The latest episode of “Honestly with Bari Weiss” is as tough a listen as any podcast episode.
The show finds The Free Press founder describing the atrocities committed against the female hostages taken by Hamas following its Oct. 7 assault on Israel. The ones lucky enough to survive the initial attacks which killed roughly 1,200 people have been beaten and raped since that day.
The first-person testimonials are ghastly.
Weiss is a former New York Times scribe who fled the far-Left paper in 2020 via a resignation letter for the ages. She started The Free Press as a way to share honest reportage at a time when media bias is both shocking and widespread.
Weiss isn’t trying to be provocative in the episode. This information must be shared to capture the full story behind the current Israel/Hamas war and why it started.
She opened the show revisiting the movement to save 276 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, a band of Islamic radicals, in 2014. First Lady Michelle Obama led the charge, promoting the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag that quickly went viral.
Obama wasn’t alone. Celebrities rallied to her side, using their clout and social media platforms to push for the girls’ safe return. The effort was relentless.
Oscar winner Anne Hathaway personally led a rally for the cause.
“These Nigerian girls are part of the 5 percent who are able to seek an education, they were taken from their beds in the middle of the night by cowards, cowards who tell them that girls do not deserve an education. Do we agree with these cowards?” she asks the crowd before yelling, “What do you want?” as the crowd replies “Our girls!”
Others who joined the cause included Kerry Washington, Jenny McCarthy, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Biel, Queen Latifah and Reese Witherspoon.
That doesn’t include the crush of stars who spoke out early and often during the MeToo movement following Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s downfall.
The Women’s March, which targeted then-President Donald Trump from 2017-2020, attracted a throng of stars including Chelsea Handler, Maria Bello, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Madonna, Amy Schumer and more.
Yet the vast majority of these female stars have said nothing about the barbarism inflicted on Jewish women (and women from other countries, including America) in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks.
“There has been no prominent rallying cry from our prominent women’s organizations,” Weiss said, name checking the National Organization for Women as one egregious example. “Instead, there has been silence.
“Silence from the leaders of the MeToo movement,” she added, although that group partially dissolved following the news that it consulted with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on allegations he sexually harassed multiple women.
“Silence from the celebrities who spoke at the Women’s March and in Time’s Up,” Weiss said. “Silence from those who denounce pay gaps and Harvey Weinstein and Trump’s ‘grab them by the p****y comments and rape culture more generally.
“Silence from the people who opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court,” she added.
Hollywood did tentatively speak out following the Oct. 7 attacks. Stars, both male and female, signed an open letter expressing outrage for the barbaric acts.
The response has been muted since then. Multiple awards shows have come and gone, and no one has spoken out on behalf of the hostages.
Ferrera used her Critics Choice Awards speech over the weekend to call for better Hollywood representation, but she couldn’t spare a syllable for the women still being held under ghoulish conditions.
Weiss could have called out the exceptions to the celebrity silence rule.
Stars like Patricia Heaton, Schumer and Debra Messing have spoken out early and often in support of the hostages and against Hamas. At least Schumer, who got herself arrested to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination, can be seen as consistent to a degree.
Other actresses, including Susan Sarandon, have relentlessly promoted the Palestinian cause with little ongoing support for the female hostages. Some stars have begged for an Israeli ceasefire, a position which inflamed Weiss.
“Many of these people and these groups have called for a ceasefire in Gaza but are silent about the hostages,” Weiss said. “Why do they cry for a ceasefire and not insist on freeing the hostages, the very thing that could actually end the war?”
Note: At least one celebrity-based ceasefire plea directly mentions freeing the hostages.