Hours after Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai accused a former Communist Party official of sexual assault in a shocking online post, Eric Liu witnessed one of the most intensive censorship campaigns carried out before his eyes.
The process looked familiar to Liu, who worked as a content censor at Weibo, the microblogging site where Peng described how former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli coerced her into sex before the two entered into an on-and-off affair. But the scale was unprecedented, the 34-year-old said, due to the shocking nature of Peng’s story, the sheer number of people on social media, and the Communist leadership’s growing desire to keep public opinion under control.
“It is an extremely grand-scale campaign,” said Liu, who quit the company in 2013 and is now tracking Chinese censorship for China Digital Times from the United States. “There is nothing that could be compared to this. Although more serious political events have taken place in the past, the internet censorship was not that strict. I would expect them to use their full capacity to carry this out.”
The Communist Party leadership regards any scandal involving its core members as a threat to its rule. Since Peng’s post came out, Beijing has sought to wipe it out from the country’s history by banning media coverage, requiring around-the-clock human efforts from social media companies, and, through a system of punishments, coaxing citizens into self-censorship. It has demonstrated the country’s ability to keep its cyberspace insular even as the case was making international headlines every day.
The goal is to make Peng’s accusations taboo, just like the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, so even those who have read the post would avoid talking about it, letting the incident recede from memory and lose its significance as China’s biggest #MeToo case.
An incredibly vicious and protracted war is being waged, seemingly with no end in sight, among numerous prominent liberal and left-wing commentators who work primarily on YouTube. The conflict erupted on May 26 when Cenk Uygur — the founder and long-time host of The Young Turks, the largest liberal-left YouTube platform — baselessly and falsely accused independent journalist Aaron Maté of being “paid by the Russians,” while his co-host, Ana Kasparian, spouted innuendo that Maté was “working for” unnamed dictators.
Maté is one of the very few left-wing journalists who reported skeptically on Russiagate and who questioned the U.S. Government’s narrative about the civil war in Syria, including by traveling to war-torn parts of that country to do so. He won the 2019 Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award for his work debunking Russiagate. Yet with a one-minute rant from their insulated studio, Uygur baselessly branded Maté as someone who is “paid by the Russians” while Kasparian asserted that he “seemed” to be working for Assad and other dictators — a potentially reputation-destroying smear for a journalist and one that can be quite dangerous for a reporter who, like Maté, works on the ground in war zones.
The conflict engendered by those grotesque fabrications escalated significantly when Kasparian sent a private Twitter message to one of Maté’s defenders, Jimmy Dore, in which she threatened to accuse Dore of #MeToo-type sexual harassment from when they worked together seven years earlier. Kasparian made clear that her intent to publicly vilify Dore as a sexual harasser would serve as punishment for his criticisms of The Young Turks. Dore then revealed Kasparian’s threat on his program, and days later, Kasparian made good on her threat by accusing Dore of sexual harassment back in 2014.
All of the women charged with defamation after making MeToo-style allegations in Sweden have been found guilty, according to a review of ten defamation cases.
The Swedish television programme Crime of the Week reviewed ten defamation cases linked to MeToo allegations over the last several years and found that in every single case, judges had sided against the women making public allegations of sexual abuse.
“All women have the right to their story, and you can tell what you want to a close circle of family and friends, but you can’t single people out in public,” lawyer Angel Eklund told SVT.
The broadcaster noted that eight women were convicted of gross slander, while the other two were convicted of libel. Six of the cases have seen a final judgement, while three others await appeals, and the final case has been referred for an appeal to the Swedish supreme court.
President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee Merrick Garland as a college student at Harvard University wrote in a review of a musical that a song about rape was one of the play’s “hilarious group numbers.”
In a Harvard Crimson article published January 22, 1976, he wrote in a critique of the play (emphasis added):
A combination of factors, however, keep the vocal problems from becoming disastrous. Most important are the Jones-Schmidt songs themselves, simple and engaging melodies with a few tender ballads like “Try to Remember” and some hilarious group numbers like “it Depends on what You Pay,” which provides a shopping list of rapes for sale (e.g. “the military rape–it’s done with drums and a great brass band.”)
The play was “The Fantasticks,” performed by an all-freshmen cast. It is about a nearly 20-year-old college student and a 16-year-old girl, who are young lovers.
The article was submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 26, 2020, as part of a questionnaire Garland filled out for consideration by the committee next week. Question 12 asks the nominee to list published writings — books, articles, reports, letters to the editor, etc. — and public statements.
The song about rape has come under public scrutiny in the past for its lyrics, which include:
We’ve the obvious open schoolboy rape,
With little mandolins and perhaps a cape.
The rape by coach; it’s little in request.
The rape by day, but the rape by night is best.
Just try to see it.
And you will soon agree, señors,
When you can get the sort of rape
You’ll never ever forget.
You can get the rape emphatic.
You can get the rape polite.
You can get the rape with Indians:
A very charming sight.
You can get the rape on horseback;
They’ll all say it’s new and gay.
So you see the sort of rape
Depends on what you pay.
It depends on what you
The song’s lyricist, Tom Jones, made changes to the song in 2006 when the play was revived in 2006.
“For years I didn’t think and then gradually it began to seep into my consciousness. My consciousness was raised. I really began to think, you know, rape isn’t funny,” Jones told NPR in 2006. The word “rape” was later changed to “abduction.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the process of getting #metoo’d, and it may be the best thing that has ever happened to him.
Before a bunch of female accusers came out with accusations of impropriety in a seemingly coordinated fashion, Cuomo was under fire for his murderous policies of housing COVID-19 patients in nursing homes with the elderly, vulnerable and infirmed.
Big League Politics has reported on the Cuomo genocide in New York as the scandal has unfolded:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hid data on the impact of his nursing home quarantine policy to avert scrutiny from federal investigators. Cuomo had forced New York nursing homes to admit patients who were COVID-positive, in a medical disaster since determined to have unnecessarily cost the lives of thousands of senior citizens in the state.
The New York Post reported that a Cuomo aide admitted as such as Democratic New York state legislators on Thursday. Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa admitted that resarch related to the nursing home policy was spiked directly in response to criticism of the policy on the part of President Donald Trump.
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said of Trump, referencing presidential tweets questioning the nursing home policy in August. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
“Then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”
A Queens Democrat assemblyman described DeRosa’s remarks as no less than revealing an attempt to avert federal scrutiny, preventing New York’s policy makers from learning of the deadly ramifications of the nursing home policy in the process.
“[it’s] like they admitted that they were trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence that might put the administration or the [Health Department] in further trouble with the Department of Justice,” said Ron Kim.
It’s all but impossible the Department of Justice will investigate the nursing home policy now that Joe Biden is President. Some have speculated that the policy cost New York as many as 10,000 lives, nearly half the deaths in the state with the most COVID-19 deaths in the nation.
After this scandal broke, these women – in fashion similar to Brett Kavanaugh and other #metoo hoaxes – emerged at the same time to get the focus off of Cuomo’s killings and put it onto his alleged sexual lasciviousness. This is very convenient, and those other Democrat governors who implemented similar policies may be breathing a sigh of relief as a result.
The White House has defended not firing its deputy press secretary after he made sexist comments to a reporter who was working on a story.
TJ Ducklo was suspended for one week without pay after a Vanity Fair report revealed he threatened and made sexist comments to Politico reporter Tara Palmeri – who was working on a story about his romantic relationship with another reporter.
“We felt it was a serious punishment,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, during a press briefing on Friday.
In the interaction, Mr Ducklo said he would “destroy her” if she published a story. He went on to make misogynistic comments about Ms Palmeri and claim she was “jealous” about his relationship with Alexi McCammond – who was pulled by Axios from the Biden beat in November after disclosing her relationship.