A Long Way from Being Bill

If you missed it, the Sunday New York Times (May 15) carried a front page article entitled, “Crossing the Line:  Trump’s Private Conduct with Women.”  Most reasonable people would have thought – why Trump when you have Bill Clinton to talk about?

These next several months should be riveting as more details of Bill Clinton’s many visits and plane rides with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein come to light.

But on Sunday it was the New York Times trying again to bring down Donald Trump.

The story begins in 1990 at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump Florida estate, where 50 models were mingling with 30 men.

Mr. Trump, it is reported, finds Rowanne Brewer Lane, a 26-year-old model and convinces her to undress and change into a bikini.

The Times claims, “But the episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane describes was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew.  This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-and-close and more intimate encounters.”

The two authors of the story say they interviewed more than 50 individuals over six weeks revealing unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women and unsettling workplace conduct according to the interviews, as well as court records and written recollections.

They further write, “But in many cases there was the unmistakable dynamic at play:  Mr. Trump had the power and the women did not.  He had celebrity.  He had wealth.  He had connections.  Even after he had behaved crudely toward them, some of the women sought his assistance with their careers or remained by his side.”

However, towards the article’s end we are reminded, “Several women who have held positions of power in the Trump organization in recent years said they had never known Mr. Trump to objectify women or treat them with disrespect.”

It didn’t take long for the New York Times article to unravel.

The very next day Ms. Brewer Lane was interviewed on Fox and Friends – disputing the Times framing of her account.

“Actually it was very upsetting.  I was not happy to read it at all,” Brewer Lane said.  “They told me several times and my manager several times that it would not be a hit piece and that my story would come across the way I was telling it and honestly and it absolutely was not.”

Speaking of Mr. Trump, “He never made me feel like I was being demeaned in any way.  He was very gracious. He was a gentleman.”

Asked whether Trump ever mistreated women, Brewer Lane said, “Not that I’ve ever seen.  Absolutely, without a doubt, no.”

Meanwhile as Camille Paglia writes, 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.