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The Whole Gold Star Mess and Harvey Weinstein

What a week for sensational television. Is America today any worse than the time when all the pulp magazines and muckrakers prevailed? With the exception of the fact that we’ve never had a president who acts like the readers rather than rising above their sometimes petty views, probably life is as it always has been: full of events and individuals who capture our attention with their stories, particularly the sensational ones.

I was particularly captivated by two emotional interviews that I watched this week.

The first was an interview by Ari Melber on MSNBC’s “The Beat” with the parents of a soldier who was recently killed in one of the areas where we’re fighting. It was heart rendering to watch the grief they were feeling. It was so raw and so real. It made you forget politics for a moment and just feel sad.

The second interview was conducted by Hari Sreenivasa on Public Broadcasting with a woman who had been accosted by Harvey Weinstein. Like the soldier’s parents, she was somewhat reluctant to come forth with her story but she felt she needed to do so once others were telling their stories. She too was so real and I felt her pain so clearly.

The two incidents humbled me. I tend to be tough and punitive and unfeeling. Regardless of how one feels about the kerfuffle over the representative who spoke out for the soldier who was recently killed in Niger and regardless of how one feels about Harvey Weinstein’s power over women and men’s power over women in general, when I see real people just living their lives needing to tell us to be human, it makes me take a step back from all the news we hear today. It’s probably always gone on, but right now, I’m particularly struck by the news of this week.

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