Over the weekend, The New York Times celebrated the first anniversary of its landmark report outing Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual harasser, helping launch the Me Too movement into the change maker it is today.
The newspaper of record wrote up another event, in its highly selective weddings section: the nuptials of Lockhart Steele, an accused sexual harasser who was fired from his editorial director position at Vox Media in 2017.
The wedding announcement notes that Steele and his now-wife, Julia Catherine Schweizer, met when he interviewed her for a job in 2010. They began their relationship by “making out on a porch” in 2016, she told the paper. Glaringly absent from the story is any reference to the accusation that he forcibly kissed another Vox employee, leading to his ouster a year later.
“The couple met in 2010, when she had an informational interview with him for a marketing position. She didn’t get the job, but they did occasionally run into each other at social and professional events,” the Times piece reads. “In 2016, having heard that he was single again, she sought him out at Brown’s annual campus dance, and during the 20th reunion of his class. ‘I went there sort of on a mission,’ she said, ‘and we ended up making out on a porch.’”
It stands in awkward contrast to the Times’ coverage of the Me Too movement over the weekend, bookended by the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite several sexual misconduct accusations against him.
On Friday the Times brushed its shoulders off with a piece about the investigation into Weinstein that it broke a year earlier:
Culturally, the article hit like a meteor, drastically altering the landscape around how sexual misconduct is perceived, sending the #MeToo hashtag viral and, in turn, triggering an avalanche of accusations against powerful men. It wasn’t long before #MeToo wasn’t just a turn of phrase — it was a movement.
That’s a lot for one year … and it felt like it.
What we learned over the weekend is that an “avalanche of accusations against powerful men” can’t block a Supreme Court confirmation, can’t stop the likes of Weinstein from getting a same-day reservation at a fancy restaurant and won’t deter the Old Gray Lady from doing a puff piece about an admitted sexual harasser on the same weekend that it takes credit for the Me Too movement’s success.