Saturday, October 1, 2016
Beauty and the Beast
Who would have ever thought this story could get so much traction. The Trump campaign was forced to spend the entire week on Alicia Machado, and for the most part making matters worse not better. The tale of Donald Trump's first Miss Universe struck right to the heart of his vanity.
Try googling Alicia Machado now and you get a long string of porn-related videos put up by Trump hackers. Trump himself has pointed to a mysterious sex tape as proof positive she was a porn queen as well, but those looking for some juicy video on Alicia will be sorely disappointed because none exists. If you want a peep show you have to look at the Mexican version of Playboy, one of Donald Trump's favorite magazines. Nevertheless, fat shaming turned to slut shaming on right-wing radio with Rush Limbaugh leading the charge to discredit her story.
However, it isn't working. The longer Alicia Machado stays in the news cycle the worse Trump looks. After all, here is a woman who has obviously taken good care of herself over the years whereas Trump has become a beast.
His surrogates argue that Hillary had no right to bring Machado up in the first debate, and cry over the unfair attack ad that has gone viral. An exasperated Megyn Kelly was forced to say "Cone on, Kellyanne!" when his campaign adviser pouted over the attack at the debate, saying Trump shouldn't be held accountable for something he said 20 years ago. But, the ad points to the misogyny we have seen throughout the campaign, his comments earlier this year toward Megyn included. However, dear Kellyanne seemed oblivious to this.
What is also forgotten is that Trump has repeatedly brought up Bill Clinton's affairs on the campaign trail, and in a twitter war with Mark Cuban threatened to invite Gennifer Flowers to the first debate. He has also followed the lead of his surrogates in claiming that Hillary was an "enabler" in these affairs. Yet, he and his surrogates feel that Hillary hit him below the belt with Alicia Machado.
This is why the New Yorker had such great fun with Trump on its latest cover, and offered a number of hard-hitting articles in the issue. He wants to be free to attack others, but when he suffers a particularly brutal hit cries foul. It was really hard to gauge whether the Alicia Machado story would hurt him. Probably not if he had let it glance off him, but Trump simply couldn't let this story go and now he pays the price.