Today the director of the Media Lab at M.I.T., Joichi Ito, resigned after disclosure of his efforts to conceal his financial connections to Jeffrey Epstein, “the disgraced financier” and convicted sex offender who wound up dead in a Manhattan jail cell last month while facing federal sex trafficking charges. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/business/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joichi-ito.html. The media lab at the University accepted financial gift from Epstein some six years after he pleaded guilty to a sex charge involving a minor and took steps to hide the source of the gift.
“”After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately,’ Mr. Ito wrote in an email on Saturday to M.I.T.’s provost, Martin A. Schmidt.” Yeah, that great deal of thought and an article in The New Yorker, describing measures he and other M.I.T. media lab officials took to conceal its relationship with Epstein. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-an-elite-university-research-center-concealed-its-relationship-with-jeffrey-epstein.
Ito also resigned from a variety of boards of directors, including a directorship with The New York Times. The Times article is a much more subdued version of the New Yorker article. According to the New Yorker, “[t]he effort to conceal the lab’s contact with Epstein was so widely known that some staff in the office of the lab’s director, Joi Ito, referred to Epstein as Voldemort or ‘he who must not be named.'” Catch this:
The financial entanglement revealed in the documents goes well beyond what has been described in public statements by M.I.T. and by Ito. The University has said that it received eight hundred thousand dollars from Epstein’s foundations, in the course of twenty years, and has apologized for accepting that amount. In a statement last month, M.I.T.’s president, L. Rafael Reif, wrote, “with hindsight, we recognize with shame and distress that we allowed MIT to contribute to the elevation of his reputation, which in turn served to distract from his horrifying acts. No apology can undo that.” Reif pledged to donate the funds to a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. On Wednesday, Ito disclosed that he had separately received $1.2 million from Epstein for investment funds under his control, in addition to five hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars that he acknowledged Epstein had donated to the lab. A spokesperson for M.I.T. said that the university “is looking at the facts surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s gifts to the institute.”
That is how it works. These pieces of shit give money and sit on boards and the institutions involved contribute to the elevation of their reputations, which then distracts from their horrifying acts. Apparently a few other big universities had “already spent” the money donated by or through Epstein and are kind of over it.
These institutions also need to donate to a charity helping victims of sexual abuse. And I can think of a few relatives/beneficiaries of Michiganders who should quietly do the same thing, and should have decades ago. Or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is another option.
A reader pointed out to me the importance of the terms “human trafficking” and “sex trafficking.” The men in the Detroit area and Oakland County who were abducting/tricking minors to confine them and then sexually assault and rape and or film back in the day were human traffickers, not “child molesters.” Child “molestation”; give me a break. It’s sexual assault and/or rape. Even the term “CSC (criminal sexual conduct) with a minor” is bullshit. Any sexual contact with a minor is criminal. They cannot give consent. This isn’t some tame little deviation from societal norms.
Don’t worry, Joichi. I’m sure after the heat dies down you can find another corporate or university board who will take you in, since you are so great at thinking outside the box. As for taking all this time to come clean, and right on the heels of The New Yorker article, instead of when your convicted sex offender benefactor was arrested for sex trafficking back in July, you might want to lay low for a while.