October 28, 2017

"When a young woman started work at the New Republic, she would be swept into Leon’s glittering welcome wagon."

"Maybe it would be lunch at one of his favorite haunts (The Palm, back in his heyday) or a cozy chat (and maybe a sip of bourbon) in his office. The venue shifted, but the purpose was constant: to gauge the newest member of the family’s potential as a playmate. For Leon, women fell on a spectrum ranging from Humorless Prig to Game Girl, based on how much of his sexual banter, innuendo, and advances she would put up with. Once he figured out where to place you, all else flowed from there.... As woman after woman has stressed, Leon’s was not a Harvey Weinstein or Roger Ailes type of predation. No one I spoke with was ever physically afraid of him. Yes, some feared his ability to make their life miserable and ruin their future.... At the same time, many women longed to be in what one called 'the sunlight' of Good Leon. Complicating matters, the owner of the magazine during my tenure, Martin Peretz, had a reputation as a scorching sexist (a tale for another day), and the magazine was seen as something of a boys’ club. Leon always presented himself as a champion of women, which in many cases he was: He helped some women fine-tune pieces, he introduced them to famous and powerful people, he helped them find jobs a step up the career ladder.... As a senior political writer, I didn’t look to Leon for mentoring. Even so, I wanted to stay in his good graces—not merely because I feared Bad Leon, but because Good Leon could be, yes, incomparably charming, funny, and brilliant. I rationalized that I could handle the rest and that his low-level lechery was simply the cost."

From "Leon Wieseltier: A Reckoning/Women who once worked at The New Republic reflect on their experiences with the legendary literary editor, who is now facing allegations of workplace 'misconduct,'" by Michelle Cottle (in The Atlantic).

64 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

"For Leon, women fell on a spectrum ranging from Humorless Prig to Game Girl.."

To be fair, in the middle of that spectrum he had Rocket Scientist.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Women in the workplace are as neuter as pine boards.

The trouble is that they have women's ideas.

rhhardin said...

A broad spectrum antibiotic is needed.

Angel-Dyne said...

...the owner of the magazine during my tenure, Martin Peretz...the magazine was seen as something of a boys’ club.

Oddly coy euphemism c. 2017.

Expat(ish) said...

Absent the "does she go" aspect, this is exactly what everyone does when a new person shows up at work.

Are they smart? Good? Hard working? Do they know people I know so I can check up on them? Can they help me? Hurt me? Will I work for them someday, if so, how nice should I be? Etc....

Back when I was single and interested in such things: Hot? Available? Crazy? (Well, I think that still gets asked.)

-XC

rhhardin said...

You can still escape women by going into math or physics, if anybody's interested.

Chemistry tends to be infected with pre-med women.

rhhardin said...

Curiously there's little interest in who can help your career in math or physics.

Interests tend to be shared rather than negotiated.

rhhardin said...

Excepting climate science.

David Begley said...

Wieseltier, Weinstein and Halperin. Weren’t these guys just following Bill Clinton’s example? Bill Clinton, putative First Gentleman?

If Hillary would have won, none of this stuff would have been known.

Turns out the women who voted for Trump did the right thing. Althouse was the swing vote in Wisconsin.

Michael K said...

Tucker Carlson has the preview of next week's attraction.

The sex stories are filler. Interesting to some but old history. Everybody knew this about the left since John Kennedy.

At one point in either 2013 or maybe early 2014 our source says a meeting was held that included both Tony Podesta and a representative of the Clinton Foundation. The explicit subject of that meeting? How to assist Uranium One, that's the Russian-owned company that controls 20% of American uranium production, and whose board members gave more than $100 million to the Clinton Foundation. As our source put it, Tony Podesta was basically part of the Clinton Foundation.

Inga most affected.

wild chicken said...

Ugh. That was my favorite mag in the 80s. Come to think, it had mostly male bylines.

Has viagra emboldened these pigs? Used to be they were harmless by a certain age, esp if they drank and smoked.

MadisonMan said...

There's this article too, from Vox.

We don't have President Hillary!! because of Halperin and Wieseltier! Is there anything that actually is her fault? I think not!!

Sydney said...

It's amazing how dysfunctional these media workplaces are. I've never worked at a place where this sort of behavior would be tolerated. I've known hospital executives who got fired for getting too chummy with underlings. It also makes it hard to accept the media outrage over Trump's pussy grabbing comment. Hypocrites.

Chuck said...

I am going to make a presumption. Without reading the entire linked article. And of course presumptions can be dangerous.

I am just guessing, that Althouse's purpose in quoting that passage was to emphasize a scenario in which any "harassment" or "abuse" was blurred into near-nonexistence.

This is how it struck me, just from the quoted passage: Leon Wieseltier was an office flirt. And as a man with considerable authority, he had the opportunity to help careers or not. (News flash; men are also subject to situations in which someone in power can help or hinder a career.) He liked to flirt with young ladies in the office, but he did not impose himself or abuse anyone or harass anyone and he certainly did not commit any form of sexual assault.

His issue now may be that he was operating in a world of liberal feminists, many of whom were also hardcore careerists, and now he is going to get exceedingly harsh judgment from that crowd because they have latched onto a new hasthag-movement in which he can be a target.

Now I am just wondering how far off the mark I was, from Althouse's thinking on this post.

Laslo Spatula said...

""When a young woman started work at the New Republic, she would be swept into Leon’s glittering welcome wagon."

Glittering Welcome Wagon: the White Van for adult women.

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

OK, if he wanted to marry them, then he would have been doing EVERYTHING RIGHT, Until they got a better offer.And that sounds like bargaining for a contractual exchange of promises...hmmm, maybe women could somehow survive that.

traditionalguy said...

As for UraniumGate loot, Hillary assures us that everyone does it. Remember Benedict Arnold and his Charitable Foundation.

gspencer said...

"I rationalized that I could handle the rest and that his low-level lechery was simply the cost."

Shades of the old GB Shaw observation on what you are and the price.

FullMoon said...

As woman after woman has stressed, Leon’s was not a Harvey Weinstein or Roger Ailes type of predation.

Far as I know, Ailes did not rape or force himself on anyone, or whip out his dick.

Most of these stories that mention physical assaulters throw in Trump or Ailes or another Republican in order to create an impression they are equally disgusting.

Laslo Spatula said...

Michelle Cottle: she's like Annabella Sciorra, without the rape.

I am Laslo.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

So we now find out that any interaction with a woman is sexual harassment. Nice to know, it is obvious that mike pence was dead on the money.

rhhardin said...

any interaction with a woman is sexual harassment.

It's nagging. It has survival value in the quest-sending form.

rhhardin said...

Thie wokeness happens withing the war between men and women, not outside it. It's a move on the women's side against the men's side.

glenn said...

Actually it is even more complicated than Ms. Cottle said. Sometimes women in the workplace see a roll in the hay as having the potential to advance their career or get them other privileges. In a company I consulted to one of the secretaries hauled the plant managers ashes so she could run a private secretarial service using the company’s resources. And bring her kids in to play with the copy machine.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Etienne said...
Leon Wieseltier would have never been born if Topf and Sons made better furnaces.

10/28/17, 9:53 AM


Kill anybody lately, wet-brain?

Anonymous said...

TONITE on SNL:

Sign outside a door: The Art of Survival
Inside a roundtable with people: Weinstein, Halperin, Weiner, Weiseltier, Clinton. The host announces that we will have a video guest from the WH (you guessed it, Trump).

++++

In any event, Get ready for POTUS Liz Warren or POTUS Kamala Harris AND Speaker Pelosi and Maj Leader Schemer.

GOP in dog houses for next century.

Leslie Graves said...

In Ms. Cottle's article, she doesn't seem to consider the possibility that with other women, Mr. Wieseltier's behavior was considerably darker than what she experienced. The circle of women Ms. Cottle relies on for her narrative have some things in common. They had some level of protection afforded by their significant degree of talent and in some cases, other connections.

She can only tell her story, and relay the anecdotes of the women in her circle. I wish that she had also expressed some curiosity and concern about what might have transpired between Leon and women not in the Cottle circle, such as the "employee of the magazine’s office building" discussed in the NYT article on the Wieseltier matter. That woman was presumably not being invited to sip bourbon, fact check articles together, or dally with Leon in his hotel suite in a glamorous New York hotel.

Oso Negro said...

I am glad to be out of the traditional American workplace and long out of the market for American women. In the olden days, you could walk up to a woman and ask her out. She might even be happy to go! I cannot see that proscribing normal human interaction in the workplace is less oppressive than tolerating interaction that makes a few uncomfortable. And it seems that subversive elements of our culture have done everything possible to foster the sense of grievance.

buwaya said...

The fuzziness in these categories is unavoidable.
In the end its all about perception and intention.

Taking all this literally and trying to fit hard edges, or a rigid policy, is not congruent with human nature.

As long as women are permitted in male workplaces, and in the proportions that they are today, it makes the workplace a primary site for pairing-off. And especially so when there is no longer a communal society, a village, that lets people evaluate their potential mates for character and virtue. College is the other such site.

A few decades ago, in my experience anyway, most marriages happened between people who met at work. We ourselves did.

This hysteria, plus the college sex hysteria, is going to reduce the already dreadful rate of marriage and successful mating especially among the more-capable fraction of the population. Yet again another mechanism to produce an idiocracy. Perhaps there is a fatal flaw in intelligence, that creates, through contagious neuroses, a barrier to reproduction.

Michael K said...

No, I think the educated elites, as they term themselves, mostly marry each other and lead lives of Bourgeois culture, while condemning it for others.

Humperdink said...

Earth to AP: Your next correct prediction will be your first.

buwaya said...

The educated elites have a very low birthrate.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

She invites him to her wedding.

And then, years later, when it's helpful to her career…

She trashes him in The Atlantic

And both the wedding invitation and the hit job are based on the same behavior.



Darrell said...

The only proper conversation between employees at the New Republic is the greeting "Comrade," followed by the response, "Comrade."

Saint Croix said...

The educated elites have a very low birthrate.

And a very low sex drive.

Unknown said...

Saint croix's comment is an ender.

Saint Croix said...

If you're worried about overpopulation…

it's not enough to be pro-abortion

and killing off the old

now you have to actively discourage sex and reproduction as well

Gahrie said...

For Leon, women fell on a spectrum ranging from Humorless Prig to Game Girl, based on how much of his sexual banter, innuendo, and advances she would put up with.

How much do you want to bet that he had a similar scale to this for men? Who laughed at his jokes, who could take a joke...who could be useful to him?

How about the possiblity that the men working for him resented the fact that he was always giving advantages to women?

No one I spoke with was ever physically afraid of him. Yes, some feared his ability to make their life miserable and ruin their future....

You don't think the men who worked for him felt the same fear?

At the same time, many women longed to be in what one called 'the sunlight' of Good Leon.

I bet every guy did too.

William said...

I didn't read the article. I don't think it would have been published were it not for the Harvey fall out. I suppose that's a plus for women. The down side is that after Harvey all these complaints seem petty. Also, they don't involve movie stars so they're not that interesting.

William said...

I've been exploited by employers for my body. Not for my good looksf, but for the durability of my back.

William said...

Remarkably, such past exploitation doesn't help me sympathize with her.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

As someone who read TNR for over 20 years, the only thing that amazes me is that anyone took Leon Wieseltier seriously about much of anything. Go look up some old articles in TNR under his bylines. Long-winded & pompous, each & every one.

LW was at TNR under Marty Peretz because he was one of the few "old style" Jewish Liberal/Lefties that would work with Marty Peretz, & so he filled an important cultural slot on the masthead. Peretz had pissed off the rest of the standard Jewish lefties, & they would have nothing to do with him.

Crazy Jane said...

David Begley said: If Hillary would have won, none of this stuff would have been known.

Exactly. Nobody seemed to notice last year that there was a certain incongruence between spending 40 years enabling a horndog who couldn't keep his pants zipped in the Oval Office and then running as a champion of women's rights.

Between calling Monica Lewinsky a "narcissistic loony tune" and then saying "All women should be believed," apparently with a straight face. Between taking $1.5 million from a serial predator and then being "shocked" and "appalled" but not giving back the money.

William said...

I saw an item where Halperin claims that his predations happened years in the past. When he became aware that his behavior was causing distress, he sought counseling and has since remade himself. My prediction is that this will not be a career ending injury for Halperin. Eventually he'll be welcomed back into the fold. If you're a celebrity and have liberal credentials, they let you grab them.

William said...

I watched Maher. I was hoping he'd squirm a little about these recent revelations. No such luck. He did one joke on Harvey, and then pivoted into an extended riff on HW Bush and his wheelchair gropes. "That's the way he rolls."

walter said...

" If you're a celebrity and have liberal credentials, they let you grab them."
Or..tent them.

Sebastian said...

"How much do you want to bet that he had a similar scale to this for men? How about the possiblity that the men working for him resented the fact that he was always giving advantages to women? You don't think the men who worked for him felt the same fear?"

Gahrie, Gahrie, you still don't get it, do you? Women are special. Get with it.

walter said...

If this was how things were, there would likely be a selective screening "process" at the initial hiring stage, before the Welcome Wagon.
I remember when traveling, before everyone's mug was on social media here, thinking it odd that my friend who moved to France was required to include her picture in job applications.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The Daily Beast, which is not conservative, has a eye-popping expose of leftist male sexism. The accusations leveled at Wieseltier are small potatoes compared to stuff like this :

Gerry Healy was a Stalinist who led Britain’s Workers Revolutionary Party, an “anti-imperialist” groupuscule partly funded by Muammar Qadafi and Saddam Hussein, whose more presentable patrons included Vanessa and Corin Redgrave. According to his former secretary, this man of the people used apartments owned by the party in a “completely opportunist way for sexual liaisons” to “degrade women and girl comrades and destroy their self-respect.” Ultimately, some 26 women accused Healy of “gross sexual abuse.” According to Vanessa Redgrave, however, “these allegations are all lies and the women who are supposed to have made them are all liars. I don't care whether it's 26, 36 or 236. They are all liars.” Believe All Women, in other words, except those who accuse our Dear Leader."

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-liberal-left-heroes-who-treat-women-like-garbage

Then there is Rolling Stone writer Matt Tabibi and his one-time business partne Mark Ames, who wrote an account of their adventures in Russia in the 90's:

" Ames recounted his threat to kill a woman he had impregnated if she refused to get an abortion as well as his exploits with a 15-year-old girl whom he had also impregnated. In a 2000 interview, Ames discussed the finer points of dating Russian women, who “expect you to rape them.”

Tabibi is now saying the book was "satire." Yep, bragging about fucking 15 year olds and threatening to throw a woman out the window if she doesn't get an abortion and "suck that fucker out" is right up there with Jonathan Swift.

I can understand why so many leftist feminists hate men if this is what they deal with. Many leftist males seem to be either gamma pussy boy types or complete pigs. The problem is they project their revulsion onto normal masculine men.

Didn't any of them have decent fathers who treated their mothers with respect and kindness without becoming henpecked husbands? They believe masculinity is toxic because they don't know what being a man entails.

robother said...

Hip or Square? That seems to have been the main criterion for judging people at Peretz's New Republic.

"The unstated essence of Hip, its psychopathic brilliance, quivers with the knowledge that new kinds of victories increase one’s power for new kinds of perception; and defeats, the wrong kind of defeats, attack the body and imprison one’s energy until one is jailed in the prison air of other people’s habits, other people’s defeats, boredom, quiet desperation, and muted icy self-destroying rage." Mailer, The White Negro.

robother said...

And, Mailer also notes, presciently, about hipster as psychopath:

"For the psychopath is better adapted to dominate those mutually contradictory inhibitions upon violence and love which civilization has exacted of us, and if it be remembered that not every psychopath is an extreme case, and that the condition of psychopathy is present in a host of people including many politicians, professional soldiers, newspaper columnists, entertainers, artists, jazz musicians, call-girls, promiscuous homosexuals and half the executives of Hollywood, television, and advertising, it can be seen that there are aspects of psychopathy which already exert considerable cultural influence."

Jupiter said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
"Curiously there's little interest in who can help your career in math or physics."

When I was in physics grad school, my girlfriend was also a physics grad student. Her much older, highly distinguished, married Thesis Advisor took a notion to fall in love with her, and tell her all about it. Regularly. She was utterly devastated, and very nearly dropped out of the program, although she was in her final year. I did not see that there was much I could do besides encouraging her to stick it out, and giving him a hard stare every time I saw him. I wasn't worried about my career, but I was very worried about hers.

Truth be told, I found it hard to hate the guy. I felt sorry for him. She was young and sweet and beautiful. I fell in love with her. I could see why he did as well. And even then, I could see that getting old is no damn fun.

walter said...

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions

YoungHegelian said...

@exile,

I can understand why so many leftist feminists hate men if this is what they deal with. Many leftist males seem to be either gamma pussy boy types or complete pigs. The problem is they project their revulsion onto normal masculine men.

I've read a bunch of the books in the Yale U Annals of American Communism series. I highly recommend the series, for those who have a bent for such histories.

Among the members of CPUSA, affairs & pre-marital relations were were not uncommon, as befitted a group of people who had moved themselves past the boundaries of bourgeois morality. And a number of them ended badly, as such things often do. The result were always the same. Personal feelings could not be allowed to interfere with the work of the Party. When the women complained to Party officials about their treatment, they were told, more or less, "Comrade, if you had kept your legs together, we would not be having this conversation".

rcocean said...

Edmund Wilson, the grand poobah of American Literary Critics, was immensely proud of his ability to talk women into bed & the size of his "equipment". Wilson would chase any biped in a skirt at the New Yorker or New Republic. From his Bio and Diaries, he seems to have been successful more often that not, even past 55.

Of course, when you look at pictures of some of his conquests, it seems much less impressive.

BTW, when it comes to sexual harassment, the more ugly the women - or obscure the man - the less newsworthy it is.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

We are well on our way to creating a mandatory workplace medium of mediocrity. Expel all the mad geniuses! Hire more meek followers!

rcocean said...

"We are well on our way to creating a mandatory workplace medium of mediocrity. Expel all the mad geniuses! Hire more meek followers!"

Christ you're a moron. And one always begging for attention. Like "Unknown".

Just move to Manhattan or SF.

Unknown said...

Nothing better than being a victim.

This is becoming #IHaveMunchausenToo

Carol said...

David Begley said: If Hillary would have won, none of this stuff would have been known.


Just getting ready to turn the guns on Trump 24/7. If the Russia thing doesn't work out.

Anonymous said...

So, some questions:

Should it be legal for a boss to give aid / promotions / etc. to female employees based on whether or not they're willing to have sex with him?

Should it be legal for a director / producer / etc to case women based on their willingness to have sex with him (or her)?

If your answer to either of those questions is "no", then a follow on:

Should it be criminal for a woman to accept one of those offers, and have sex in exchange for job help? If not, why is it illegal to offer, but not illegal to accept? After all, if no women accepted, then everyone would get normal treatment, but the fact that some women will accept will put pressure on other women to accept, too.

Martin said...

Why are liberal organizations such cesspits of lechery and male sexual privilege?