Republicans are angry that the allegations against Bill Clinton that they’ve partially invented and spun into a fury of vagueness aren’t being taken seriously by the media.
There’s a reason for that, which is exemplified by the reporting on Kristin Anderson’s accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump.
Kristin Anderson is one of over a dozen women who have come forward with stories of Donald Trump sexually assaulting them or abusing his power to leer at their naked bodies without their permission. Anderson’s story is that in the 90s while she was at a club not even speaking to him or having been introduced to him, Donald Trump slid his hands up her thigh and touched her vagina through her underwear.
Anderson’s story was reported Friday by the Washington Post .
Watch the Post’s video here (warning, graphic, Republican NSFW content):
Interview and video credit: “Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty via a telephone earpiece, Kristin Anderson recalls Donald Trump groping her while she was sitting next to him at the China Club in New York in the early 1990s. (Alice Li, Brian Young/The Washington Post)”
The thing that makes this story valid to the press, aside from the many other stories that are coming out from women, which all have a similar story about Donald Trump[‘s pushy style and this style matches what he is heard bragging about doing, is that Anderson didn’t come to the press herself.
Anderson’s story came to the Post via other people’s recollections of her story from the 90s.
“It was just girls saying stories about how they got hit on by creepy old guys,” Brad Trent, a New York photographer, told The Post as he recounted hearing Andersen’s story in March of 2007. “That’s when I found out about it.”
Furthermore, from the Washington Post, “Anderson, who said she doesn’t support Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton, did not initially approach The Post. A reporter contacted her after hearing her story from a person who knew of it, and she spent several days trying to decide whether to go public.”
Anderson also doesn’t have a political motive.
Trump denied Anderson’s account through a spokesperson.
Donald Trump’s defense against a different accusation is his go-to response about women who reject him, “Believe me. She would not be my first choice. That I can tell you. Man. You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.”
That is not a denial of the accusations, it’s a claim that the woman isn’t hot enough for him to assault.
This statement is steeped in the kind of toxic, alt-right male privilege that assumes that women want him to choose them to assault.
It assumes that women want Donald Trump to pick them, that they want to be assaulted, that being assaulted is a compliment and a reflection of his desire, but if this were true, Donald Trump wouldn’t have had to resort to being a sexual predator. Sexual assault is not a consequence of desire, it is a consequence of aggression, anger and depersonalization.
Anderson was trying to be a model at the time she says Donald Trump assaulted her. In reality, Donald Trump is the “creepy old guy”, not the ladies’ man he pretends he is.
Dan Diamond, who writes Politico Pulse, noted an important difference between the Clinton accusations and the Trump accusations:
News media with allegations about Clinton’s groping and harassment vs news media with allegations about Trump. pic.twitter.com/WoY3ugffMB
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) October 13, 2016
This is because newspapers matter. Unlike Breitbart, Donald Trump’s internet PR arm, a paper vets its stories. A paper vets its sources.
Facts matter, and that’s why no newspaper has stories about Bill Clinton’s groping and harassing women, whereas papers from the New York Times to People magazine have vetted stories about women who say Donald Trump sexually harassed them.
It also matters that Hillary Clinton didn’t pay Anderson and the other women to sit at a debate like Trump and his people paid several of the “Clinton accusers”.
Donald Trump is drowning in sexual assault accusations that mirror his own words bragging about how he grabs women by the “p*ssy” without their permission. Women are objects to Donald Trump. They don’t need to consent, because they are on this earth to be chosen to be assaulted by him.
That is Donald Trump’s view of a majority of the citizens in this country. It’s beyond offensive, which is why women must mobilize their anger and hurt into votes that keep Donald Trump from the White House and punish the down-ticket Republicans who are standing by this monster.
Image: Kristin Anderson via Washington Post video