Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another Day, another dot

Nearing the end of my moving adventure. Everything from the apartment and the storage unit is in the house and when you read this, I should have internet running (this post is brought to you from McDonald's WiFi. I know I'm supposed to say "Starbucks" but the coffee's better here).

I'll try to come back to this excellent piece by  Rebecca Traister and how it connects to a number of the threads we've been following regarding both the press and the Trump campaign. In the meantime, the go-to blogger on this one has been  Scott Lemieux.

Here's Traister:

Here’s the thing: There is no reason for there to be political fall-out from this. There is an increased likelihood of TMZ coverage and fantastic tabloid headline puns. But nothing in this silly, sad story has any bearing on the presidential campaign. The fact that we are talking about it like it does is a result of the hungry media’s attempt to maintain the fantasy that there is any equivalence between Hillary Clinton, a competent candidate whose politics you can love or hate, and Donald Trump, a man best summed up by some of his Scottish critics as a “weapons-grade plum.” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted Monday morning that the Weiner story is a “problem for Clinton team” since after Trump’s recent hire of Steve Bannon “Democrats repeatedly pointed to Bannon’s personal past” making it “hard to argue Weiner is off limits.” But Bannon, a white nationalist media entrepreneur, is in the employ of the Trump campaign, and the personal past Haberman was referring to involved divorce proceedings in which his ex wife claimed he had violently assaulted her and also made anti-Semitic comments, Haberman later tried to clarify that her tweet was meant in reference to the Bannon divorce and was not “equating a police report with the Weiner situation.” But as with the Washington Post, this clarification didn’t help much. We are still in the fairyland of false equivalence.

Consider the contrasting situations: Donald Trump, who wants to be the president, recently hired a purveyor of white ethno-nationalism who had been accused by his wife of assault and who is alleged to have fired a woman suffering from MS while she was on maternity leave, as the CEO of his campaign. Hillary Clinton, who wants to be the president, has employed since the 1990s a woman who in 2010 married a guy who turns out to be really skeezy.

The fact that anyone is suggesting even mild political concern about the impact of this story of Clinton’s campaign is ludicrous. Hundreds of the most powerful men in this country, including a number of presidents, have been just as skeezy as Anthony Weiner. Roger Ailes built a cable news network that helped prop up several Republican presidential administrations, all while using his network’s money to help him cover up his record of serial sexual harassment; he just got paid $40 million to walk away from his job and sign on as an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Anthony Weiner, so far as we know, is a putz who’s way too enamored of his own putz, and has until recently been married to a woman who works for a woman who is running for president. End of story.


  1. The idea that there is better coffee than Starbucks seems unlikely but it is a big world. That such coffee could be found in McDonald's seems . . . implausible. :-)

  2. Joseph:

    I'm not a coffee drinker, but (a) McDonald's is famous for its fries so it doesn't seem out of the question that its coffee could be good, and (b) everyone knows their coffee is really really hot, and that's a good thing, right?