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Nov 30

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, November 30, 2017 5:53 AM 

My first job was as a swimsuit fit model. I was 17. I worked for a smaller Warnaco company called High Tide in Los Angeles and made $20 an hour, which was about 7 times the minimum wage in 1979. Most of the day, I sat on the carpeted floor of my stall dressing room in a bathrobe reading some book until I was asked to put on a bathing suit to wear for the designer in her office, the lady who headed the sewing workshop, or a conference room or office to show a suit for executives or buyers. As I recall, the executives were men except for my boss, Shirley (the company ran on a  first-name-basis), the buyers were mainly women. 

One day, one of the vice presidents asked me to show him the string bikini in his office, so I did. Twice. After the third time ("turn around"), I walked down the hall into the president's office, and told "Lin" what was going on. He was very nice, thanked me, and I went back to my dressing room. The next day, Mr. String Bikini was sent to supervise a distant warehouse.

In 1979, Matt Lauer (b. 1957) was 22 and just starting out in TV in West Virginia, according to his bio. Harvey Weinstein (b. 1952) was 27 and putting together his first movie venture, a Paul McCartney concert film, with his brother. I note their ages because it strikes me that there is something generational about their shared toxic non-masculinity -- something very Death of the Grown-Up.  After all, what kind of man behaves like this?

No "man." Like the creeper Bill (Hillary) Clinton (b. 1946) -- who must be chewing his (their) nails, sweating over whether his (her) praetorian guard, including so many of these same exact people currently devouring each other will finally have to pretend to turn on them -- these are psycho-narcissists with grossly stunted and cretinous personalities, preying on fear and foolishness and ambition and desperation. No man is content with or fired by such a dynamic.

And now, of course, the Lauer Apology.

His statement:

There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions.

Note that he is not sorry for his "words and actions" -- only for "the pain" they have caused.

This is classic non-apology-apology format, which is also post-Death of the Grown-Up.

To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.

As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.

Again, he's sorry for the reaction to his "words and actions" -- which includes the termination of his yearly $25 million gig.  

Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.

And it is how Lauer feels that is important! 

I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.

That's a new one.

Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job.

And so begins Lauer's life, staring into the ocean from a cabana ...

The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.

The estimated $100 million fortune aside, such a naughty boy. By the way, that's only about one-third of Harvey's reported riches, and I'd bet the farm it is also less than what the Clintons have amassed -- but consoling nonetheless.

As with Mark Halperin (b. 1965) yesterday, Lauer's name is mud today. That nicely dressed, middle-aged man on the sofa whom so many American women, mainly, woke up with on their morning TV screens, is just that gross-out jerk from the 8th grade whose ratings-inflated power over the sistern has popped. 

Is society's job done? Was it worth it? What happens tomorrow? Watching heads fall, there is something too entertaining about it all, too hysterical, too Jacobinian. I mean, did you hear the one about the news exec who got canned or resigned for kissing a gal over drinks twenty years ago? There may well be more to the story, but accusatory lust grows apace -- even as the Clintons remain. Even as Conyers is still an icon and Franken is ok, too, hanging on by their nasty fingertips, even as the pyre burns, building in intensity (and throw that "signed" yearbook of Roy Moore's accuser into the flames, quick). These other sacrifices along the way -- entertainers, newsreaders past their prime, let's be honest -- will be worth it if they can somehow, some way, manage to get President Trump to burn, too. 

Watching the woman who is Hillary's equal in the Annals of Awful, Nancy Pelosi, twist and parse all of this in her peculiar delivery of dumb and devious, it strikes me there may be well be such a plot -- or simply a strategic effort not to let a good crisis go to waste -- and it is thickening. 

It's just possible these uncontrollable creeper-boys are the new sacrifical maidens.




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