The evening of Sunday, October 29, 2017 was one of the most bizarre in this writer’s life. Not only did I observe the Los Angeles Dodgers suffer an agonizing defeat in the 10th inning of game 5 of the World Series (even though it was one of the best baseball games I have ever seen), I also witnessed an incredible story develop on Twitter over Anthony Rapp’s accusation that Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted him when he was 14 years old.
On the surface, neither story should relate to one another. However, if one compares how the media addressed Rapp’s accusation against Spacey with how it covered an earlier incident in the World Series, their actions speak volumes about their priorities.
Before comparing how the media reacted to these stories, let us briefly review the facts about each of them.
Rapp accuses Spacey of sexual assault
BuzzFeed summarizes Rapp’s accusation against Spacey this way:
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.
Hours after BuzzFeed published the story, Spacey posted the following response on Twitter:
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
As an aside, Seth MacFarlane, who appears to have been Hollywood’s human version of the Advanced Warning System, included this snippet in an episode of “Family Guy”:
Seth MacFarlane knew about Kevin Spacey.
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) October 30, 2017
Now that the basic facts of Rapp’s allegations against Spacey have been established, let us now turn to the World Series incident.
Yuli Gurriel makes racist gestures towards Yu Darvish
During game 3 of the World Series, Houston Astros catcher Yuli Gurriel hit a home run against Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. After returning to the Astros’ bench, Gurriel made two insulting gestures towards Darvish, who is part Japanese.
In the article Yuli Gurriel’s offensive gesture provokes outrage among Asian Americans, the Los Angeles Times reports:
After hitting a home run off the Dodgers’ Yu Darvish, Gurriel put his fingers to the sides of his face, lifted the corners of his eyes and mouthed the word “chinito,” Spanish for “Chinese boy.” Darvish, who was born in Japan, is of Japanese and Iranian descent.
In response to his actions, Major League Baseball suspended Gurriel for five games. However, his suspension will occur at the beginning of the next regular season; Gurriel has been able to continue playing in the World Series.
How the mainstream media covered these stories
Now let us compare how the mainstream media portrayed these two stories. To the extent possible, I want to focus on two things: 1) media outlets that published articles on both stories, and 2) the original articles the media published in response to the Spacey story.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2017
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) October 30, 2017
Gurriel banned five games in 2018 for racist gesture https://t.co/j1xs7j2IAW
— A. Simple Fool (@asimplefoolblog) October 30, 2017
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 30, 2017
New York Daily News
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 28, 2017
Kevin Spacey announced Sunday night that he will "live as a gay man" https://t.co/7G8C25sdSE
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 30, 2017
What is the media really worried about?
Not only is the mainstream media far more upset about Gurriel’s gesture to Darvish than they are about Spacey’s possible sexual assault against Rapp, they are helping Spacey by focusing on his sexual orientation rather than the far more serious nature of the accusation against him.
Spacey made the same move Harvey Weinstein made when he responded to a New York Times’s exposé that documented Weinstein’s payouts to sexual harassment accusers for decades. In his statement, Weinstein vowed to go after the National Rifle Association and Donald Trump, and give millions of dollars to help women directors. Fortunately, Weinstein’s shameless attempt to signal the right virtues did not gather any significant liberal support for him.
However, as can be seen above, Spacey’s disingenuous move was far more successful than Weinstein’s, at least with the media.
The mainstream media is actually more upset with a baseball player making racist gestures than with a Hollywood star allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager.
Or is it that the media is far more concerned about the implications that a Hollywood star sexually assaulted a teenager than a baseball player making racist gestures?
No wonder no one trusts them anymore.