This post is not about Michael Moore and his acclaimed film. The title refers to Roger Stone, the presumed triggerman behind the political assassination of Senator Al Franken.
The speed of a social movement often outpaces the checks and balances needed over time to curb exploitation. No doubt, predatory sexual misconduct is more widespread than thought. Victims hide their abuse under silence in fear of shame and retribution. The correct term is ‘victim blame.’
In politics, the name of the game is obfuscation. To discredit one accuser is to discredit all accusers. To defend one rogue is to hang clouds of suspicion over honorable men. Welcome to the Art of the Smear.
Comedy often relies on sexual innuendo, and dirty trickster Roger Stone knows a comedian will push boundaries for a laugh. He knows an out-of-context publicity photo will incriminate the man and incite his base. These conventions of show biz turned Senator Franken into an easy mark.
Roger Stone concocted a double-bind smear with locked exit doors, a virtual fire trap with no means of escape. An honest investigation may have exposed the scam, but Senator Franken was preemptively sabotaged by his own colleagues and denied due process.
Dirty tricks create a perverse reality of reverse polarity. An honorable man resigns in shame; the Groper-in-Chief endorses a pedophile for senator. Most repugnant of all, a false victim discredits all true victims of predatory abuse.
A false equivalence is not easy to debunk in the best of times ... and next to impossible in the worst of times.