Recently, veteran journalist Gay Talese lodged his foot so deep in his mouth that I wonder if he’ll ever be able to cough out the toenails he left in the back of his throat.
As Vanity Fair reports, Talese was speaking with New York Times owner Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and said, “I would like to talk to Kevin Spacey.” In theory, Talese, whose magazine profiles have rightly been likened to art, could produce something substantive out of Spacey given the state of his career, which is currently wearing a toe tag and seemingly waiting for cremation.
Like, one wonders if after decades of allegedly sexually assaulting various men and preying on teenage boys, does Spacey now see the error of his ways? Is he repulsed by his inappropriate and despicable attitude for young boys? Is he overwhelmed with guilt from the ways in which he abused his power as a wealthy and famous man? Does he wish he had gotten this treatment he claims to now be seeking in light of his darkness coming to light?
Unfortunately, that’s not Talese’s angle. Instead, Talese has a more perverse view of Spacey’s public standing in light of multiple men accusing him of harassment, assault, or inappropriate behavior with underage boys that began with actor Anthony Rapp revealing to Buzzfeedthat Spacey made a sexual advance towards him in 1986, when he was just 14. Talese is not repulsed by Spacey. No, he pities him and seemingly admonishes the public at large for overreacting.
“I feel so sad, and I hate that actor that ruined this guy’s career,” Talese explained. “So, O.K., it happened 10 years ago . . . Jesus, suck it up once in a while!”
Talese, who was described as “visibly agitated,” continued: “I would like to ask [Spacey] how it feels to lose a lifetime of success and hard work all because of 10 minutes of indiscretion 10 years or more ago.”
And then apparently after “gesturing to the roomful of media titans sipping champagne around him,” Talese went on to say: “You know something, all of us in this room at one time or another did something we’re ashamed of. The Dalai Lama has done something he’s ashamed of. The Dalai Lama should confess . . . put that in your magazine!”
Actually, these men did “suck it up.” They went on about their lives and tried to make peace with the unfortunate circumstance of being a sexual predator’s prey at one period in their lives.
They did so in silence because they knew all too well that men like Kevin Spacey often get away with their behavior because of their respective powers: age, authority, fame, and wealth. Whether or not they should have “sucked it up” is irrelevant, though. Such line of thinking places the onus on the victims rather than the perpetrator.
As for his question for Spacey, again, Talese is operating more in the manner of an emotionless robot than a human being. He ought to want to ask Spacey if preying on younger boys or grabbing the crotches and asses of young men on the set of his work, various parties, or wherever the hell else he violated other people’s autonomy without consent was worth risking the career he spent a lifetime building?
Gay Talese is 85-years-old, but I’m happy to help this old dog learn a new trick: actions, no matter when performed, have consequences. No matter what one does at any point of their lives, there is a chance they will face repercussions for them. There may be a statute of limitations with respect to the justice system, but in terms of how we, the public, view a public figure of wrongdoing, well, such limitations are nonexistent.
It shouldn’t have taken this long for Kevin Spacey to be shunned for his sins, but better late than never. Moreover, someone should tell this legendary journalist to keep up with the news before speaking on shit he seems to show little knowledge of. To wit, Heather Unruh, a veteran Boston television journalist, held a press conference where on behalf of her son, accused Spacey of sexually assaulting her 18-year-old in the summer of 2016 at a Nantucket bar.
Though her son told Spacey he was 21 when he was actually only 18, Spacey allegedly piled her son with “drink after drink” only to reach down his pants and grabbed his genitals.
The Kevin Spacey of last year sounds eerily similar to the Kevin Spacey of a decade ago and the decade before that. So, with respect to the pity party Gay Talese wants to have for Spacey, here’s a pro tip from a much younger colleague: shut your old, cheerleader for predators ass the hell up, sir.
Sadly, Talese sounds like Jeremy Piven, who also recently covered the same song of accused sexual abusers losing their careers over accusations. Piven has a lot of reason to worry as he, too, faces a long list of accusations of harassments.
The conservative media complex is also defending Roy Moore for the heterosexual, Old Testament version of Kevin Spacey’s sickness. Those folks have the gall to invoke Jesus to defend a man Jesus would probably want to bitch slap into a lake of fire. Or maybe Christ would get The Dalai Lama to do it and then backhand Gay Talese for good measure.
Regardless, these people are all advocating on behalf of the predators. Some of them are doing so because they themselves may be predators.
At the very least, they all seem to care more about power than any given person and their right to be treated respectfully. Unfortunately, when it comes to playing “devil’s advocate,” more likely than not, you’re not enlightening us so much as you are telling on yourselves.
In the same way we all should know about the monsters living among us, we, too, need to just as swiftly sweep away their apologists.