Day: February 24, 2020

Background Briefing: February 24, 2020


Will Weinstein’s Convictions Help Reduce Workplace Sexual Harassment?

We begin with today’s verdicts in Manhattan in the trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who is now facing 5 to 25 years in jail having been convicted of rape in the third degree of Jessica Mann and a criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley. Joining us to discuss the ramifications of the verdict for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace and the role of HR, Human Resources departments in corporate America who more often than not protect the predators and sideline the victims, is Christina Giorgio. She is a lawyer with Giorgio Legal based in Manhattan who represents victims of sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination and wage theft. We will discuss whether as Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced today that the women who testified “changed the course of history in the fight against sexual violence” and that we are entering a “new day” in the legal repercussions for sexual abusers. With more than 80 women having accused Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment, he still faces trials in Los Angeles on rape and sexual assault charges against two women for incidents that occurred in 2013 and where he is likely to get even stiffer sentences. We will also assess whether the arguments made by Weinstein’s lawyers that the #MeToo movement has gone too far and run amok, backfired, since sexual harassment as a result of the uneven power dynamic of male bosses over female workers is rampant in corporate America where HR tends to be part of the problem, not the solution.


Trump’s Continuing Assault on the Intelligence Community

Then with Trump continuing his assault on the Intelligence Community for alerting lawmakers that the Russians are interfering in this year’s elections as he tweets out insults and threats against House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, we speak with Jessica Brandt, the head of Research and Policy at the non-partisan Alliance for Securing Democracy and a Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. She joins us to discuss how Americans make it easy for Russians to mess with our elections to the point they could cause chaos because we are so polarized, and she offers ways out of this partisan impasse by having mandatory reporting requirements and pledges by candidates not to accept or use weaponized information.


 Modi Delivers the Photo Ops for Trump in India

Then finally we look into Trump’s visit to India where Prime Minister Modi promised him big crowds and delivered on his promise at the world’s largest cricket oval where 110,000 people congregated to hear Trump say “America loves India” and offer his ultimate praise for Modi, “Everybody loves him but I will tell you he is tough”. Dr. Sumit Ganguli, the Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University and the author of The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security joins us to discuss the lovefest between these two anti-immigrant nationalist wannabe despots.