Read the whole thing over at the Washington Post, it’s a long and shameful description of NLMSM icon Charlie Rose’s fall from grace—and a shocking between-the-lines read that Rose got to that position of grace in the first place—but I’m struck by a couple of comments in particular that Rose has made about these revelations and associated accusations. The first is this gem:
I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times….
Wow. How does Rose suppose his embarrassment compares to the humiliation and damage suffered by those eight (and more?) women he abused? And his abuse was insensitive behavior, yet….
And this one:
I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings….
Now, as readers of my stuff know, and particularly from what I’ve written in this sort of scandal recently breaking, I’m a firm believer in innocent until proven guilty at trial, and Rose should be afforded the same consideration, but—again, wow. “I did some of this stuff, but not all of it; and it was all a big misunderstanding, anyway!?” This utterly destroyed what was otherwise a (structurally, anyway) sound apology.
Separately, but just as important, how is it possible that CBS, PBS, and Bloomberg TV were unaware of these abuses over that long stretch of time? Because no formal complaints were made? Who believes that?
That would be utter nonsense, unless we were to believe that those three teams of executives, every single one of them high-powered, highly intelligent, highly alert, fully grown adult humans were in fact just a couple of monkeys busily hearing no evil and seeing no evil.
Every organization has its rumor mill; these abuses were being talked about around the water coolers, in the wash rooms, in workers’ cubicles. It boggles the sensibility to claim that these things didn’t eventually bubble up to “management” separately from formal complaints. It boggles the sensibility yet further, that having heard these rumors, the executives were so lacking in initiative that they couldn’t look into them on their own initiative.
Furthermore, at least one knew from direct testimony. Here’s Yvette Vega, Rose’s longtime executive producer, responding to one women with an explicit complaint:
That’s just Charlie being Charlie.
Vega thought everything was jake. Guys are guys. No worries, dearie. Vega added, claiming to have learned better:
I should have stood up for them. I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.
Yewbetcha. Now, what is Vega doing with her “regret?” Besides bodice-ripping and wallowing in it, I mean.
And this, from an unnamed PBS spokeswoman:
PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations[.]
We’re shocked—shocked—to learn that inappropriate behavior is going on in this establishment. Right.
Maybe it’s time that, in addition to holding the miscreants to account, we started firing and, yes, jailing, supervisors and executives who actively condoned, if not outright encouraged, these behaviors through their own conscious decisions to ignore rampant rumors and their deliberate choices to hide their heads in the sand and not investigate—whether to protect the abused employees or to clear the good names of other employees subjected to salacious, but baseless, rumors.
These guys shouldn’t be allowed to hide under their desks in their corner offices anymore.