Donald Trump And His Campaign Manager Are Both Creeps To Women Journalists
A month ago, Donald Trump promised that he would start acting more presidential “pretty soon.” How soon is “pretty soon”? Because a month later, allegations about Trump’s and his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s behavior — some of which have been substantiated by video evidence and most of which come from reputable journalists — don’t betray any intention to follow through on the promise. Unless, of course, what Donald Trump means by “presidential” isn’t the appropriate, professional, diplomatic, and prudent demeanor one would hope a world leader would possess.
Buzzfeed has an extensive report on Lewandowski’s behavior on the campaign trail, including physically pushing CNN reporter Noah Gray in order to stop him from asking a question, grabbing a protester by the collar in Arizona (on tape, for which Trump commended Lewandowski’s “spirit”), threatening people on the phone, making sexually suggestive comments to female reporters, and even going so far as to drunk-dial female reporters late at night to hit on them.
Trump, for his part, hit on the Washington Post’s deputy Opinions editor, Karen Attiah, after taking a question from her following a foreign policy interview yesterday. Attiah wrote about it for the Post:
“As the meeting ended and we were walking out of the room, I thanked Trump for taking my question. He turned to me and said, ‘I really hope I answered your question,’ and added casually with a smile, ‘Beautiful.’ […] I stayed in the conference room for a few minutes as it sunk in that the potential GOP nominee for president thought it was okay to comment on my appearance. Did he just say that?”
Aware as I am that some people don’t think that commenting on a woman’s appearance is anything more than “complimenting” that woman, I have to stress the fact that this man criticized Hillary Clinton for Bill Clinton’s history with women. Now that Trump is the GOP frontrunner for president, is it really anything less than hypocrisy for him to be professionally, sexually inappropriate with female journalists, or any women?
Of course, the Trump campaign has issued denial after denial about all of the accusations leveled against Trump and Lewandowski. And perhaps the biggest reason they’re able to sustain their denials despite both video evidence and testimony from trustworthy journalists is that Trump has created an atmosphere of contempt for the press not only in his rhetoric, but on the campaign trail. If you love the First Amendment and you want to read what amounts to a horror story, look at Seth Stevenson’s account of a week with the press on the Trump campaign at Slate. Trump has painted the press as liars to his supporters, despite the fact that no news outlet has been accused of violating standards of journalistic ethics in their coverage of his campaign. His communications specialist doesn’t actually talk to reporters, journalists are kept in a pen at his rallies from which they cannot exit or re-enter once the events have started, and journalists who print negative (but factual) stories about the Trump campaign get their press credentials revoked. This all from the man who says he wants to “open up” libel laws as president so that he can sue journalists who print negative stories about him, which is a stone’s throw away from advocating a state-run press.
It’s almost funny that 54 percent of Americans want to punch Donald Trump in the face, according, at least, to a casual survey. Almost, because he’s the GOP frontrunner, and it’s Trump himself who has created a culture of violence — of all sorts — around his campaign. But how many times can anyone say that, and expect the public to keep caring?