Yesterday marked the official beginning of the Bill Cosby Effect attaching itself to Donald Trump. Apparently (supposedly, allegedly…) spontaneously spurred by Trump’s incredible-the-moment-he-said-it statement to Anderson Cooper during Sunday’s debate that he never did any of the things he boasted about to Billy Bush, numerous women suddenly stepped out of obscurity to claim trump sexual assaulted them. We now have…
Jessica Leeds, 74, who claims the Trump groped her “like an octopus” when they were seated next to each other in first -class on a flight thirty years ago.
Rachel Crooks, who didn’t know Trump as a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan when he kissed her without warning, consent or invitation in 2005.
People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, who wrote a piece yesterday claiming that while on assignment to interview Donald and Melania Trump, Donald forcibly pushed her against a wall and “stuck his tongue down her throat.”
Mindy McGillivray, 36, another reporter, who told the photographer accompanying her on assignment 13 years ago that “Donald Trump just grabbed my ass!”
Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013, who wrote on Facebook yesterday that Trump “continually grabbed [her] ass and invited [her] to his hotel room.”
Five in one day! I’ll have to check to see if that beats Cosby’s single day record. I think it’s close. I am certain that more accusations will have surfaced before today is over, and maybe before I post this. How many more of these victims—real ones; there may be some false accusations mixed in there—are there? As with Cosby, the sky’s the limit. I’d bet hundreds as a conservative estimate. An entitled, arrogant sexual predator like Trump starts early, and doesn’t reform.
UPDATE (10/14/16 ): Three more accusers came forward today.
1. The 2016 election has now degenerated into a gutter-fight with one side seeking to derail the opposition using his offensive remarks about women and his misconduct towards them, and the other side pointing to similar conduct by the husband of the candidate whose supporters are taking this route, arguing that she was complicit in his acts. This was completely predictable once the Republican Party allowed a proven low-life like Donald Trump to hi-jack their party, and the Democratic attempted to coronate Hillary Clinton as if she wasn’t not only an enabler but a beneficiary of Bill Clinton’s avoidance of accountability for his miserable conduct towards women inside the White House and out of it. It was also completely avoidable if either party cared in any tiny way about the character of those they offer to the American voters as worthy of the Presidency. It is impossible to state how completely both parties have failed the nation and the American people, as well as the institution of the Presidency and American democracy itself. Neither party has any standing or moral authority to criticize the other. They are both incompetent and unworthy of their position of power and influence within our political system. Both have thoroughly disgraced themselves beyond redemption.
2. That being said, however, the prize for stupidity and mind-blowing incompetence goes to the Republican Party, in a first round knock-out. How could they nominate Trump, with his reputation, personal life, comments about women and public persona, and not find these women before nominating him? This all by itself is signature significance: a party this inept is too dumb to be trusted to run a corner lemonade stand, much less a nation.
3. Naturally, Trump is defiant, denies everything, and is in full mad-dog mode, threatening law suits, claiming persecution, lashing out. This was also completely predictable by anyone who followed the GOP campaign for the nomination. If this is how he reacts to a scandal of his own making, how would he react to crises during his Presidency? It shows, once again, that the desperate anti-Hillary rationalizers who argue that a Trump Presidency would be endurable are fantasizing, lying…or idiots.
4. Other indictments against Trump’s past conduct and statements toward women also surfaced yesterday. He made creepy comments to young girls about dating them when they were older, for example. I wrote about similar comments from Trump months ago: yes, Trump is too much of a creep to be President. This conveys no new information, just more chum for the feeding frenzy. Even less remarkable are the stories about Trump abusing his position to walk unannounced through beauty pageant dressing rooms where women were changing, and boasting about it. Trump apparently engaged in conduct for illicit reasons that directors and producers (like me) have engaged in for legitimate reasons. In show business, no professional is modest about such things, no professional exploits the situation for sexual titillation. I have seen other creeps, like Trump, who do, and who abuse their license. It is just another marker of his rotten character, but at the pathetic level of a peeping Tom.
5. One cannot avoid noting the speed with which the media reported the claims by all of the alleged victims, and contrasting it with the news media’s handling of the rape accusation by Juanita Broaderick while Bill Clinton was President and fighting accusations of sexual misconduct. Journalists kept her accusation out of the news even though many found it credible. There is no way for anyone to distinguish the two episodes, except to admit that the media wanted to protect Bill Clinton then and wants to help Hillary Clinton now. There is no integrity in journalism, and the Fourth Estate has forfeited any right to be respected or trusted.
6. Trump is walking, talking rot on the national scene, but that does not excuse of justify the outrageous double standard and hypocrisy embraced by Democrats, reporters, editors and Clinton supporters. When the accused was Bill Clinton, the mantra was the ‘personal conduct” doesn’t matter (it does matter), and that “It’s the economy, stupid.” Well, it’s still the economy, and race relations, and law enforcement, and the national debt, and trade, and open borders, and Iran, and Syria, and Russia, and the environment, and Obamacare, and the aging Supreme Court, and the collapse of public trust in the government, all the other crucial problems that the next President will have to face that the candidates aren’t talking about at all because they are too busy trying to show how unfit the other is to lead (and they are both right). The news media has shown us that character only matters to journalists when the issue can be used against Republicans. Thye can’t be allowed to have it both ways: either Hillary is stained and accountable for the conduct of her husband and benefactor, or Donald Trump’s misogyny is secondary to his policy positions (which also disqualify him for office.)
7. Meanwhile, the conservative news media is trying to marginalize Trump’s misogyny and sexual assault scandal by highlighting revelations from hacked e-mails, some legitimate, some dubious. Clinton’s campaign colluded with supposedly objective journalists; Donna Brazile used her position at CNN to pass along interview questions to the candidate; Clinton’s campaign collude with the party to undermine Bernie Sanders, etc. It’s impossible to tell what is significant and what isn’t, because the right-wing media is hyping, and the left-wing media is refusing to report. Just as we knew Donald Trump abused women, we already knew that the Clintons cheat however they can, and that the news media lets them get away with it.
8. More significant, perhaps, are the reports that the FBI is roiled by anger over the agency’s handling of Clinton’s e-mail offenses. The mainstream media doesn’t think this is news either, at least compared to who Donald Trump may have groped.
[I’m out of time, unfortunately; there’s legal ethics to be taught to a law firm. I’ll return to this when I return.]
Graphic: Will Moon Hartley Blog