The public humiliation and destruction of Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine
5 December 2017
The decision by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to suspend James Levine, its longtime musical director (1976-2016), from any further conducting engagements is the latest victory for the New York Times and the champions of the new repression.
The sexual misconduct campaign in the US is metastasizing and in its reactionary sweep and recklessness borrowing elements from the McCarthyite purges of the 1950s, the New England witch trials of the 1690s and even the Inquisition of the late Middle Ages.
The Times is leading the gutter press in actively soliciting allegations, claims or rumors about alleged sexual misdeeds and heresies—heterosexual and homosexual alike—committed by prominent individuals. The newspaper has devoted considerable resources to tracking down such stories for the purposes of blackening a given personality’s name and eviscerating him or her. The allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, it is now obvious, merely served as a prelude and a pretext.
Four individuals have accused Levine of impropriety in incidents that happened from 30 to nearly 50 years ago. That unproven allegations about sexual interactions, which might have happened decades, or even a half-century ago, should be used to destroy Levine is nothing less than horrifying. The life work of a musician who has played a central role in the history of America’s most important opera house is being buried beneath an avalanche of muck dredged up and reported in lurid detail by the Times. Should we all stand and shout “Bravo” for yellow journalism of this sort?
It is not evident, based on the Times account, that the three alleged incidents in the state of Michigan involved criminal…