CNN and the broadcast networks on Sunday and Monday hyped Matt Damon’s mocking of Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday Night Live. But these media outlets skipped just how awkward it is for the actor, who failed to notice or stand up to, his own alleged sexual predator ex-boss, Harvey Weinstein.
CBS This Morning co-hosts on Monday hailed the performance of Damon as Kavanaugh, touting the “terrific,” “dead-on” take. “Well done,” cheered Gayle King. Good Morning America's Mary Bruce touted, “They did not hold back!” CNN’s Anna Cabrera on Sunday asked Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, “How do you think that impression of frat boy Kavanaugh is going to go down?”
With no mention of Damon’s troubled history of supporting alleged sexual abusers, Stelter breezily explained what Saturday Night Live is attempting to do to Kavanaugh:
I think the SNL writers and producers were trying to cement an impression of this Supreme Court nominee as being an angry man, someone not suited for the job. It is no surprise that the mostly liberal writers of SNL have reached this conclusion.
No one on any of these networks made the obvious point that maybe Damon ISN’T the person to spin Kavanaugh as a monster. Entertainment Tonight online in October of 2017 highlighted how the actor admitted he knew about Weinstein sexually harassing actress friend Gwyneth Paltrow:
Paltrow dated Damon's best friend, Ben Affleck, after the alleged incident occurred and also co-starred with Damon in the 1999 movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, which Weinstein produced.
"I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben because he was with her after Brad [Pitt],"
Damon says he never "talked to Gwyneth" about the alleged encounter with Weinstein. "Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to," he explained.
Weinstein was instrumental in jump-starting Damon's career when his company at the time, Miramax, distributed his and Affleck's movie, Good Will Hunting, which earned them both Oscars.
Even the non-conservative outlet Elle magazine noticed how weird it was to select Damon to play Kavanaugh. A headline on Sunday declared, “Matt Damon Was the Wrong Choice for 'SNL's Kavanaugh Skit.”
Writer Ariana Yaptangco reported on how Damon equivocated when it came to abusers. She described the movie star as someone who has “a terrible track record when it comes to supporting accused sexual abusers.” Yaptangco noted:
Damon sparked outrage during an interview last year with ABC's Peter Travers where he offered insensitive comments on abuse. A longtime friend of the Affleck family, Damon defended Casey Affleck after he was accused of sexual harassment in 2010 on the set of I'm Still Here. (Affleck was sued civilly and settled out of court.) "If it's a friend of mine, I know the real story," he insisted. Affleck went on to win an Oscar during the height of his controversy.
And last but not least, is Damon’s attempt to diminish the magnitude of Harvey Weinstein’s crimes. (Weinstein produced Damon and Affleck’s star-making Good Will Hunting). Damon, who acknowledged Weinstein's monstrous 'nature' in the past, tried to reason a “spectrum” of sexual misconduct, while blaming our culture of “outrage and injury.” "There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" he told Travers."Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?"
There is talk of Damon becoming a SNL semi-regular as Kavanaugh. Given the disturbing connection to Weinstein, journalists owe it to their audience to point out just how unsuited Damon is for this role.
Fox and Friends on Sunday pointed out the "rank hypocrisy" of Damon:
A partial transcript of the CNN segment is below:
Graphic: Matt Damon Opens SNL as Sniffing, Shouting Brett Kavanaugh
ANNA CABRERA: CNN's senior media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter, is with us. Now, Brian, a lot has been written and said about "SNL" parodies and the impact they have on political careers. I mean, you think of Chevy Chase and Gerald Ford and Tina Fey's impression of, of course, Sarah Palin. And then, I mean, just this last one with McCarthy --
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CABRERA: Melissa McCarthy, Sean Spicer.
CABRERA: How do you think that impression of Frat Boy Kavanaugh is going to go down?
STELTER: Yes. I think the SNL writers and producers were trying to cement an impression of this Supreme Court nominee as being an angry man, someone not suited for the job. It is no surprise that the mostly liberal writers of SNL have reached this conclusion.
And I think this sketch, which was 13 minutes long -- we showed the best parts but they went really long on this. They left no mistake about where they stand. In fact, some of the jokes later in the evening on "Weekend Update" went even further.