Election 2020

Paglia: 'New York Times' Juvenile Hit Piece on Trump Backfires

Paglia: 'New York Times' Juvenile Hit Piece on Trump Backfires
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

This just in: rich, powerful, successful men like beautiful women. And beautiful women like them. True at least since the dawn of Man, when the first cave monkey picked up a rock, beat a rival to death and passed along his genes to the next generation that same day. But progressive, reality-denying institutions like the New York Times just don’t seem to know anything about history and human behavior, as is lavishly illustrated by this major flopola of a hit piece on Donald Trump. The brilliant Camille Paglia takes the Gray Lady to task for its stupidity:

The drums had been beating for weeks about a major New York Times expose in the works that would demolish Trump once and for all by revealing his sordid lifetime of misogyny. When it finally appeared as a splashy front-page story this past Sunday (originally titled “Crossing the Line: Trump’s Private Conduct with Women”), I was off in the woods pursuing my Native American research. On Monday, after seeing countless exultant references to this virtuoso takedown, I finally read the article—and laughed out loud throughout. Can there be any finer demonstration of the insularity and mediocrity of today’s Manhattan prestige media? Wow, millionaire workaholic Donald Trump chased young, beautiful, willing women and liked to boast about it. Jail him now! Meanwhile, the New York Times remains mute about Bill Clinton’s long record of crude groping and grosser assaults—not one example of which could be found to taint Trump.

There are really two stories here. The first concerns Trump and his behavior toward women decades ago; the second, the childishness of the mainstream media and its juvenile fixation on “social-justice” issues. Let Camille speak to the first point:

The supreme irony of the Times’ vacuous coverage is that the early 1990s banquet-hall photograph of the unmarried Rowanne Brewer and Donald Trump illustrating it is the sexiest picture published in the mainstream media in years. Not since Melissa Forde’s brilliant 2012 Instagram portraits of a pensive Rihanna smoking a cigarillo as she lounged half-nude in a fur-trimmed parka next to a fireplace have I seen anything so charismatically sensual.

Small and blurry in the print edition, the Brewer-Trump photo in online digital format positively pops with you-are-there luminosity. Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile. The hovering Trump, bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie, is in Viking mode, looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat. “To the victor belong the spoils!” I said to myself in admiration, as seductive images from Babylon to Paris flashed through my mind. Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!

“Hormonal sex differentiation” is the kind of talk that will get Paglia thrown out of the gay mafia, but no matter: everybody’s favorite lesbian has one of the shrewdest eyes for the yin and yang of the culture in America today. As we used to say, it’s what makes the world go ’round.

As for the second, journalism has a big problem. With the decline of the MSM’s formerly strict standards about the difference between reporting and opinionating, any kid with the degree from Harvard is free to blather on from a position of invincible ignorance about matters he or she has no personal knowledge of, nor do they have anything particularly useful to contribute.

Blame for this fiasco falls squarely upon the New York Times editors who delegated to two far too young journalists, Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, the complex task of probing the glitzy, exhibitionistic world of late-twentieth-century beauty pageants, gambling casinos, strip clubs, and luxury resorts. Neither Barbaro, a 2002 graduate of Yale, nor Twohey, a 1998 graduate of Georgetown University, had any frame of reference for sexual analysis aside from the rote political correctness that has saturated elite American campuses for nearly 40 years. Their prim, priggish formulations in this awkwardly disconnected article demonstrate the embarrassing lack of sophistication that passes for theoretical expertise among their over-paid and under-educated professors.

When I saw the reporters’ defensive interview on Monday with CNN anchors Kate Bolduan and John Berman, I felt sorry for the earnest, owlish Barbaro, who seems like a nice fellow who has simply wandered out of his depth. But Twohey, with her snippy, bright and shiny careerism, took a page from the slippery Hillary playbook in the way she blatheringly evaded any direct answer to a pointed question about how Rowanne Brewer Lane’s pleasantly flirtatious first meeting with Trump at a crowded 1990 pool party at Mar-a-Lago ended up being called “a debasing face-to-face encounter” in the Times. The hidden agenda of advocacy journalism has rarely been caught so red-handed.

This will be the last election between two Baby Boomers, whose personas were forged in the tumultuous Sixties, a time so very different from our own; there is no need to take political advice from small children. What’s happened is that boomer Left has in effect turned on its own excesses of half a century ago, and turned into the censorious parents they spent their young lives loathing. And as the SJW harpies and their emasculated “male” counterparts intensify their onslaught on traditional (“traditional” because it works) culture, they’re about to learn a very ugly lesson: it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.