two outstanding parents.

I recognized the line, and knew D meant the “kill all the lawyers” line, but didn’t remember which play. I loved Shakespeare and read a lot of the plays and sonnets in my teens and twenties. And then I started my kid in a Shakespeare group for kids when he was 7, and he was in 9 community theater Shakespeare plays til he was 18.

God, that Les Moonves is evil. He ruined cbs. Stopped any shows that were intelligent or based on women, and filled up every night with macho/violent/sexist bullshit.

Moonves is such a misogynist he cut off his nose to spite his face. After seeing the success of Designing Women, he could have made tons of money from Bloodworth Thomason shows, but his hatred of women wouldn’t allow him to do it. POS.

Fredster…Wow! Amazing finish LSU!

Oh, I recognized the line right off (English major), although I doubt I could say which play it came from. I’ve used variants on it myself.

@21, I had a tear or 2 in my eyes listening to that. What wonderful parents to raise such a wise and compassionate person.

Apparently the “Presidential Emergency” message can be escaped by turning your phone off for the alert time, per my reading of the FEMA announcement. Of course, my reading of “presidential emergency” is different from how FEMA meant it. It’s an emergency! Get rid of this president* ASAP!

@23, that is so funny! But I bet the owner put the dog right there and said “Sit” while they took a picture.

@34: OMFG! We were not supposed to win this one. In fact I dozed for a few minutes and woke up just as LSU stopped Auburn and had that last drive. Oh gawd this feels good. So I have to do two LSU things. (I had already set up the Gloom,Despair song.)

And I just love that all of the Coach O haters are going to have to eat some crow.


…a trio of political scientists have come forth with their answer as to why Donald Trump prevailed over Hillary Clinton, summed up in the title of their forthcoming book: “Identity Crisis.”

The co-authors are John Sides of George Washington University, Michael Tesler of the University of California at Irvine and Lynn Vavreck of the University of California at Los Angeles. They have plumbed and analyzed a wealth of polling and voting data, examined surveys of attitudes taken long before, during and after the 2016 campaign. Their conclusion is straightforward. Issues of identity — race, religion, gender and ethnicity — and not economics were the driving forces that determined how people voted, particularly white voters.

Although they do a helluva lot of waffling trying to not actually call Trump voters racist, and use euphemisms such as “racialized economics.”

Fredster, the dudes love Coach O. In fact, they like him more and more as time rolls on. They are sick about Trojans giving him up.

Luna, I had the same thought about Cocker Spaniel pic, but it was so adorable anyway.

@40, What an amazing and novel conclusion! LOL!

@41: annie, I consider Coach O a “late bloomer”.

He did have that disastrous tenure as head coach at Ole Miss, but he learned from it and he’s been successful ever since. A lot of the O-haters on keep going back to that but hell, Saban wasn’t all that when he was at Michigan State either.

And I’m watching your game now and pulling for you guys!

Watched some young woman on MSNBC whine that she couldn’t choose the “lesser of two evils” in 2016. Enjoy “The Handmaids Tale” for you and you daughters, moron. How does this airhead not know that HRC has spent forty years fighting for the rights of children, women and people of color? Good luck. I’ve got mine. Sorry for the typo-your daughters, moron

I can no longer care more about the fates of smug, self satisfied and willfully ignorant people than they do.

@43, Airhead on steroids. Sounds like some privileged fashionable type who never looks at anything more than superficially. After college Hillary went undercover to get evidence to bring charges against racists who were denying housing to people of color. How can people not know that? That woman probably spends more time deciding between two styles of shoes than looking into a politician’s history. These purists let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This is real life — nothing is perfect.

She’s so insulated from reality that she must think getting older is a personal insult to her.

My town’s team!

@43 Sue, it’s the same BirdBrain BernieBabes who said during the primaries – Hillary’s feminism is not my feminism. They truly don’t know. It looks like they need to learn the hard way. Too bad for them. No skin off my behind.

@Sweet Sue, Luna, and GAgal: How could people like that not know about Hillary’s activism is simply beyond me. I mean, she ran for Prez in ’08 and ’16 and her background, experience and work have been out there literally for years.

annie, that Texas game was awful and I think USC’s problems in the game started when they didn’t get the safety bcuz of the refs and I think that led to a lot of stupid mistakes on the players’ parts. Damned shame.

@49 They were young, non-political until Bernie showed up. Gloria Steinem told the truth when asked why these young women were supporting Wagging Finger instead of Hillary. “It’s where the boys are”. It’s the truth and she never should have apologized for that. She should have asked “Are you still making the sammiches?”

@49, that was my first thought, too, GAgal. Steinem was right but it’s also more than that. When you’re 20 you don’t have a lot of perspective yet. It would be overwhelming and crushing to realize how bad sexism is and what you’re up against for the whole rest of your life. I think part of that stupidity is just an attempt at psychological self-preservation. “If I’m a cool girl, it won’t be so bad.”

Of course, their psych self-preservation has pushed all of us down the road to doom, so there’s that.

Fredster, omigosh, the dudes had exactly the same opinion. Things definitely went downhill from there.

Agree with you all about Steinem and these young dumb women.

GAgal, quixote, annie, Fredster, I agree. Those young women who showed up at the caucus wearing “Hot Chicks For Bernie” T-shirts. eye roll Soooo confident they’ll always be able to get their birth control pills and have healthcare. Too cool to vote for the older woman with wrinkles — never mind that she has 100 x the brains, heart and experience as that even older male candidate.

Unfortunately they’re realizing their mistake too late.

California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

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