Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Steve Paikin and Patrick Brown - Why the double standard? #MeToo

I do not know Patrick Brown or Steve Paikin.  Dealing strictly with the facts I know that both have been accused of sexual misconduct.  In the case of Brown the accusations have been made anonymously, while Mr. Paikin's accuser has revealed her identity.  

What I am repeatedly hearing with regard to these #MeToo stories is that when women come forward with accounts of sexual misconduct or worse, that they must be believed.  And I get that, I know that for a long time the balance of power in these "she said, he said" scenarios was unfairly and pretty much entirely with men.  A woman accusing a man of sexual impropriety, even rape, she could see her reputation destroyed and her life torn apart.  

Obviously that is and was wrong.  

What boggles my mind is the double standard being displayed in these two cases.  Both Patrick Brown and Steve Paikin have denied the allegations against them in the strongest possible terms.  Both speak favourably about the importance of the #MeToo movement.  They are both prominent personalities in their respective fields, Paikin in the media and Brown in politics.  And both are paid out of Ontario's public purse, Brown as an MPP and Paikin as an employee of government broadcaster TVO.

That is where the similarities end however.  

The allegations against Brown are anonymous, although based on media reports the former PC party leader is aware of the identities of his accusers. Paikin on the other hand has been accused by a woman who has been bold enough to do so publicly.  Her name is Sarah Thomson and she has accused Paikin of offering to do an on air interview with her in exchange for sex.  

Is the accusation against Steve Paikin true?  

Frankly I don't know, but I'm astounded by the fact that Steve Paikin is still on the air.  I can't think of any other case where an accused individual has been given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to continue in whatever role or position they held prior to the news hitting, not since the #MeToo movement took hold.  

If this allegation is true, that Mr. Paikin offered to exchange on air time for sexual favours, then it goes without saying that he should never be on the air again.  But why are we waiting for something resembling due process to play out in his case?  Is there one rule for government media personalities and another more harsh rule for politicians?  According to proponents of the #MeToo movement there can be absolutely no question that Ms. Thomson's allegations are true and that she must be believed.  

And not only is Mr Paikin being left to continue in his role, his government employer is paying to have the allegations investigated, digging through the dirt to see if Ms Thompson account is credible.  

Meanwhile Patrick Brown is out of politics and being left to fend for himself against a multi-billion dollar media empire that is looking more and more like the National Enquirer North.  He has had to engage his own team in an effort to repair the damage done to his reputation.  If he is successful in proving his assertion that the allegations against him are false, I don't envy him if he tries to seek compensation from a company with the deep pockets that a conglomerate like CTV Bell Media has.

Already CTV has been forced to admit that at least one of the allegations against Mr. Brown is false, that being the age of the individual who has accused him of plying her with alcohol when she was an 18 year high school student and then luring her to his bedroom and demanding oral sex.  CTV is now reporting that she was in fact 19 years of age and not in high school.  

There are individuals suggesting that this entire affair was orchestrated by PC Party insiders to facilitate Brown's ouster.  And in the absence of further allegations, from individuals who aren't the friends of CTV reporters, its an allegation that may be very much worth investigating.  

Comments are of course welcome.  I will make one stipulation however, I won't publish any comments that amount to "everyone says" or "everyone knows"......If anyone has specific information, then use the proper channels, which a blog is not.  I've already seen enough garbage in social media about what "everyone says".  

If you want to spread hearsay maybe try CTV. 


Gyor said...

The Patrick Brown situation is aweful. He could have done it and it still wouldn't be justification for what happened.

He wasn't accused of sexual harrassment or sexual assault, or even adultery, but "sexual misconduct".

WTF, they were adults, went willingly to his bedroom and were not forced to do anything. When one said no according to the allegation he was a perfect gentlemen and drove her home and their was no retaliation.

Patrick Brown's crime is being a hetrosexual male as far as I can tell.

I'm an MRA, so this BS is good for our movement, its waking up men into realizing their second class citizens under our feminist leaders.

The feminists declare we live in patriachy, but think on this, the Premier of Ontario is a feminist. The Prime Minister is a feminist. All the leader who oppose him are feminists (even Scheer calls himself a feminist believe it or not). A woman can destroy most men's careers with a twitter accusation.

If there was a Patchairchy it lost and got its ass got kicked.

Gordon Cawsey said...

You forced me to look up MRA: If anyone else is wondering:

I don't want to see our society go from grossly unfair to women to grossly unfair for me.....but I imagine there are some women who would rejoice in giving the male population a taste of its own medicine.

Laura Brown said...

I don't have any information about the accusations against Steve Paikin. But, I was accused of something at my place of work based on what I had said as a joke at the time. Everyone involved knew it was a joke because we had all been making the same joking comments at the time. However, my words were used against me when someone wanted to stir up trouble. I do wonder if this is the same situation for Steve Paikin.

I think it is VERY wrong for accusations to be made public by the media, before anything has been proven, before charges are made or there is an arrest. We have moved very far from the idea of innocent until proven guilty. Now people are assumed guilty based on the least whisper of suspicion. That is a very dangerous culture to live in. As Patrick Brown has said, "it can happen to anyone".