Culture War

Why You're All Wrong To Be Raging Against Lena Dunham

Indulge in the bloodsport, entrench the new cult of sexual assault accusation she helped create

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Everyone loves being part of a pile-on against Lena Dunham, I know. I do too. But the current Twitter-mauling of Dunham after she defended her friend and 'Girls' colleague Murray Miller against sexual-assault allegations is really nothing to celebrate.

If we could all turn down the Schadenfreude for five minutes, we might realize the furious social-media ostracism of Dunham for expressing her inner conscience reveals just how far out-of-control the post-Harvey Weinstein climate has spun.

Dunham is getting it in the neck for tweeting her doubts about the accusations made by actress Aurora Perrineau. Perrineau says she was assaulted by Miller when she was 17. Dunham said that she and her fellow 'Girls' executive producer Jenni Konner believe Miller is innocent. Even that Perrineau is making it up. "While our first instinct is to listen to every woman's story, our insider knowledge of Murray's situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 % of assault cases that are misreported every year," she tweeted. Cue social-media meltdown.

The response was instant, and intense. Dunham was accused of being a rape apologist. A sell-out. A phony feminist who claims to believe women but swiftly changes her tune when one of her male friends stands accused of sexual wrongdoing. Her feminism is too white, too upper middle-class, too capitalistic, an army of tweeters said.

The right got stuck in, too. Of course it did. Dunham-hunting is its favorite bloodsport. Fox News called out her "shocking hypocrisy."

She's now being accused of "hipster racism' by Lenny Letter contributor—now resigned—Zinzi Clemmons. "It is time for women of color, black women in particular, to divest from Lena Dunham," said Clemmons. Right now it feels like women of all colors — alongside the somewhat tragic male feminists who clog up certain sections of Twitter—are divesting from Dunham. Her moral stock is down, down, down.

So down that she has apologized for defending Miller. "[I]t was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry," she says. "We regret this decision with every fiber of our being." Every fiber—ouch. This sounds to me like a woman in turmoil.

I think Dunham's apology is sad, tragic, and unnecessary. The problem here, the niggling difficulty, is that Dunham both deserves and doesn't deserve the onslaughts against her morals and her social (media) standing. She deserves it for the simple reason that she has played a key role in pushing the problematic—to use their language—cult of belief around accusations of sexual assault.

We live in a time when, increasingly, every woman who makes an accusation against a man is instantly believed. No questions. No skepticism. No "Let's test this in court." No presumption of innocence. "Believe the women," the cry goes. This cult of credulity, this discouragement of doubt in favour of instant, tweeted assumptions of guilt, feels dangerous. Or certainly damaging—damaging to reason, public debate, and justice.

Instant belief lay behind the Rolling Stone fiasco, where a journalist fell for a concocted story of gang rape at the University of Virginia. Instant belief fueled the hysteria and injustices of the pedophile panics of the 1980s and 1990s: back then the rallying cry was "Believe the children." If we want to go back further, instant belief was the cause of unspeakable horrors in the Old South, where black men were frequently punished, even destroyed, by accusations of sexual harassment. This is why the great civil-rights warrior Ida B. Wells said we should "appeal to the public for the presumption of innocence"—because she knew the dangers of speedy, uncritical belief in accusations.

Of course, everyone who makes an accusation of sexual assault—whether it's against Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, or some ordinary Joe—should be treated sympathetically. And seriously. They should be listened to. But justice demands we maintain an element of doubt. Otherwise we end up in the kind of situation we have now, where you can topple someone with one social-media post detailing something he allegedly did (that word, "allegedly," is falling out of favor, I know).

The cult of credulity cultivates a finger-pointing climate, in which the difficult, complicated task of searching for the truth is supplanted by the online thrill of shouting "I BELIEVE"—which is only a slightly more PC version of the days when mobs would gather round some hapless citizen and bellow "GUILTY" until he was duly done in. And Dunham, like other modern feminists, has helped to fuel this rush to believe and condemn. Just four months ago she tweeted: "Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don't lie about: rape." This could be the motto of the cult of belief: the idea that no accusation of sexual assault is ever false, or simply mistaken or confused; they are all true, gospel, unquestionable.

In which case, why even bother with courts? Perhaps all men accused of sexual assault should be instantly punished without the benefit of mounting a defense of themselves. That Dunham said all claims of rape are true and now says that the one made against her good friend is false makes her look like a massive hypocrite. On this level, she deserves the opprobrium.

But she also doesn't deserve it because surely no one deserves to be metaphorically strung up like this simply for expressing skepticism about an accusation of criminal activity. This is the problem: in calling out Dunham's double standard on believing accusers, we risk further entrenching the rush to believe accusers, the primacy of accusation over justice. The ritual denunciations of Dunham, and her craven apology in response to them, exacerbates the very notion that any kind of defense of a person accused of sexual assault is a huge no-go zone, something only cretins or rape apologists would do.

In going after Dunham like this, her critics, including many on the right, have worsened the often shrill, unforgiving culture that Dunham and other modern illiberal liberals have helped to bring about. Well done, guys.

That a woman has been put under enormous pressure to retract a statement of conscience, an expression of doubt, a defense of a friend, confirms how terrifying the fallout from the Hollywood sexual-harassment scandal has become. Now, not only are all sorts of sexual behavior, from the fairly innocent to the absolutely terrible, being called out on a daily basis, but so are those who say "Hang on a second…"

Criticizing this campaign and its possible excesses is becoming very difficult indeed. And that's bad. It's bad for Dunham right now, but more importantly, it's bad for free, open, skeptical debate. You're having fun going after Dunham, I know, but know that you are very possibly degrading public life in the bargain.

NEXT: The Good, the Bad, and the Unspeakably Ugly: A Reason Surveillance Reform Bill Primer

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  1. I’m thinking perhaps Dunham is Robespierre and it will end if they behead her.

    1. Was gonna say that she is the new Charles Manson.

      1. Please don’t forget though that she is an evil stupid disgusting cunt whore

        She accused that guy from her college of rape and was willing to ruin his life. When he stood up to her and called her out on it and proved she was lying, her response was in effect:
        “Men are pigs.” She is scum.

        1. There’s absolutely nothing wrong or unprincipled about using the enemy’s own weapons against them, so as long as this is hurting prominent Democrats, I’m not going to shed a tear over it.

          The main reason this is blowing up now, IMO, is because leftists, particularly the Millennial ones, with the obsession with political purity, are coming to the realization that they can’t dislodge Trump as being a sexual predator as long as they tolerate the same thing going on in their ranks. So the decades-long deal that was essentially in place that allowed powerful Democrat men to get away with this for so long is suddenly off the table.

          While they’re trying to clean out their own house, they’ll concurrently demand that Trump step down for the same reasons (it’s already happening, FWIW).

          This generation is certainly shaping up to be among the most prudish about sex in probably 100 years; the Boomers, who normalized hyper-sexual behavior, are getting old and starting to die off, while Gen-X, probably the last generation that wasn’t hopelessly confused about sex and gender, will go along with the current trend because they are nothing if not followers.

          1. Im a gen-xer and I dont follow… unless following leads to sex.

            1. I a Gen-Xer as well, but watching so many of my former classmates and acquaintances parrot the latest prog talking points on Facebook (many of whom were gleeful Republicans as late as our 20s) doesn’t really make me believe that our generation is one of reflexive contrarianism.

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              2. Yes. Understood. The stereo typing of Baby Boomers here is also off base. They were not all free love hippies who placed themselves above all else.

                Maybe we should drop the generalities about generational cohorts except where there is empirical proof? Like, my father’s generation went for big band jazz in a big way. Or, Baby Boomers helped bring sexuality out into the open.

                1. The stereo typing of Baby Boomers here is also off base.

                  Nah, it’s pretty accurate.

                  Or, Baby Boomers helped bring sexuality out into the open.

                  That basically confirms my point.

                  1. I think the idea that the present surge of Left puritanism is a reaction against Trump and company is interesting. Unfortunately, however, I saw a lot of it long before Trump. Part of it is a recovery from the hypocrisy of ignoring or actually supporting abuse when the perpetrators were popular or prominent leftists (or even lesser-evil liberals). If you’re going to go to war, you have to put aside the slackers, timeservers, poltroons, and traitors. Trump showed that the Establishment can be beaten. Many leftists have taken in and are now contemplating that lesson. ‘The natives are restless.’

              3. It is a mixed bag among gen-x for sure. Perhaps we should just consider each gen-x person as an individual with complex views so as not to generalize a whole generation of individuals…

                1. Pointing out generational sociological trends is hardly denying them their individualism.

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    2. I’m really trying to work up some sympathy for roebespierre, but am failing. Will be bringing popcorn to the beheading.

    3. Reminds me of a Beatles song, except that I don’t want her.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvypQtn4bVc

  2. They need to hit rock bottom. The #MeToo cult and the Social Justice System and sexual assault definer downers and the outrage porn enthusiasts need to collapse in on themselves so we can get back (?) to a sense of fairness, or to a place where people hold back judgment until they have something akin to facts. If it takes those who sowed this thing to reap it big time, then so be it.

    1. Yeah, it is insipid to argue that these stupid, evil people will figure out the logical end of their own means. They must experience it to full appreciate their folly.

    2. On the other hand, should we be thanking them for the current turmoil in Hollywood, DC, journalism, publishing… on and on, regarding sexual assault and abusive work environments? What we’re going through right now may be a small blip in the timeline, with everything returning to business as usual in a year. But if it does lead to a sea change, with victims empowered to come forward and creeps and abusers changing their behavior, with social mores and expectations reforming in a new (minor?) sexual revolution, will it largely be thanks to social justice hysteria?

      1. What comes from a mob mentality is rarely good for anyone.

        1. “A Mob Mentality” was my nickname in college.

            1. Burn. Extra Crusty.

          1. Mob Rule was my favorite Black Sabbath album.

        2. Is the entire movement, or whatever we want to call it, a mob? We like to focus on the moronic radicals and outrageous tactics or proposals, but that’s not the entirety of what’s been happening the past five years. Most movements have some ill-considered, seemingly counter-productive mob component, don’t they?

          I’ve never had a strong opinion on the idea of shifting the Overton window and the necessity of extremists and all that, but this might be a case study.

          1. Try imagining the radfem #yesallwomen crowd as a bunch of old white people who think taxes are too high or middle class white kids who want to attend a Milo Yiannopolous speech and you should be able to slip right into hating them and wishing violence upon them.

    3. When was the last time that Lena Dunham was sexually molested? This is sexual appropriation.

    4. They need to hit rock bottom

      I have seen no indication among the progosphere that the increasing discovery of sexually-assaulting malefactors among their own ranks has at all diminished their appetite for witch-hunts and public-brandings.

      if they didn’t have double-standards, they wouldn’t be progressives. I think waiting for the cognitive dissonance to finally become too much for them is …. well, i wouldn’t hold your breath.

      1. Plus, I’m not sure there is actually a bottom at all. When you’re in full-blown mob mentality witch-hunt mode, everything and anything starts to look exactly like a witch.

        Russia and Rape both appear to be bottomless wells of witches.

        1. Lena Dunham turned me into a newt.

          1. …………Gingrich?

  3. Racist, sexist, rapists are all around us! All around you! Your spouse? Your co-worker? Your babysitter? They could all be one of them! Hell, YOU could be one of them!

    Get away from me! Get away from me or so help me, God..

    This virgin ass is staying virgin!

    1. Your bitching is incomprehensible.

    2. Hide your kids! Hide your wife! Better hide your husband too, cause they rapin everbody up in here.

    3. It all started with sex offender list websites.

      1. No, it started with the Satanic Ritual Child-Abuse panic of the eighties, which quickly slid into the Pedophile Panic, still going strong thirty-some years down the road. That’s what gave us lifetime sex offender lists, (among other things), and all that goes with them.

        1. No, it started with John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted. The satanic ritual abuse “panic” has been forensically verified many times – the “fictional” tunnels at McMartin preschool were found by a privately hired archaeologist with animal remains consistent with the children’s narratives, and several children at the Presidio day care were confirmed to have syphilis..

  4. If we could all turn down the Schadenfreude for five minutes….

    Fat chance.

    1. Won’t even work for five milliseconds let alone five minutes.

    2. Ha!

      “Brother, you asked for it.” -FDCASd’A

    3. *Again* with the fat shaming!

    4. If we could all turn down the Schadenfreude for five minutes….

      Fat chance.

      Yep, the fact that another SJW jagoff got hoist upon their own petard doesn’t mean all of a sudden the rest of us have to let them off easy. Dunham is prima facie that the only way to deal with these assholes is to let them implode and then stand back and let them dig their own way out of the pit they threw themselves into. While we shouldn’t use their own disgusting tactics against them, we are under no such compulsion to help them out. That is like giving someone a an extra bullet for their gun caused they missed you with the first one. Fuck. That. Shit.

    5. Democrats started this with Clarence Thomas whom Anita Hill accused of speaking of acts he saw in pornographic films and asked who put a pubic hair on his can of Coke, and for that reason was unfit for office. With no other supporting evidence other than Hill’s testimony. Yet look at their excusing Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton for their acts, supported by Kopeche’s dead body, Clinton’s perjury conviction and $850,000 settlement with Paula Jones (plus lots of other allegations including of rape with supporting evidence). That’s not helping them win elections.

      I agree, Schadenfreude is appropriate. O’Neil is right though. Accusations should be judged on the evidence, and lacking anything other than an accusation, I can’t see holding the accused accountable. And Dunham’s evaluation doesn’t count much in my book: it’s not evidence and her record and reputation isn’t so good IMHO. What other evidence exists regarding Miller and Perrineau from 6 years ago? Both their reputations are now tarnished to some extent, and may take years to overcome.

      Still, women standing up to power abusing them for sex, is a great step forward for freedom. The freedom to not have the powerful take advantage of that power against the much less powerful.

  5. Not only does Dunham deserves the shit she is catching, nobody is more deserving.

    But she nailed the apology with:
    ” “[I]t was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement”

    1. You know who else was a nasty hypocrite who deserves anything bad that might happen?

      1. Didn’t she admit to molesting/raping her underage sister in her memoires? Maybe that makes her an expert in assessing guilt.

        1. Yes. Not just underage, but age 7. Lena Dunham deserves to be the next victim of a particularly sadistic serial murderer.

          1. Now, now. We’re against the death penalty here. Fantasy or otherwise.

      2. Everyone ‘cept me.

  6. Maybe the guy is innocent. Maybe she is right for sticking up for her friend. I honestly don’t know. And I can understand why even if the guy is guilty, she would because he is a friend and colleague not see that and give him the benefit of the doubt where maybe she should not. So in that sense, I think she is being treated very unfairly. The people going after her have no idea if this is true and are attacking her for the nerve of defending someone accused of rape. And that attitude is pretty scary when you think about it.

    All that being said, it is hard to have much sympathy for Dunham. This is the woman who lied about being raped in college and slandered an innocent person with the charge. I have a very hard time believing that if it were someone else speaking up for their friend, Dunham wouldn’t be with the mob demanding the person’s head for daring to defend a rapist.

    The saddest thing of all is that I bet Dunham has learned nothing from the experience. I bet she thinks she is being treated unfairly but only because rape accusations are different when it’s her friends who are involved. This whole thing is like a comic French Revolution playing out on social media.

    1. This whole thing is like a comic French Revolution playing out on social media.

      No-it is just another example of her stupidity for failing to understand that she has emboldened a generation of male-haters that would make the bra burners of the 1970s look like playboy playmates. While there undoubtedly are guys who sexually assault women, Dunham and her ilk are responsible for the current witch hunt atmosphere against anyone who disagrees with them.

      1. And that is no different in principle than the French Revolutionaries being consumed by the angry mobs they helped create and unleash.

      2. No, making most of the 70’s bra burners look like Playmates would take a lot more. Like massive surgery.

      3. that would make the bra burners of the 1970s look like playboy playmates

        To be fair, those women really were big ol’ sluts. “I’m saying ‘down with your uptight ways’, Mom and DAAAAAAD, by fucking every guy on floor of my co-ed dorm!”

    2. The people going after her have no idea if this is true and are attacking her for the nerve of defending someone accused of rape.

      As someone taking delight in her predicament and happily pointing out her hypocrisy, I’ll say that it’s not for defending someone accused of rape. Its for her insistence that the witch-hunt continue, just with other targets. If she believes her friend is innocent (and I have no reason to doubt this), this is a situation where any sane person would be able to see that the blind “believe the victim” argument she’s still pushing leads to horrible results. To continue to push it when you’ve seen those results hit a friend means you’re the sort of immoral monster who knows that something being done is wrong, but cheers it anyway.

      1. And Bill, that is pretty much exactly what I said in my last two paragraphs.

        1. Not exactly, but close enough.

      2. She probably genuinely believes that it is on the whole correct, but in this specific case is untrue. Perhaps you can say that’s poor reasoning, but I don’t know if there is inherent contradiction there.

        1. Special pleading is, if anything, worse than hypocrisy. But you guys are nothing if not consistent in your ability to rationalize anything done by a fucking left wing psychopath.

        2. Given Dunham falsely accused “Barry”, a Oberlin campus Republican, of rape, all I can say is who’d believe her now regarding anything? In my book, she’s trash, and frankly deserves to serve a jail term for the same length as someone who actually committed rape. But as far as I know, there’s no legal penalty for false accusations. But certainly many know that “bearing false witness” is violating one of the ten commandments, and is immoral in any book, except perhaps books written by feminist college professors.

    3. I seriously doubt he considers her a friend after her retraction. Only a fool or pol would be that stupid.

  7. Oligitory Dunham fat joke:

    “We regret this decision with every fiber of our being”
    There is no evidence that there is any fiber in your being, or in your diet either.

    1. Oligitory = Obligatory
      Damn!

    2. By Hollywood standards, Dunham is a cow. But while she is not thin by any stretch, she isn’t my 600 lbs life either. I think she seems fatter than she is because she wears clothes that no women over a size four should be wearing and she is just an unpleasant, classless grating person and all around pig, you think of her being fatter than she is because her personality and everything about her makes her seem that way.

      No one is ever going to confuse Dunham for Grace Kelly. But, she manages to make herself extraordinarily unattractive. If she would just stop trying to be the most disgusting pig on earth, you wouldn’t find her attractive, but you wouldn’t find her remarkable one way or another, which would be an improvement.

      1. Shorter John: Would.

        1. Not with Hitler’s dick. She is just a skank. I have never seen her where she didn’t look dirty and kind of used up looking. I think I would rather put it in Cortney Love if you put a gun to my head and it was one of them or die. Dunham is really that skanky.

          1. Courtney Love is a babe.She’s still seriously hot at 53-54.

            1. This post explains so much.

            2. She looked like a meth-head way back when being a crack-ho was cool.

          2. At least with Courtney Love you can say you banged Kurt Cobain by proxy.

        2. With enough alcohol any woman can be beautiful.

          1. Spock,

            Any man who denies that is either lying or gay.

            1. So you’re saying “not with Hitler’s dick” and not if there was a gun to your head, but yes if you’re drunk?

              1. I thought “unless you are drunk” is one of those universal constants like Plank’s constant that goes without saying.

                1. Constant Plank is my porn name.

                  1. Fuck this comment software where you can’t give points, thumbs, or upvotes.

      2. I believe Dunham has lost quite a bit of weight since Trump’s election.

        She said on Howard Stern’s show that she has been taking quite a few long walks since last November.

        She doesn’t look to bad, nowadays.

        1. This seems like a code word for ‘cocaine’ but what do I know.

          1. That would probably be a problematic statement as apparently cocaine is a white people drug. At least according to this one black guy I was talking to about drugs the other day.

            1. Blacks are into coke if you cook it with baking soda.

            2. So, how come blacks were blaming crack cocaine for the despair in predominately black ghettos?

              That’s about as good as the subject of this article tacking when she should have been jibing.

    3. Enjoy that, Tom. They are coming for fat jokes next.

      1. Yeah, it will soon be labeled “Ate” speech.

          1. Of course, England would label it ‘ate speech first.

  8. The world is better when Lena Dunham shuts her fat gob.

  9. Everyone loves being part of a pile-on against onto Lena Dunham, I know. I do too.

    FTFY

    1. I wouldn’t call that a fix.

  10. Ehh, they didn’t really express skepticism or doubt; they straight up said the accuser is lying, because of “insider knowledge” about their friend. Maybe they do have good reason to think the accusation is false, but they didn’t share it, and didn’t couch it in skepticism or a neutral viewpoint. Dunham even tweeted later, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.” Which supports the interpretation that she’s standing by her friend because, oh, he could never do such a thing. If that is the case, that’s the wrong stance to take, whatever your views on feminism or ‘rape culture’ or what. Hypocrisy doesn’t have to enter to it, it was simply a bad statement.

    So was her apology, I agree on that. You made an oopsy, Dunham. Stick to it, for once! It may work out better for you than swinging to the opposite extreme. If you think your friend is innocent, defend him.

    1. She stood up for her friend in the wrong way – burn the witch!

      I don’t even like her, but of all the things to go after her about…

      1. A friend is someone who would be excused from being on your jury because she’s incurably biased in your favor.

        If you’re unbiased enough to evenhandely weigh accusations against someone, you’re not their friend.

        1. Well I’d say an important feature of maturity is the ability to inhibit one’s emotions and be coldly rational about the truth. But apparently few people reach this stage, given how poorly libertarians perform in elections.

          1. Well, at the very least don’t go public with your calm, rational analysis of a friend’s many flaws, unless you want to reject the friendship altogether.

            1. And I can think of reasons for rejecting Gary Johnson and Billy Weld other than a lack of cold, rational analysis.

              1. Meaning do what? In our system you vote for candidates to win, not to reject.

                1. Re Gary and Billy? I can’t say for 100% sure what everyone should have done, but I won’t say voting for Gary and Billy would be any more rational than voting for (say) Trump.

        2. If I’m relying on my “friend” to disregard his values to prove his unbiased unquestioned loyalty to me, it is I who would be the poor friend. I would expect “a friend” to sit on a jury and question unsubstantiated accusations, but no more.

        3. I’ve had plenty of people I would call friends that I would not be entirely surprised if someone accused them of rape.

          …man, I need better friends…

      2. burn the witch!

        Except she’s one of the people who delighted in the witch hunt starting. And even now, with the injustice (if she genuinely believes her friend’s innocence) made patently obvious, she’s encouraging the continuation of the witch hunt. Just not her people. Yes, it’s understandable for a friend to be utterly biased. But, it’s not understandable to see something as an injustice when inflicted on your friend and still demand it continue.

    2. Which supports the interpretation that she’s standing by her friend because, oh, he could never do such a thing. If that is the case, that’s the wrong stance to take, whatever your views on feminism or ‘rape culture’ or what.

      I don’t think that is necessarily the wrong stance to take. If you know the person and think their character is such that they wouldn’t do such a thing, I see nothing wrong with giving them the benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t, of course, mean the person is innocent. We don’t let friends of the accused on juries for a reason. But I do not think it is wrong of someone to give their friend the benefit of the doubt absent conclusive proof of guilt, which there isn’t in this case as far as I can see.

      It is perfectly appropriate to discount Dunham’s opinion because of her bias towards her friend. I do not, however, think her having such an opinion should be held against her unless the evidence against the guy is so overwhelming that it makes denying his guilt impossible.

      1. Thing is, there is a good chance she is correct. A lot of these stories seem to be thin gruel.

        But when somebody has been part of the mob for a long time now, my empathy for them is low. Plenty of other men who have been accused and blasted by her, likely, did nothing also.

        It’s why I won’t even BEGIN to believe a rape charge without a police report at least filed. It would then be open to evidence for me.

        1. But when somebody has been part of the mob for a long time now, my empathy for them is low.

          My empathy for her is non-existent because her own statements reflect the fact that she’d be perfectly happy to see this continue and see other innocent men ruined. If watching this happen to her friend made her step back and say something like “Whoa! I didn’t think things could turn out like that! This isn’t right.”, I could forgive her prior participation in the mob and her sudden turn around based on the experiences of her friend. That’s not what’s happening. She’s effectively saying, “No, this isn’t supposed to happen to the right people. Those other people don’t deserve the presumption of innocence. We do.”. It’s saying you realize something is unjust and support it anyway, as long as its being done to the right people.

  11. I swear, the only time I run across ‘Lena Dunham’ is on the Reason site. What’s up wif dat??

    1. You don’t watch the right TV shows?

      1. what’s this “TV” you speak of?

        1. You don’t have the right entertainment beamed directly into your brain?

    2. When conservatives want to generalize about their opponents they use her.

      1. Well at least she’s good for something, Plug.

      2. I knew you would identify with that rape apologist PB.

        1. He’s nothing if not consistent.

          1. No, he’s nothing and not consistent.

    3. Apparently you don’t consume fluff media from the horde of left wing opinion sites that once lauded (now condemn) her.

  12. I can’t help but think of the Southpark episode where the town is left deserted except for the bands of Mad Max-esque children who had used the “M-word” to make all the adults disappear.

    Except now, it’s going to be nearly-deserted, gentrified, hipster neighborhoods with roving bands of #MeToo women savagely fighting over dwindling reserves of kale, tofu, and avocados.

    1. Actually, their future is more like the Southpark episode where the Mars colony is run by women, who keep men chained up below ground for only two purposes: sperm and jokes.

      1. Where do I sign up? My sperm makes up for my bad jokes.

  13. Wait a minute, isn’t there some regular commenter who is obsessed with Lena Dunham? Something is missing. It’s like Francisco being absent from a Stossel thread.

    1. The only explanation is that Brendan O’Neill IS Crusty…

      1. Sherlock Holmes would be proud.

        1. Elementary

      2. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a trilby.

        1. No, you would be very much alive. And squirming.

  14. Now that the current sexual White Terror is starting to threaten high-ranking Democrats — John Conyers is the latest but certainly not the last — expect to see a strange new respect for the principle of innocent until proven guilty on the part of the Left.

    People who were screaming that women should be believed regardless of proof just a week ago will now be solemnly warning against a rush to judgement next week.

    1. And in before someone says that “Sexual White Terror” was their nickname in college.

      1. Close. It was my nickname in middle school.

        1. Wait a second. Are you a ginger?

          1. Though prone to severe sunburns, i am not a ginger.

            1. [sigh of relief]

            2. Believe me, supine sunburns are much worse.

    2. They momentarily found a new respect for the principle of states rights and the sovereignty of the individual. That faded quickly just as this will predictably go. Partisans are gonna partisan. If they were capable of introspection then they wouldn’t have some of the stupid views they espouse.

  15. We’re talking about Lena Dunham, like really?

    Hasn’t Trump tweeted anything recently?

    Did you hear that the Trump administration is going after Harvard’s affirmative action program?

    Did you hear that the Trump administration is rolling back the government’s net neutrality rules?

    Maybe we could talk about math, the manufacture of boxes, Nickleback’s latest album, but please, make it something less tedious than Lena Dunham.

    1. Serious question, since Lena Dunham no longer has a TV show and is no longer as far as I can tell a working actor, why does she still count as a celebrity? Does anyone care about other out of work former TV actor’s opinion on rape?

      If such a thing still existed, Dunham would be lucky to be the upper middle box on Hollywood Squares. I am starting to wonder if the internet has rather than making everyone famous for 15 minutes, made anyone who ever becomes famous, famous forever.

      1. The right to be forgotten, just in the proper context.

        1. There is no right to be forgotten. You don’t get to go rooting around in someone else’s head, or in their writings.

          1. Exactly. Your reputation doesn’t belong to you, because it’s a construct that exists entirely in other peoples’ minds.

      2. Someone forwarded me an article from Salon once. It had a statement in it about how this reviewer disagreed with another writer who was black. A nice chunk of the article was spent trying to justify disagreeing with a black person. It had this unforgettable statement in it.

        “I respect [insert writer]. She’s an authentic black voice in a post-Dunham world”

        The subject wasn’t even Dunham or “Girls” or anything!

        She literally was talking about “post-Dunham” is if Lena Dunham had changed everything!

        LOL

        You’ve heard of post-modernism?

        Yeah, well, we’re living in a post-Dunham world, John. Dunham came along and nothing can ever be the same!

        1. So the way to “change everything” was to make pornography involving a homely fat girl having sex with various men? Who knew?

          1. Never seen the show, but I heard or read somewhere that her pref was anal only? It that what made it a “success,” seeing some ugly fat chick being reamed?

            1. I never saw the show either. But the people I know who watched it said that the other women in the show were smoking hot and judging by Allison Williams that seems to be true, but rarely did any sex scenes. Nearly all of the sex scenes were done by Dunham and her being fat and homely was supposed to be some kind of ironic statement on TV and Movie sex scenes. So hipsters watched and jerked off to some fat homely girl having sex but were doing it “ironically”

              1. Are you jerk-shaming?

                1. No Tom. Just don’t jerk ironically. Jerk honestly and genuinely.

                  1. “Jerk Honestly And Genuinely” is on John’s family crest. In Latin, so it looks classy as shit.

                    1. Carpe Dickum.

                    2. That crest has been in the family for 900 years. Who are you to question tradition?

            2. It’s weird. Girls, at least what I saw, is almost diametrically opposed to Dunham’s public commentary. It’s basically how the lifestyle of her and her artworld hipster friends is shallow, unmaintainable, and unsatisfying.

              It’s really strange in comparison to her image as a person. That being said, I haven’t seen much of girls. Too white.

          2. Actually, the piece was about Dunham.

            “I value Rebecca Carroll’s point of view as a black female artist living in a post-Dunham world”.

            —-Salon

            https://tinyurl.com/y8dq2mdj

            It’s hilarious all over again!

            This article at Reason isn’t entirely unlike that one at Salon.

            I didn’t understand why Lena Dunham was so important–even when she was on the air!

            1. Might have left an italics tag on accidentally.

              Anyway, Lena Dunham is like the Ann Coulter or Milo Snuffleupagous of the left.

              She trolls people on the left and right–and she’s been doing it for a long time.

              She’s not important.

              She’s a troll.

            2. It is just millennial hipster status signaling. One of the markers of being a millennial hipster is pretending Girls was anything but a crap show and that Dunham was anything but a cheap pornographer and con artist. It is just one of those things that people who run in the social circles that the reason staff runs in must do if they are to be accepted. Over-praising Beyonce is another required status signal.

              1. One of the markers of being a millennial hipster is pretending Girls was anything but a crap show and that Dunham was anything but a cheap pornographer and con artist.

                It’s always fun when you pretend to know something.

                1. I can only believe my lying eyes Crusty. It is always fun to watch people deny reality when they don’t like it.

                  1. It is always fun to watch people deny reality when they don’t like it.

                    The reality being…your opinion of a television show you never watched?

                    1. No. The reality is my observation of other people’s opinion of the TV show. I don’t have to watch it to understand other people’s opinion of it. And you can’t be a hipster millennial without pretending to like that show, just like you are now.

                    2. I don’t have to watch it to understand other people’s opinion of it.

                      Makes sense.

                      nd you can’t be a hipster millennial without pretending to like that show, just like you are now.

                      I didn’t realize you were the hipster millennial gatekeeper.

                    3. I am not. But, again, I can only believe my lying eyes.

                    4. Judging by its viewership numbers, it seems nobody outside of “opinion-makers” watched it, either.

              2. I was entirely unaware of the Hamilton thing for a long time. Apparently that was a big status symbol as well.

              3. As a woman who watched Girls, I can tell you it was oddly entertaining, sometimes funny and relate-able and had good music. But the writing was lazy which used to drive me crazy. The story line would go rogue every episode. Almost like a play being put on last minute and someone told them they had 30 minutes to squeeze in everything.

                Don’t get me wrong, Dunham on the show and in real life is self absorbed, obnoxious and a terrible human being, but the show wasn’t totally without entertainment value. And I will say – it is nice seeing other body shapes on television. Dunham went to extremes to make a point and was practically always naked where you’re like, we get it, but it is a nice change from constantly seeing perfect bodies and tits. Because real life is normal couples with normal bodies having sex. I also appreciated that in the show Togetherness, which was really underrated.

                Spot on with Beyonce although you left out Taylor Swift. Funny how so many smart women have terrible fucking taste in music and female icons.

      3. Frankly, Dunham has always been the center of a giant irony bubble where she’s only famous for getting naked on television which is precisely the type of women feminists appear to hate. Dunham is apparently an exception because she’s ‘ugly’ (or more correctly, ‘normal looking’), which tells you most of what you’d need to know about the type of people who ‘loved’ Dunham’s work.

        1. No, Dunham’s the exception because her family is connected to everyone in the upper-class New York scene. If she had grown up in Des Moines instead of NYC, she’d be considered the “slump-breaker” instead of a Millennial media icon.

          1. Her family is what enabled her, definitely, but her actual ‘fame factor’ is due to something else I think. Then again, perhaps it’s just the Kardashian or Hilton effect where you’re famous because you’re famous. It’s hard to judge, especially since I have no dog in that fight.

            If people wanted to choose a woman to represent Millennial’s in media, I’d suggest someone more like Felicia Day who, at the very least, appears to have some talent and as far as I’m aware isn’t forced to apologize for idiotic statements on a quarterly basis.

          2. Dunham is the type of woman who would sorely test the dedication of your wingman.

      4. Lena Dunham is currently making use of her meager little sack of talent to ruin this season of ‘American Horrir Story’.

    2. Shorter Ken: Why isn’t Reason catering to my preferences?

      1. Personal preferences?

        Those are libertarian stories on controversial libertarian topics.

        Affirmative action, net neutrality . . .

        They didn’t even make the AM links.

        Instead we get Lena Dunham?

        Not every story needs to be about my interests, but we’re missing some pretty big libertarian stories here.

        I’ve seen both stories on the front page at NYT and the WSJ.

        Over here, you wouldn’t even know they were happening.

        1. It’s weird how you just restated what he said and thought it was different.

  16. People should have a right to defend their friends and loved ones, especially spouses, from accusations that could ruin them. I for one have no intention of being enlisted by the criminal justice system to help do its job.

    1. You are right Tony. You can’t hold it against people for giving their friends the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Wow, John and Tony agree with each other!

        1. Tony will occasionally say something that makes sense. Tony is I think an actual person. He is just deeply confused, neurotic and not very bright. But he does make sense sometimes. This is in contrast to shreek who is sock puppet troll right out of central casting.

    2. Was she arrested for defending her friend? Which of her rights were denied?

      1. Sorry, pedantry hour is not till 11.

        1. But your banality hour is never ending.

    3. Tony preemptively and subtly defends Hillary Clinton. Totally out of character and on topic.

    4. People should have a right to defend their friends and loved ones, especially spouses, from accusations that could ruin them. I for one have no intention of being enlisted by the criminal justice system to help do its job.

      Unless you’re a white male on campus accused of a sexual crime. Then, no, you aren’t given that right — thanks to hags like Lena.

      The only way to teach these people a lesson is to force them to live up to their own standards that they profess to hold. Thrush should be as widely mocked as O’Reilly. Ditto Rose.

    5. If you keep that shit up, next you’ll be saying we shouldn’t impeach Trump for being icky.

      1. Whoa whoa whoa let’s not go crazy here.

  17. Maybe it is unfair, but it’s a fairly common consequence of being a lying asshole. Sometimes you have to pay for your sins in this life rather than the next.

    1. Lying Asshole was Tony’s nickname in… well always and everywhere.

      1. How does an asshole lie?

        1. Silent but deadly instead of announcing itself loudly and proudly.

          1. Ah yes, the opposite of the Ben Franklin fart: The Ninjamin Franklin.

            1. Maybe that’s why Hashishin is now spelled Assassin.

    2. theres a word for that and its Karma

      1. Karma was my nickname in high school. Mostly because I was always yelling “Car, Ma!” when I needed a ride.

  18. considering what Dunham herself has admitted to doing she has to defend her friend hoping the favor will be returned some day

    1. Like when it comes out that she molested moreids, not just her little sister.

      1. ‘More kids’.

  19. I don’t particularly care what she “deserves”. She could have kept her mouth shut and saved herself whatever grief she’s brought onto herself. But I guess that’s too much to ask for in today’s culture where every brainfart goes straing to Twitter without being processed by the forebrain first.

    That goes for most of the actors in this stupid morality play. Almost none of this is “news”. The media should be f—–g ashamed of themselves for blasting every innuendo and every random thought about every innuendo through their loudspeakers as if any of this is anything of any consequence to anyone except the he and she involved.

    1. The media has been doing this forever and it is appalling. We need to have a simple rule about accusations of rape and sexual assault; report it to the police and give you accusation under oath or forever hold your peace. I totally understand why people choose not to report these sorts of things. Accusing someone of rape or assault is a big deal. Accusing someone of who is famous or powerful is a really big deal. Even if you are successful, your name will be forever associated with some horrible act. It would not be fun going through life as “the woman (insert famous guy here) raped”. It would also not be fun watching the guy who assaulted you’s friends and allies call you a liar. I can totally understand why a woman or a man would choose to forget the whole thing and move on. That may not be the courageous thing to do and I think allowing someone who is a real criminal to go on victimizing people is not a go is a real problem, but I can understand why someone would choose their own self-preservation over the sense of duty to do that.

      That being said, if you don’t want to report it, then shut up about it. There is nothing that can be done with an unsworn allegation that happens years after the fact. There is no way to judge such an accusation’s veracity and no way to make an informed decision about the accused’s person’s guilt or innocence. So either do something about it when it happens or walk away and live with that decision. No backsies as they say.

      1. There is nothing that can be done with an unsworn allegation that happens years after the fact.

        I understand your point; but apparently there’s a *lot* that can be “done”.

        1. Other than ignoring it, there is not a lot that can rationally be done with them. But yes, a lot can be done with them if you really want to.

  20. Watching this witch hunt unfold has been amazing to behold. It’s literally now at the point where all you have to do is post a tweet and get some celebrity removed from a show they are on. And now the mob is turning on those who don’t profess enough zealotry for the cause!

    I’ve never seen a witch hunt of this scale go down in my lifetime.

    1. If I were a sociologist, maybe I’d talk about anxieties produced by the excesses of the Sexual Revolution and the need for scapegoats – not that all the designated scapegoats are innocent, of course, though innocence seems to be a secondary consideration for now.

      1. I could kinda see it, but most of that angst played out during the AIDS scare.

        Mostly what I see is power politics where sexuality is just another battlefront.

        The unfortunate aspect is that there is always a backlash, and I’m not so certain there will be enough restraint left where something even uglier doesn’t comes out of this.

    2. Behold the power of social media!

    3. I have seen witch hunts that were more terrifying, the whole child molesting Satan cult frenzy in the 1980s comes to mind. Those witch hunts were terrifying because caused innocent people to spend years or decades in prison convicted of horrible crimes that didn’t even happen. But they were not as wide scale as this. Basically, no male in the media or Hollywood is safe. This is going to consume so many people. This is making the communist blacklisting of the 1950s seem like a minor affair by the time it is over.

      1. Just arriving at it’s logical conclusion. For one I will have a bowl of popcorn on hand to watch them consume one another until no one [hopefully] is left.

      2. Jeremy Piven ended up taking a lie detector test to clear his name. That’s how far this thing has gotten in such a short amount of time.

        1. The worst thing there is that he might give credibility to lie detector tests in the public mind. What a bullshit machine and people need to know that they are often wildly inaccurate.

          I don’t care if the creator of Wonder Women invented them.

      3. This is making the communist blacklisting of the 1950s seem like a minor affair by the time it is over.

        Which is ironic since the same people who bemoaned the blacklisting HAPPILY did so themselves during WW II. These things always seem to swing back and smack them back in the face.

        I cannot pretend to feel even SLIGHTLY bad for media or Hollywood. I’ve spent YEARS being accused of living in a “rape culture” by people who, apparently, DO live in a “rape culture”.

  21. Mr. O’Neill, it’s getting hard to keep up with all these petards exploding and so many self-anointed culture warriors being hoisted over the media battlefield. ID politics is, has and always will be a zero sum game primarily because it relies on the logical fallacy that an individual’s identification or membership in a group imbues that individual with an unassailable morality. It doesn’t. Wasn’t it Gertrude Stein who wrote “an a-hole is an a-hole is an a-hole…”?

    Btw it’s the same distorted thinking that perpetuates the (false) belief that in a civilized society there are such things as “good” mobs. Our history is replete with examples of “good” mobs exacting justice. Better if we retire that notion altogether.

    As far as Ms. Dunham her fatal flaw is that with all her specialness she embodies the ne plus ultra of the modern ‘white progressive’ (in her case ‘feminist’) belief system. It’s the intersection of narcissism and magical thinking. Whether today, tomorrow, next month or next year her belief system was due to collapse under the weight of itself.

    1. The fatal flaw of identity politics is that you can’t have an “identity” without other identity groups to contrast yourself with. There isn’t much point in claiming your identity when it is also everyone else’ identity. Identity politics only works if you have an enemy. That is okay for a while but eventually, you have banished all of the designated enemy identity out of the movement. Since you have to have an enemy, you have to pick a new identity group to be the enemy. And when that group has been expelled a new one and so forth until eventually everyone gets the knock at the door.

      This is what is happening in Hollywood and the media. For decades they had conservatives and Republicans as a designated enemy. Well, there hasn’t been any of them in Hollywood or the media in significant numbers for a very long time. So they are turning on each other. Sure Dunham is a member of the party and good standing and women. But, she is a straight white woman. And sorry Lena but straight and white are the new “evil white conservative male”. So she is going to have to go or be sufficiently self-critical and deferential to her betters if she wants to stay. And when all the straight white women have been kicked out or learned their place, some other group will be the new enemy. It never will end until the entire movement implodes.

      1. Make that an extra large popcorn, with butter.

        1. This guy wants the diarrheas.

      2. “Identity politics only works if you have an enemy.”

        Yes. Victims needs persecutors in order to extend the drama and to ensure that the conflict remains unsolved. As long as there are persecutors (and rescuers) the drama goes on in perpetuity and the victim remains unchanged.

        “And sorry Lena but straight and white are the new “evil white conservative male”.

        I might add “straight and white and female”. One of the biggest ironies of the white neo-feminist movement is that by deeming the American ‘straight white male’ a culturally accepted target the American white woman basically turned the gunnery back on themselves. Like the Russian crewman said to the misguided Captain Tupolev in The Hunt For Red October before being destroyed by their own torpedo — “You arrogant ass… you’ve killed us!!”

        1. Like the song says “two out of three ain’t bad”. When feminists were demonizing straight white men, it never occurred to them that demonizing being straight and white was a necessary consequence of that.

          Worse still, they have further harmed themselves by embracing transgenderism. If “gender” is just some fluid social construct, then everything feminists have been claiming for the last 70 years about the patriarchy and the unique experience and oppression of women is utter bullshit. You can’t have feminism and fluid gender. The two concepts are completely incompatible. The rise of transgenderism is going to spell the doom of progressive feminism as we have known it.

          1. Worse still, they have further harmed themselves by embracing transgenderism. If “gender” is just some fluid social construct, then everything feminists have been claiming for the last 70 years about the patriarchy and the unique experience and oppression of women is utter bullshit. You can’t have feminism and fluid gender. The two concepts are completely incompatible. The rise of transgenderism is going to spell the doom of progressive feminism as we have known it.

            Gay folks are going to regret MIGHTILY working with the trannies.

            After all, if trannyism is legit, there is no homosexuality. Just transitioning men and women. If they deny it, it’s just society trying to cloud their mind and the like.

            1. yeah. Pretty hard to see how gender is not an inborn trait but sexual preference is.

            2. Enh. I’ve never worked with them or found any common cause with them whatsoever. I have long said that every “communitiy” needs to fight its own battles. So poeple are gonna have to be a lot more specific about which gays they’re talking about.

              After all, if trannyism is legit, there is no homosexuality.

              I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Most gays are not “transitioning” into anything and are perfectly happy with the gender they were born with.

              1. What he means is that it is impossible on the one hand to say, as seems to be the mainstream position in the gay community, that being gay is some inborn trait like race that cannot be chosen or changed but then on the other hand say gender is some fluid social construct that is subject to change based on the feelings and wishes of the person involved. Those two positions seem fundamentally opposed for a variety of reasons. Sure, you can say “but sexual preference is different than gender” but you will have a hard time coming up with a convincing explanation why.

                At some point, that contradiction is going to come back and bite one or the other groups.

              2. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Most gays are not “transitioning” into anything and are perfectly happy with the gender they were born with.

                But, given tranny logic, you aren’t BORN a sex. You choose it. A thoroughly conscious decision based on little more than feelings.

                It doesn’t seem rational that something as fundamental as your biological sex being a choice can be the case if you cannot choose whom you wish to fuck, A lot of gay rights folks are just not grasping the key dichotomy in their beliefs on the inability to choose to be gay when compared to having the ability to choose if you’re a dude or not.

          2. You can’t have feminism and fluid gender. The two concepts are completely incompatible.

            Yep. This is the reason a lot of lesbians absolutely despise trannies. They think they’re practicing “gender-appropriation” to shield themselves from criticism and gain a moral authority they never had. Sort of like Seinfeld’s dentist who converts to Judaism so he can make fun of Jews.

          3. Transgender is the antithesis of Gay/Lesbian, so ultimately yes it will be a poison pill if they want to keep the ‘T’ for demographics reasons.

            Sort of like how Social Conservatives more or less ruined fiscal conservatism and small government principles.

            1. Yeah. Once you buy into the assumption that it is the government’s job to save people from themselves, you are just negotiating the terms of surrender to the Progressives. You don’t like drugs and porn, well Progs don’t like guns and large sodas. Who is to say their crusades are not just as important as yours? I have yet to meet a social conservative who can explain why their crusades are more important other than “but ours are different!!”

              The sad thing is that the SOCONS could have gotten everything they needed by embracing small government had they just been smart about it. You don’t ban drugs, you ban public intoxication. You don’t bad prostitution, you ban whore houses and street walkers. The role of government is to govern the commons and ensure people don’t engage in activities in the commons that lowers everyone’s quality of life.

              I know that is not the Libertarian position. But it is a small government position and one which the country embraced for a good part of its history. But NOOO. SOCONS just couldn’t abide by the idea that someone might be doing something they don’t like. The Horror.

              1. If memory serves, Progressives at the turn of the century were quite socially conservative. If anything, they only appear to be separate social movements because of the minutia of what they want banned, rather than the spirit of banning things.

                Progressives are, in my book, more or less godless social conservatives.

                1. or, put another way:

                  Social conservatives are just progressives that go to church.

                  I think that’s why they hate each other. They both want to use the power of the state to mold people the “right” way. They just vehemently disagree on what the “right” way is.

          4. Two things established at birth: you can have a pussy and/or you can be a pussy.

            Only one of these can be changed by surgery.

  22. What does Dunham deserve? What does any pop-culture hype-figure mouthpiece deserve? Pretty much whatever the fickle public decides to serve up today.

  23. “Why You’re All Wrong To Be Raging Against Lena Dunham”

    Not only am I not wrong to be raging against Lena Dunham.

    I’m not raging.

    In fact, I don’t care what Lena Dunham thinks or says about . . . anything.

    I care more about what’s on the lunch menu today than I do about Lena Dunham, and I’m not even hungry yet.

    I’m going to write an article and submit it to Reason entitled, “Why Brendan O’Neill is Wrong To Be Raging About Britney Spears”

    1. I dunno, Ken. Sounds like you are raging about Reason writing about people raging about Lena Dunham.

      1. Just because you’re raging against Lena Dunham doesn’t mean I have to rage against Lena Dunham.

        1. I am not raging against Lena Dunham. I am raging against you raging against Reason for raging against people that are raging against Lena Dunham for raging against the accuser of her friend.

          1. WILL BOTH OF YOU STOP RAGING ABOUT SOMEONE

          2. I see, so you don’t give a shit about Brittney Spears–and you don’t care who knows!

          3. The two of you raging at each other gives me a raging….

          4. You both have raging boners for each other. Now….cock fight!

            1. dudes can’t fight while fully torqued.

  24. It fits an overall anti-intellectual pattern today, where nuanced thinking (acknowledgment of reality) and healthy skepticism is seen as a weakness, and viewed as a lurking menace. To reiterate: thinking is now a threat of sorts. This is across the board, in academia (campus reactionism and indoctrination), popular culture, and within an increasingly desperate media establishment that needs to maintain relevance – and ad revenue – that actually writes full articles about a celebrity’s or politician’s brain fart they posted to Twitter.

    Many conspiracy theories and loose claims work this way as well: start with a conclusion, and work back to finds all sorts of things to fit that conclusion. Toss aside anything that doesn’t fit with the conclusion. Conflate things. Be cynical. It’s deconstructionism and a loss of meaning.

    1. After the whole Dan Rather fake Bush National Guard memos thing went south, a reporter, I honestly forget who, said that Rather and CBS had the narrative right but they just got the facts wrong. That one statement sums up our current political and media environment perfectly. People decide truth or falsity based on their preferred narrative and any skepticism is viewed as supporting the cause of evil and any contrary facts are immediately dismissed.

      And all sides of the political spectrum do it. I have lost count the number of times someone on the right has accused me of justifying pedophilia because I expressed skepticism over the Roy Moore accusations. People seem genuinely unable to see the difference between “this is likely, not true” and “this is okay if it happened”. And forget trying to engage in any kind of higher-level discussion about whether something someone did 40 years ago and doesn’t appear to do now should automatically disqualify them from any public office. Forget that. God damn it, this is a child molester we are talking about!! People have just gone nuts or maybe they were always nuts and I just didn’t notice it.

      1. People seem genuinely unable to see the difference between “this is likely, not true” and “this is okay if it happened”.

        This is a good comment, but you would do well to heed your own words in the future.

        1. I always do and always have. If you can show me a case where I have failed to understand that distinction, please point it out and I will admit my error, but I don’t recall ever doing so.

          1. Check the comments on any article by Robby Soave.

            1. Sure and there isn’t an example of it. Again, if you have one, link to it. And we can see if what you are saying is true. But it is not my job to prove a negative. If I am so guilty of this, then provide some examples to soothe your fanboy heart. Put up or shut up.

              1. And this is why nobody will ever feel compelled to follow your little rule. If you can’t recognize it when you do it, or if it’s somehow different when you do it, then why should anyone feel compelled to do what you say and not what you do?

                1. Then recognize it for me. You say I do something, fine. Show me where I do. If you can’t do that, what reason is there to believe I do?

                  Don’t make easily verifiable accusations unless you can verify them. You are just talking shit here and don’t like it that I called you on it.

                  1. Then recognize it for me. You say I do something, fine. Show me where I do. If you can’t do that, what reason is there to believe I do?

                    Thanks for proving my point.

                    1. So asking you to provide an example is proving your point? That is interesting logic on your part. You make a false charge and when the person says it is false and asks for proof, you take their failure to admit it as proof that it is true.

                      If anyone is proving anyone else’ point here, it is you who are proving my point about people’s failure to understand basic logic and reasoning.

                      Do you realize how stupid you sound? You say “look at any Robby Soave post and you can see what I mean.” And I say “okay, show me a link to one of these posts that show what you mean.” And your response “thanks for proving my point”.

                      Do you not understand how foolish that makes you look? Do you think no one will notice?

                    2. Thanks for proving my point.

                      Sounds to me that he is doubtful about your accusation but open to evidence to prove it. He’d have “proven your point” if you provided the evidence and he still said “Fuck you, no”

                      But, YMMV.

      2. “I honestly forget who, said that Rather and CBS had the narrative right but they just got the facts wrong.”

        I think it was Dan Rather who made that statement about his own lies about Bush

      3. That was the famous “fake but accurate” line from Rather himself.

        His point was that the fact that the documents were fake did not mean the statements in the documents were false.

  25. Everyone loves being part of a pile-on …..Lena Dunham

    (vomits uncontrollably)

      1. Just as alcohol can make any woman beautiful, so too can MDMA make any activity pleasurable. *

        *Or so I’ve heard.

        1. Those sounds like excellent arguments to be cautious about consuming either substance.

  26. no one deserves to be metaphorically strung up like this simply for expressing skepticism about an accusation of criminal activity

    you’d think

    1. Anna Merlen followed up on that story, at her own request, mind you, and admitted error, apologized and was remarkably (for a Jezebel writer) honorable about the whole thing. Just thought I’d throw that out there, because she deserves real respect for the way she did it.

  27. But she also doesn’t deserve it because surely no one deserves to be metaphorically strung up like this simply for expressing skepticism about an accusation of criminal activity.

    I agree with Brendan O’Neill in principle. But that’s not the space that Lena Dunham, and people like her have crafted, and chosen to live in.

    Lena Dunham and her identity politics-loving cohorts expressly created a space where the accuser is to “always be believed”.

    Look, if you make the bloodsport of extreme identity politics your daily business, eventually, you’re going to lose the occasional limb.

    1. I have about as much sympathy for Dunham as I would for someone who chose to own a black mamba for a pet and one day got bit. It is hard not to have sympathy for someone bit by a deadly poisonous snake, but a lot less so when the person chose to own such a snake as a pet. Same thing here. Dunham did a lot to create this environment and benefitted greatly from doing so. Pretty hard to have much sympathy for her now being a victim of the monster she benefited from creating.

      1. I’m watching this whole thing (not just Dunham, but everyone) unfold with morbid fascination. And I realize one thing: It will have to burn itself out. It’s running on its own momentum now, and like every Marxist revolution, after they put enough supporters of the revolution in front of the firing squad, clearer heads will prevail. It’s just going to be interesting to see how many bodies pile up before someone shouts “stop!”.

        1. I am just thankful they have yet to obtain any real power and this is not involving real firing squads. Make no mistake, if these idiots ever had that kind of power, people would be facing real firing squads, not metaphorical ones.

          1. Right now, they’re having their own Thermidorian Reaction. Can’t wait to see who their Napoleon is going to be.

    2. Live by the rape hysteria, die by the rape hysteria.

  28. I guess the checks were good enough for old Zinzi to overlook her racism until now.

    #principled

  29. I just want to go on record that I’m not the kind of person to call Lena Dunham a fat, lying, disgusting, two-faced cunt. Thank you.

  30. “But she also doesn’t deserve it because surely no one deserves to be metaphorically strung up like this simply for expressing skepticism about an accusation of criminal activity. ”

    That isn’t what she did, and since it’s the central point of your argument, your argument fails.

  31. It just shows how little imagination George Orwell had. INGSOC had just one looter Party to rob, torture and murder its citizens, complete with a Spies hitlerjugend of snitches and the Junior Antisex League. We have two (02) subsidized DemoGOP Parties with all of the above, plus a Senior Antisex League!

  32. “If we could all turn down the Schadenfreude for five minutes”

    we can’t.

    she’s a monster and a liar and cultural cancer. lied about being raped, groped her infant sibling, thinks hillary is fit for the presidency.

    fuck her.

  33. Lena Dunham would have been forgotten by now if it wasn’t for all the conservative media outlets continuing to give her free publicity.

    The only way to get rid of these sorts of media dilettantes is to deprive them of attention, rather than feeding their egos by giving them more attention.

    1. Conservative media outlets? The woman’s been getting fluffed by every left-wing rag and teevee entertainment show for years now. Her family is one of the most well-connected in the entire left-wing Hollywood/Big Media complex. Seeing that snaggle-toothed mug and Pillsbury doughboy body on a random magazine cover or click-bait media article just about every week for the last 5-6 years is hardly conservative media giving her too much attention.

    2. No, Dunham’s star shines brightly in the woke PC culture. Her series Girls was considered a cultural milestone. That didn’t happen because Rush Limbaugh (or whoever you’re referring to) whines about her.

  34. Everyone loves being part of a pile-on against Lena Dunham

    Phrasing!

  35. I respect O’Neill. I just have to disagree with him. If Dunham had said “Gee, maybe I was wrong about all that blind credulity for accusers stuff. I’ve seen the results on a good person who I think is innocent.”, I’d support her stance. But, that’s not what she’s saying. That’s not what she’s saying at all. She’s saying that she still supports unconditional preparedness to destroy someone’s life on just an accusation, just not the lives of any of her friends, ‘kay? But, that’s a sure recipe to have those accusations and that environment continue unabated. In A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More explains, “‘What would you do when the last law was down and the Devil turned round on you?…I’d give the devil benefit of law for my own safety sake.” When we dispense with that mutuality, no one has a reason to give the other side benefit of law. We just as certainly raze the law for the devil’s pursuit of us.

    1. I’m sure the guilty ones all have friends who would vouch for them too.

      The whole thing is meaningless blather.

      1. Well, yes, they would. As would people who were innocent. I’m not making any claims to the guy’s guilt or innocence. I’m saying that it’s reasonable to object when the people demanding a witch hunt insist their friends be exempt.

    2. And just to clarify, I do believe that the person she’s defending deserves the presumption of innocence and that accusations against him need some substantiation to be accepted.

      1. It doesn’t even need to be said. Unfortunately, the presumption of innocence is not going to tilt on the opinion of a few principled libertarians, it’s going to tilt on the opinion of media opinion makers, cultural figureheads and other various luminaries, almost all of which take the scorched-earth view of sexual harassment accusations.

        Lena Dunham and her ilk can only get help from within their own circle. It’s up to them now.

        1. I think it tilts on the opinion of judges and juries.

          1. Nevermind, I’ll take that back. My nit is more with evidentiary standards and personal judgments, not the presumption itself.

        2. True. I just want to clarify that it’s solely Ms. Dunham I’m seeking to damn here, not the accused. I don’t know if O’Neil realizes this is an option.

        3. True. I just want to clarify that it’s solely Ms. Dunham I’m seeking to damn here, not the accused. I don’t know if O’Neil realizes this is an option.

  36. Every time Dunham tries to come off as a leading voice of the progressive left, she makes it clear that she’s really just a follower.

  37. “I think Dunham’s apology is sad, tragic, and unnecessary.”

    FIFY: “I think Dunham is sad, tragic, and unnecessary. “

  38. That they are now experiencing the “terror” that is the result of their own rules used against them should be teaching them a lesson. sadly it isn’t, and they will continue down the path.

  39. How can a whole article be written about this without even addressing the current alleged sexual assault? This is all just pontificating unless there are facts involved and details to mull over. It’s as if Reason is running the opposite campaign – always doubt allegations!

    As for FOX news, they can be ignored because their only MO is pointing out Liberal hypocrisy. That’s easy to do when you have no moral compass of your own.

  40. “the niggling difficulty”

    The WHAT difficulty? Surely, the author can’t be so confident as to think he can put successive g’s after a NI in any context and get away with it. The authorities have been notified.

    1. No shit. This idiot is trying to get Reason pegged as white supremacist as a means of deflecting heat from Dunham Donuts social heat shields before she breaks up in the social mediasphere

  41. the niggling difficulty

    Careful!

  42. Roy Moore’s former secretary and associates have also come to the defense. Nothing objectionable about that.

    Dunham’s initial defense of her writer pal is problematic because of the calculated and sanctimonious way she made her case. Sure, 97% of all rapes reported are “genuine’ but this one case that involves the writer of my show – it conveniently falls into that 3% of misreported rape. Sure, it’s all natural for us to believe women’s stories, but when it tangentially involves me, there should be room for doubt. And I have insider info that clears him!

    Most the people going after Dunham probably believe the writer is guilty even before sniffing a courthouse, so they’re certainly part of the problem. If she said “He’s innocent until proven guilty”, then there would be some case for sympathy for Dunham. But shes’ not honest. She accused some republican of raping her and that turned out to be a lie.

  43. Lena Dunham is a troll being hoist by her own petard. That is an unmitigated good.

  44. No. This is the monster SHE created. She should be torn limb from limb then set in fire.

  45. This is what you get when you promote insane positions and then expect the mob to follow you those few times when you’re actually being reasonable.

  46. STFU, Brendan. She’s vile.

  47. Bubba Jones|11.21.17 @ 6:11PM|#
    “Lena Dunham is a troll being hoist by her own petard. That is an unmitigated good.”

    But if we do so, it confirms her vile attempts at condemning people.
    We can, easily, by HER standards, call her out as a lying, hypocritical piece of shit, and she deserves all of that. But by doing so, we confirm her slimy standards in condemning people.
    So we have a choice, and O’Neill is not the surprising one to point that out.

  48. Re: “black men were frequently punished, even destroyed, by accusations of sexual harassment.” So were black boys. See the most tragic example of that:

    ‘Emmett Till: Despised by an ideological feminist'” http://malemattersusa.wordpres…..-feminist/

  49. Did anyone else here watch her in the series AMERICAN HORROR STORY – CULT? It was quite fitting. She played a mockery of herself I thought. Her role in the series is Valerie Jean Solanas who wrote SCUM and shot Andy Warhol. Solanas was a man hating prostitute. Even more ironic after Dunham has publicly stood against amnesty internationals stance supporting the decriminalization of prostitution. I guess it’s ok to play a prostitute as an actress, and one which represents the stereotypes associated with prostitution. It was gross to watch and I could totally imagine her thinking what a great opportunity it was to be in the series while the producers were actually laughing and mocking her behind her back. She clearly doesn’t see the joke is on her. Because it is! She IS an American horror story all to herself.

  50. Why would you care about any of this? I think you need to get a productive hobbieinstead of this TMZ bullshit.

    1. Google translation:
      “Pay no attention to the fat (ish) woman behind the curtain!”

  51. The article is right on the point. We need to chill the @#&(% out! This hysteria is just that.
    Outrage fuels outrage.
    It does not serve anyone in the long run, though partisans rejoice when their “side” appears to benefit,
    Mob mentality is rarely productive.

  52. Hey, when one side has been using “mob mentality” to tar the other for decades, the schadenfreude is irresistible when those same people not only are caught leading mobs, but being consumed by them. Human nature.

    You can say “We should be better than this.” but hey, I’ve got all this popcorn, so…

    And who knows? Perhaps some of the less indoctrinated, less irrational, less insane members of the prog mob will be sloughed off, and left to fend with reality using reason and human empathy. It could happen!

  53. I will giver a dollar if she goes away. Her 15 is over, pls.

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