He’s getting stomped for this today. “Morning Joe” killed him for it, “The View” killed him for it, naturally Michael Avenatti is killing him for it, and Twitter’s been dragging him up and down the block for hours. He has one fair point here — “I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman” — but, Rudy being Rudy, goes too far and ends up throwing up on himself.
Are we at the stage of “feminism” now where I have to respect a porn star, male or female, just as much as I do someone who works at a mainstream profession? If we polled 1,000 Americans, how many would be indifferent as between “porn star” and virtually any other profession you might name in terms of what aspirations they have for their children, siblings, etc? I don’t do much shrieking about political correctness but sometimes it is what it is.
If Giuliani had stopped there, he’d be okay. But of course he didn’t.
“Yes I respect porn stars. Don’t you respect porn stars? Or do you think that porn stars desecrate women? Do you think that porn stars don’t respect women?” Giuliani said. “And therefore sell their bodies. So yes, I respect all human beings. I even have to respect, you know, criminals. But I’m sorry I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.”
He added, “So Stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross examine you. Because the business you’re in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight. And secondly, explain to me how she could be damaged. I mean, she has no reputation. If you’re going to sell your body for money, you just don’t have a reputation. Maybe old-fashioned, I don’t know.”
That’s stupid in half a dozen ways, starting with the fact that Daniels is obviously telling the truth about her affair with Trump. I won’t rehash all the reasons to believe that; suffice it to say, most Americans believe her. Rudy is forced by professional obligation to go on pretending that she’s lying but the public long ago concluded otherwise. And I thought the right had too. The retort to Stormy news for at least the past three months has been NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS, not SHE’S A LYING WHORE. It’s silly to tell people that they shouldn’t give credence to a porn star to whom they already give more credence than they do the president of the United States.
The idea that she has “no reputation” because she works in porn is also stupid and tone-deaf in the #MeToo era (and contradicts what he says about respecting porn stars). If you took the idea seriously that porn stars have no credibility, they’d inevitably have fewer legal rights than everyone else. You could slander or libel them at will any which way you like and they could never recover in court because, by definition, it’d be impossible to damage their reputation. It’s open season on them. And by the same logic you could commit other crimes against them too with a better-than-average chance of getting away with it because, by Rudy’s telling, their testimony is worth nothing. Their profession may be distasteful but that doesn’t mean they’re not human beings. And again, Daniels is an especially bad example for him to use to make this point given that the public’s already given her passing marks on credibility.
Weirdest of all, though, is him getting high and mighty about morality when, as about a million different people have noted today, both Trump and Rudy have been married three times and Trump’s philandering past is the stuff of legend. (Never mind the sexual assault/harassment allegations against him.) He compares Melania Trump favorably to Daniels too, which ended up inviting some of POTUS’s critics to reflect on some of Mrs. Trump’s more dubious moral choices. It’s always hard to win a “holier than thou” debate and therefore foolish to start one, but it’s really foolish for a representative of the Trump White House to start one. Why didn’t Giuliani just say that Daniels is obviously looking for a tabloid payday and is willing to say anything to get it and leave it at that? He even seems to suggest at one point here that an affair between Trump and Stormy is unlikely because she’s simply not physically attractive enough. Which is it, bro? Is she a slut because she’s monetized her sex appeal by doing the deed on camera or does she have no sex appeal? What the hell is he doing trying to turn this into some sort of beauty pageant among Trump’s women?
Here’s the “View” crew putting the boots to him. The Times reached out to the First Lady’s office this afternoon to ask if Giuliani is right that she believes her husband over Stormy Daniels. You would think that’d be the easiest “yes, of course” reply ever. But no. Exit quotation from Melania’s spokesman: “I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.” Hoo boy.