The hypocrisy and degeneracy of MIT Media Lab attempting to give their Disobedience Award to MeToo activists while secretly being funded by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is breathtaking in its cynicism. However, it’s not even slightly surprising that billionaires and supposed elites are trying hard to defend Joi Ito and Jeffrey Epstein. Happily, they are mostly getting reamed for this.
This is a fine example of how members of a privileged class defend their class when it is attacked. Whether or not they are supposed liberals or progressives has nothing to do with it.
Anand Giridharadas was asked to be on the Disobedience Award panel. When the news about Epstein secretly funding Media Lab broke, he expressed misgivings about it to award funder Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin. Hoffman essentially told Giridharadas to STFU, that he was not fit to judge. Anand resigned and tweeted what Hoffman said.
“So I resigned. I’m sharing my emails for the sake of transparency, because people deserve to know how these things work. And because people should know that cruel social structures are sustained not only by outright cruelty but also by politeness and silence that entrench power.”
“My own glimpse into this one little world revealed people more respectful of Epstein even in death than of living people who question their power and ways. There are actually smart people out there who didn’t cavort with Epstein. They are the ones who will fix what was broken.”
“Why do we live in such an angry time? people keep asking. Well, this is one reason.”
MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte tried to run interference for Epstein and got shouted down at an internal meeting.
t was at this point that Negroponte said he would still have given Ito the same advice today.
The comments clearly stunned some of his listeners. A woman in the front row began crying. Kate Darling, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, shouted, “Nicholas, shut up!” Negroponte responded that he would not shut up and that he had founded the Lab, to which Darling said, “We’ve been cleaning up your messes for the past eight years.”
Zuckerman, who had spoken earlier in the meeting, also had a brief spat with Negroponte. Negroponte pressed on: in the fund-raising world, he said, these types of occurrences were not out of the ordinary, and they shouldn’t be reason enough to cut off business relationships. It wasn’t until Darling yelled “Shut up!” again that Negroponte mumbled “Good grief,” and sat down. Soon after, the meeting disbanded.