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How could i have been so stupid

opinion

But this week I learned that, earlier in my career, I worked in a place that was the very definition of a hostile work environment — a place that is now one of the most visible examples of the Harvey Weinstein fallout.

Worse, one of my dearest friends was a victim — indeed, the one who first went public. Cottle published a brave and devastating account in The Atlantic on Friday quoting, on the record, many women Wieseltier had harassed.

Cottle reports about many women about being touched and kissed by Wieseltier. And then there was the blackmail: How could I possibly have missed all of this?

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg famously explained...

Cottle, when we spoke Friday, was generous in offering absolution. But we all knew that Wieseltier was a flirt and a bit of a playboy and that he had a strong if vague reputation for being lecherous.

Like many, I figured he was a harmless scamp. I knew that Wieseltier could be a bully. I was one of those he protected. I think he liked me. I liked, and greatly admired, him. The real power was Wieseltier, by virtue of his close relationship with the absentee owner; no editor could remain in place without his blessing.

Did that mean we should have known what he was doing? But there were clues — not just the occasional lewd comment but mean and bullying behavior in editorial meetings.

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Not all bullies are sexual predators or sexual harassers. But most sexual harassers and predators are bullies. I met Mark Halperin around the time I met Wieseltier. Halperin, too, had a reputation for mistreating women. Our president, likewise, routinely attempts to humiliate aides and opponents alike; is it any wonder that he has also boasted of assaulting women?

Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, Milbank. Legal Notices Obituaries Jobs. Monday, November 19, How could I have been so stupid?