Kyle Smith explains at National Review Online how two recent subjects of charges involving criminal predatory behavior — Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey — both responded in ways that didn’t end up helping them.

Spacey’s attempt to draw a link between living as a gay man and sexually assaulting a minor was not well received. But what made him think he could get away with such a transparently Weinsteinian tactic in the first place? His awkward segue instantly recalled the film producer’s bizarre written apologia in which he, in consecutive sentences, said he was “remorseful” about his sexual misbehavior but would henceforth use his “anger” to take on the NRA and President Trump before mentioning a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC that “will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her.”

Spacey and Weinstein misread the public, and their own position, by trying to claim they are two decent guys who are mostly on the side of the angels. Spacey’s belated coming out was intended to show him in a sympathetic light, making us think of him as a victim of some sort. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy,” he said in his statement. The implication was that the societal norms that forced Spacey into the closet for so much of his life partially explain his actions — that his assaulting a 14-year-old boy was really just a symptom of a diseased society.

Unfortunately for him, the world at large quickly saw through the ruse. Spacey and Weinstein are so obviously bullies themselves that it sounds absurd when they point the finger at anyone else, be it the NRA, Trump, or a society that demands a gay man be “protective of [his] privacy.”