(Trigger warning: if you, for whatever reason, are certain that George Takei did what he is accused of, and are not open-minded to the possibility that he did not, this diary is likely to trigger you by appearing to attack a victim, because I argue that he is by no reasonable measure proven a victim yet.)
OP: I’m sure the entire TrumpMoorecult would jump on my head for hypocrisy, but I don’t care. They have absolutely no right to criticize anyone for hypocrisy. I’m sure some people right here on DK will accuse me of hypocrisy. I don’t care. My skepticism is not about Takei’s political leanings. It is not about the fact that he’s brilliant on Twitter.
It is about the nature of the allegation. You have to take all these cases on a case-by-case basis, like a judge or jury.
To me it looks like a US right-wing/Putin co-ordinated counter-op. They see this movement of people coming out about stars committing sexual abuse, and figure they can catch one up in it who is their political enemy. Something like this was inevitable.
I am prepared to be proven wrong if more information comes out from credible sources. Update:
(The most credible being Takei himself, if he admits it.) he is denying it lock, stock and barrel; see below.
But it hasn’t yet.
Here is my reasoning:
1) There is only one accuser. That’s a weak case. The Washington Post in breaking the Moore story was very careful to make a strong case (and so cover its ass legally) by making sure that there were four accusers who did not know each other and who did not approach the reporters in the first place. Their stories resemble each other, revealing a distinctive pattern of sexually-predatory behavior. The Hollywood Reporter in its Takei story, on the other hand, is relying on just one accuser plus four of his friends.
In fact I cannot think of any exposed sexual predator so far, either in Hollywood or the political arena, whose downfall came from just one accuser. Ailes, O’Reilly, Weinstein, Spacey, Moore, Trump — all had multiple people come out as former victims. This is why I credit them.
2) The timing. This comes just as Republicans are abandoning and defunding Roy Moore and freaking out about having their Senate majority cut down, and #RoyMooreChildMolester trended all day yesterday. Very convenient. Also, Takei is out of the country and cannot respond immediately.
3) Putinbots are all over it. See here, look at “trending topics”.
4) The content of many tweets suit a counter-op’s aims, i.e. to silence Takei and liberals who RT his tweets. E.g.:
5) The accuser’s story doesn’t sound quite right. It has a certain untypical salaciousness, with an implicit rather that explicit claim of drugging. After a second drink, apparently, he suddenly felt disoriented and passed out, and you’re supposed to figure out that Takei used the date-rape stuff on him.
But, even more, this statement:
1) “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”
I’m a sexual abuse victim myself, and no, we don’t tell groups of people while recounting bizarre instances in our lives, for years, then suddenly get nervous. We more typically tell absolutely nobody for years, because we are terrified. Just read the accounts from the accusers of Moore, Spacey, Trump, etc. for what a typical one looks like. [This graf edited as a result of commenter input.]
Further, I find it hard to believe that if Brunton told groups people for 36 years, it wouldn’t have come out sooner.
2) Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. "Who's going to believe me? It's my word against his," he says.
But he was willing to tell groups of people, presumably in entertainment circles, as that’s where he was, for 36 years? He never thought any of them would contain any friends or associates of Takei? I find this hard to believe.
His whole tone sounds too casual for an experience that, if real, would be a very big deal and leave a bad scar.
6) No matching reputational information (prompted by discussion in the comments): Often with these allegations it comes out that the alleged abuser’s predilections were an open secret, e.g. that Roy Moore was known for being attracted to underage girls. No such information has emerged about Takei. Related: those abusers who confess and apologize will often say that now they understand the impact their abuse had on their victims, they understand the harm they have caused by using their power to coerce victims into unwanted sexual acts. But Takei made clear in his online activism that he understood this, before being accused.
I repeat: if damning information comes out that is credible, e.g. a bunch of other people who are not right-wing operatives accuse Takei of similar action,
or he admits to it, I’ll admit this hypothesis is wrong and delete this diary. However, as I write [and edit], that has not happened yet.
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So, someone attacking Takei on Twitter offered this as evidence:
No, it is not clear. He is talking about men who accepted an invitation into his home, and being firm with them so as to get them past fear. He firmly says he does not use power to coerce and does not mix sex with work, and that’s what distinguishes Trump, Weinstein and other powerful men who abuse. And he certainly does not admit to drugging anyone.
Because some readers are having trouble believing that there could be Russian involvement in this allegation, here is an illustration. It is from the Russian intelligence Twitter monitoring site Hamilton 68. Visit and read their “about” page to learn how they work.
Here is the graph on bot activity in the past 48 hours at 4:35 pm Eastern time Nov. 11, 2017:
It does not show you what they are saying, but it certainly indicates that they want Americans talking about the allegation. What they traditionally say are right-wing talking points.
Since we’re still talking about this:
The Portland Oregonian now has a story about Scott Brunton. In this one he says explicitly that Takei drugged his drink. He also says he doesn’t think it’s necessary for others to accuse Takei and thus corroborate his account as, he says, Takei “hung himself with the Howard Stern interview.”
He shares that opinion with Twitter accounts that attack Dems, liberals and gays.
Brunton also says he only wants an apology, which suggests he wants no investigation. I reiterate a point I wrote somewhere in the comments; if I were Takei and I were innocent, I would seek an investigation, somehow.
I also know that if I were Brunton, it really happened and I wanted an apology, breaking it to media would be the last thing I’d do. I would contact the abuser directly and privately. Because even someone who might be otherwise inclined to apologize and make amends is unlikely to once you’ve dragged his name through the mud on national media; for one thing, it’s very unwise legally. It could be that Brunton was just being unwise, but to me it’s yet another little thing that seems off.
FYI I have received a death threat/wish on Twitter for this story. I must thank my detractors here for going no further than attacking my character.