SONGS SUNG BLUE: Press corps stars have behaved this way...

SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2023

...for the past million years: In Walker Percy's acclaimed first novel, Binx Bolling conducts a search.

Today, we continue our current search. This is the question we're asking:

Did Donald J. Trump really say it? 

Did Donald J. Trump really say that, as of today, he still believes that he has the right to "grab a woman between the legs?" In the course of making some such statement, did he "double down" on the comments he made, in 2005, on the Access Hollywood tape?

As a presidential candidate, Bill Clinton said that he still believed in a place called Hope. Did Donald J. Trump actually say that he still believes that, because he's a star, he has the right to do that?

That would be an astonishing thing to say—but did he actually say it? Or is the claim that he made that statement simply a song sung blue?

Our questions don't emerge from this air. Last Friday, on Deadline: White House, all four of Nicolle Wallace's guests joined her in asserting that Trump had actually made that astonishing claim, and that he'd "doubled down."

Never was heard a discouraging word! The song had been written the day before, over at Vanity Fair.

Now, Wallace and her friends all sang it. As we showed you yesterday, the first such exchange went like this:

WALLACE (5/5/23): It is an admission that the act of grabbing a woman between the legs is something that he believes today that—that deposition was in October, so he believed in October that it was something he could do, because stars could do that. And when asked under oath, "Are you a star?" he said yeah. 

It's an incredible admission of conduct he believes he can carry out today.

CRAIG: ...I think today we're seeing, with the release of this tape, you're seeing in his own words in fact that he feels that it is the right of a star to do that, that they've been doing it forever and that everybody knows that they can just take what they want in this context.

As we showed you yesterday, Katie Phang, Maya Wiley and Charlie Sykes all proceeded to join Susanne Craig in affirming Wallace's remarkable claim. 

If Wallace's statement was actually true, Trump had made an astonishing statement. That leads us back to the question at the core of our search:

Did Donald Trump actually say that?

For ourselves, we'd have to say that no, he actually didn't. 

Trump has made a million lunatic statements down through the years. He added to his list of lunatic statements just this past Wednesday night.

But no, he actually didn't say that! He didn't say that, because he's a star, he has the right to behave in the (criminal) manner describes.

On blue cable, Wallace was performing her latest song sung blue. When she did, as per the tenets of hard cable law, a quartet of robots all agreed to agree with what she had said.

By Monday night, as we'll see below, this particular song was being sung by CNN's Anderson Cooper. 

On Thursday evening, May 4, then on Friday evening, May 5, Cooper had said no such thing in his reports on the videotaped deposition. 

Now, though, it was Monday, May 8, and Cooper had succumbed to Creative Paraphrase Drift.

Cooper had singing a new, improved tune. Now he was saying this:

COOPER (5/8/23): With me now is former federal prosecutor, Jessica Roth. She is now a professor at Cardozo School of Law.

You know, Kara [Scannell] was talking about the Access Hollywood tape and the deposition tape, which was played for the jury.

In that deposition tape, Trump was actually asked about the Access Hollywood tape, and he—he doubled down on it essentially. He didn't just give the, "Oh, it's a locker room thing," which is what they had worked out, the campaign worked out, when the tape initially—to kind of, you know, push it to the side.

He doubled down, saying that stars throughout, you know, for millions of years have been—not that there were stars millions of years ago, but that's what he basically said—have been able to just, you know, grab women by the private parts and get away with it.


COOPER: Essentially he's saying—I mean, he's not confessing to doing that to E. Jean Carroll. But he is saying that's—that he is a star, and that's what stars can do.

Cooper had adopted the script. Trump had "doubled down" on the Access Hollywood tape. Also, he had said "that he is a star, and that's what stars can do!"

On two occasions, Cooper snuck in a weasel word. That weasel word was "essentially."

Why did Cooper keep sneaking in that weasel word?  Presumably, he knew that Trump had never explicitly made the remarkable statement which was now being put in his mouth.

He had never explicitly said that, because he's a star, it's OK for him to do that. You can't quote the statement where he explicitly said that, because no such statement exists.

Also this:

Trump was never asked, by attorney Roberta Kaplan, if that was what he meant by the statements he had made. We'll guess that Kaplan didn't ask because she knew that she probably would get an answer she wouldn't like.

We don't admire attorneys when they behave this way. In fairness, our judicial adversary system leads attorneys to do such things, and we know of no reason to think that Kaplan broke any explicit ethical rules by failing to clarify what Trump actually meant.

Donald J. Trump was never asked! He wasn't asked if he thinks he has a right to do that because he's a star. He was never explicitly asked, and he never explicitly said that.

At that point, creative paraphrase walked in the door, then rushed across town to Wallace. A creative paraphrase came into existence, and with great speed the paraphrase spread.

Last Friday, we were amazed when we watched that segment of Deadline: White House. 

At one point, we were amazed because Wallace made a claim so crazy that even her guests walked away.

Beyond that, we were amazed because of what we thought when we heard what the lumbering Trump had said.

Trump had said that stars have behaved that way for the past million years! When he did, we thought of the following people:

We thought of Charlie Rose, and we thought of Matt Lauer.

We thought of Bill O'Reilly, and we thought of Roger Ailes.

We thought of Harvey Weinstein, and we thought about Bill Cosby. We thought about a term which was famous all through the last American century:

That term was "the casting couch."

We even thought of President Kennedy—of his reported, borderline criminal conduct with the 19-year-old intern. 

(In this case, the intern actually was 19, and she actually was an intern. No one really seems to doubt the truth of the things she eventually said in a very well-written book in 2012.)

We're omitting other names, but you may see the point. As an obvious matter of fact, male stars have been behaving that way for the past million years!

No one today is so dumb that they haven't heard about that. In that initial statement, Donald J. Trump, an infrequent truth-teller, was stating an obvious fact.

None of our journalists are so dumb that they don't know about this history. That said, when Matt and Charlie got the boot, many of their colleagues rushed forward to claim that they never had any idea of what had been going on.

You can believe those protestations to the extent you choose.

That said, those people all know that male stars have behaved that way—and have gotten away with it—over the course of the past many years. 

In the parts of the videotape we get shown, that was the first thing Trump said—and then, he was asked if he himself is a star. When he gave the fairly obvious answer, people like Wallace began composing a pleasing song.

Tell us, Grasshopper! Tell us where, in making those statements, Donald J. Trump actually said that, as of today and because he's a star, he believes that he has the right to engage in sexual assault.

You'll find no one quoting some such statement by Trump, because he never made any such explicit statement. Instead, creative paraphrase came into play, followed by the phenomenon known as Creative Paraphrase Drift.

Trump did emit one peculiar utterance during his exchange with Kaplan. Before we get to that point, let's comment on Cooper again.

Speaking with Professor Roth, he quickly said this about Trump's statements on the deposition:

COOPER: In that deposition tape, Trump was actually asked about the Access Hollywood tape, and he—he doubled down on it essentially. He didn't just give the, "Oh, it's a locker room thing," which is what they had worked out, the campaign worked out, when the tape initially—to kind of, you know, push it to the side.

He doubled down, saying that stars throughout, you know, for millions of years...have been able to just, you know, grab women by the private parts and get away with it.

To our ear, Cooper seemed to be saying that Trump didn't return to the "locker room talk" explanation of his initial remarks. Cooper's statement can be read a different way. But that's what we thought we heard.

For the record, if you watched the tape of the deposition, you would have seen Kaplan play the Access Hollywood videotape. Then, you would then have seen this:

TRUMP: This is very old news. Fully litigated during debates, during everything else. Fully litigated. And you know what I said then? And I say it now, locker room talk. That was locker room talk. That’s what goes on.

You can see that at minute 39 of the deposition tape. At minute 40, you can see this, immediately after the part of the tape where Trump acknowledges being a "star:"

KAPLAN: And now you said before, a couple of minutes ago, that this was just locker room talk.

TRUMP: It’s locker room talk.

KAPLAN: And so does that mean that you didn’t really mean it?

TRUMP: No, it’s locker room talk. I don’t know. It’s just the way people talk.

Did Cooper watch the deposition tape? We wouldn't assume that he did.

At any rate, Trump did restate the original claim concerning "locker room talk." His statements on the Access Hollywood tape were "just the way people talk."

Those exchanges aren't shown on blue tribe cable. Presumably, they aren't shown because they don't enhance preferred Storyline. Before long, people were being given the impression that Trump didn't say that at all.

Trump did make one odd interjection concerning the conduct of stars.

He had started with an accurate statement about the way male stars have behaved down through the annals of time. After making his accurate statement, he added a peculiar point:

KAPLAN: This has become very famous in this video. “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet, just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the [BLEEP], you can do anything.” That’s what you said, correct?

TRUMP: Well, historically, that’s true with stars.

KAPLAN: It’s true with stars, that they can grab women by the [BLEEP]??

TRUMP: Well, if you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately.

Unfortunately or fortunately? As Cooper noted, that was a strange thing to say.

That was a strange thing to say! That said, Kaplan didn't ask Trump what he meant by that strange remark, perhaps for the obvious reason. But judged by any normal standard, that was a strange interjection.

Judged by conventional norms, that was a weird interjection. We'd be inclined to chalk it up to Trump's amazing lack of sophistication, a quality he has routinely put on display down through the many long years.

News flash! Donald J. Trump seems to have very few real ideas about most serious issues.

There's little sign that he's ever engaged in real discussions about most such issues. He's good at reciting his endless harangues, in which he's endlessly a victim. He's unable to function intellectually about pretty much anything else.

Back in May 2016, he was famously asked, by Chris Matthews, if women who get an abortion should be criminally punished. Rather quickly, it became clear that Trump had never thought about any such question, and that he had no idea what to say.

Just a guess: Donald J. Trump has rarely discussed any such issue at any point in his life. Additionally, he likes to feign erudition at certain times, even as the things he's saying betray his world-class cluelessness.

So it was in 2020 when he asked Dr. Deborah Birx if UV light or disinfectants, taken internally, could be used to rid the body of Covid. He feigned high erudition that day as he made his bizarre suggestions to the plainly mortified Birx.

Our sense? That's what he seems to be doing when he says, "Unfortunately or fortunately." Unaccustomed to real discussion, he may have thought that he was displaying the depth of his ruminations on this particular matter.

That said, whatever he meant by the weird interjection, he certainly didn't explicitly say that, because he's a star, he retains the right to assault women. Nor did Kaplan ask him what he did mean by his weird interjection, perhaps for the obvious reason.

What did Trump mean when he said he was a star? Did he mean that, because he's a star, it's OK for him to assault women?

When he made that odd interjection, did that mean that, because he's a star, he thinks it's OK to do that?

Kaplan didn't ask. She left the whole thing where it was, and creative paraphrase started.

As blue pundits fell into line, they repeated the explicit claim that Trump had "doubled down" on the Access Hollywood tape.  Then, they offered a creative account of what Trump had supposedly said.

Sadly, press corps stars have behaved this way for the past million years! In the current instance, our blue tribe lapped the porridge up. 

The paraphrase emerged at Vanity Fair. The next day, it jumped to Deadline: White House, where it was recited by favorites and friends.

By this week, it was being widely recited in our blue bayous and backwaters. We've shown you what Cooper said about the doubling down and the claim that he has the right, but other pundits have recited the script across blue pundit land.

Journalist stars have behaved this way for the past million years. Al Gore said he invented the Internet, these unimpressive humans once said.

We leave you with a final point:

Creative paraphrase is easy and fun. Actual journalism is time-consuming and hard.

Gallant strives for the journalism. Goofus is drawn to the fun.


  1. We don’t have to wonder what Trump still believes. There are reports by his own staff of Trump’s misbehavior toward young female staffers. He was still doing it while in the White House.

    1. Grabbing them by the pussies? He was grabbing them by the pussies, because he said it's ok for a big star like him to do that?

      Document where any of those staffers said he was sexually assaulting them.

      Please, because "misbehavior" is one thing, assault is another. That's the kind of creative paraphrasing that I think Bob is talking about, and accurately.

    2. 1:16 yes, there are multitudes of accusations of Trump engaging in non consensual sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to rape, even perpetrated against minors.

      Somerby thinks of 7 men, that he thinks were “stars”, that were also involved in non consensual sexual misconduct; however, this cuts against his point, as the victims did not “let” those men behave that way.

      This sort of blame the victim/excuse the perpetrator, is disturbing.

      Somerby’s analysis of “unfortunately or fortunately” is nonsensical; that’s not expressing erudition, that makes no sense - erudition indicates acquired scholarly knowledge. In reality, it’s a coy way of Trump expressing that he endorses something outside social norms while ostensibly giving himself some plausible deniability to suckers, Somerby does this as well.

      Trump says stars can do anything, even grab crotches, he then is asked if he is a star and he answers in the affirmative, thus clearly indicating he too can do anything. This is trivial. Somerby feigns excessive literalism in an attempt to con suckers.

    3. "1:16 yes, there are multitudes of accusations of Trump engaging in non consensual sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to rape, even perpetrated against minors."

      I was asking about the White House.

      And you know, there's big difference between harassment and "misconduct" and rape. How many rape charges are there?

      You'd think that if Trump's MO all these years had really been "Grab 'em by the pussy and then stick something in because they let you," then there'd be dozens and dozens of such accusations. Over 50 years?

      Where are they all? And no, leering at models in a dressing room is not the same as -- or proof of -- rape.

      Again, how many actual sexual assault claims have there been against Donald Trump over the last 50 years? Maybe three, four?

      I don't say this because I like him -- I don't -- I just want to see the facts laid out before I start exploding all over the place in anger and outrage.

    4. "Trump says stars can do anything, even grab crotches, "

      He said they "let" you.

      I know that's an uncomfortable qualification for many people, but it is in fact what Trump said.

      Bob's right. Why this constant need to embroider and invent all the time? Trump's already bad enough!

      Does it make you all feel morally good about yourselves or something? I especially love the outraged response to the suggestion that some women might actually *like* such aggressive attention from desirable men.

      Or, even initiate it. Such horrors!

    5. 5:13 The 26 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct

    6. "5:13 The 26 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct

      How many are assault? How many are rape?

      And what does that mean, misconduct?

    7. None of those are ok.

    8. 5:28 false.

      The “let” was in reference to Trump kissing. Even taken literally, Trump says “I don’t even wait”, which, given the context, refers to him not waiting for consent.

      Your claim is false. Your comment is irrelevant.

      6:53 misconduct is a catch all word, for harassment to abuse to rape. Of the accusations, 16 involve sexual assault, and 3 involve rape, including a minor.

    9. Trump may have said it, but he doesn't believe it. Just like everything else he says. There are fools in the media who still think his name is "Donald J. Trump", because he said so. They'll never learn.

    10. Trump only believes in his right to use and abuse others for his personal benefit. That’s why when he sexually harasses, assaults, and rapes women, it’s just another day.

  2. Casting couch has always been infamous. No one condoned it except rape apologists, even then.

    1. Rape apologists; oh, and the many, many women who willingly engaged in the behavior as well. Many in fact enthusiastically did so too, because over the years many women actually INITIATED it.

      Shocking thought, yes.

    2. 1:19 comment doesn’t need countering as it is merely a naked confession of brutal and violent sexism.

    3. "1:19 comment doesn’t need countering as it is merely a naked confession of brutal and violent sexism.


      I grew up in L.A. in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and knew an incredible number of sexually empowered and aggressive women. Who also willingly and enthusiastically went after men (and women) of power, stature, and/or attractiveness.

      And there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. More power to them.

      So can the sanctimoniousness, ok? And the name-calling. You really have no idea what you're talking about here, and you're also insulting and infantilizing many, many women.

    4. Rape isn’t as empowering for women as for men. Didn’t your daddy teach you that? I suspect you were 12 in the 80’s given your adolescent fantasies about sex-crazed women who just love rape.

      Who left the door open and let these assholes wander in? They are giving Magats a bad name.

    5. @5:11 doesn’t seemt to understand that the issue is consent not sex.

    6. When it takes 30 years to “grow up”, comprehension will fail to develop.

  3. The second amendment is evil.

  4. We do not dispute that men brag about conquests in the locker room. Trump was doingthat as claimed. But he also admitted to sexually abusing women.

    1. Yes, he did. A man who thinks he is entitled to assault women, in Trump’s pisition, has done so. He bragged about it to Billy Bush, just like he has shown his stolen classified docs to random people he wants to impress. This is not the guy Somerny should be defending.

    2. If they could have trusted Trump to give the right answers like that, they would have let him testify.

    3. Trump had his own attorney at the deposition. It isn’t Kaplan’s job to protect Trump from himself.

    4. He obviously did say “when you’re famous you can do it, grab them by the pussy.” THEN in apology mode he said he didn’t, that it “locker room talk.” Then in the deposition he said that was the state of things, going back a million years(?), fortunately or unfortunately ( does any Trump defender serious believe he sided with the later?) . Incredibly (yes, that overused word applies here) Bob seems to agree and uses this exchange to attack the people he hates. But 1:26, you seem to have no idea what you are talking about.

    5. "Trump had his own attorney at the deposition. It isn’t Kaplan’s job to protect Trump from himself."

      It was her job to get at the truth.

      Also, the defense attorney is only there to object. It was her deposition -- he can't ask questions at hers, only his.

      So it was her job to do this, not Trump's attorney.

    6. Actually, Trump did not have his own attorney at the deposition.

    7. "Actually, Trump did not have his own attorney at the deposition.


      Don't confuse people here with facts!!! I think yes they made a strategic decision to not put on a defense and then let the chips fall where they may at the appellate level.

      I really can't believe a lot of what I'm reading here. Bob's right, Trump never said what people are desperate to want him to say, and this video itself (in my view) should be judged on the same level of seriousness as that old Al Franken gag photo where he's lunging at his sleeping USO co-star.

      Which the Bob-haters went nuts about here as well.

      People really think that Donald Trump was being serious in that video? Or that Al Franken was sexually assaulting that woman on the plane?

      Why such a desperate NEED to want to believe these things -- to always believe the worst in people when it comes to sex?

      It's really baffling to witness -- but definitely just culturally neurotic as hell. Just like this need is to want to falsely call everyone a "pedophile" now. What does this satisfy in people?

    8. "Yes, he did. A man who thinks he is entitled to assault women, in Trump’s pisition, has done so. He bragged about it to Billy Bush, just like he has shown his stolen classified docs to random people he wants to impress. This is not the guy Somerny should be defending.

      I think Bob needs to give a couple of lectures on what "circular logic" is!

      You know, the cart before the horse stuff.

    9. Actually, Trump did not have his own attorney at the deposition.

      Fake news!!! Actually, yes, he did have his attorney at the depostion. In fact it was his own attorney who told him that the woman he incorrectly identified as Marla was actually Caroll.

      Of course we know the chickenshit coward ran away to Europe during the trial. So his own lawyer couldn't ask him the question you're dying to know.

      But now, safely in front of a handpicked magat audience he becomes brave enough to take cheap slanderous shots at her. What a fucking degenerate foul abomination, Donald J Chickenshit.

    10. These trolls have zero knowledge of how the legal system works. You ALWAYS have your attorney when giving a deposition. The ignorance is strong with these jackasses.

    11. 5:05 you’re mind reading by concluding that Trump meant these women approved of his actions by his word “let”; it is more likely that Trump meant they “let” him do it without consent, particularly since he provides more context when he “I don’t even wait”. Wait for what?

      Further context makes your conclusion even more ridiculous, as Trump has never provided any evidence that these women gave consent, and indeed to the contrary, these women have explicitly said they gave no consent.

      It should also be noted that Trump was using the “let” word in reference to kissing women, not in reference to grabbing their crotch. Trump never said they “let” you grab them by the crotch.

    12. None of my women have tears in their eyes.

    13. In the Access Hollywood tape Trump said you can do anything, grab them by the p***y, and when you’re a star they let you. Go look at a transcript.

    14. What does anyone think Trump meant after describing kissing without consent and then said he needed a tic-tac?

    15. 12:30am false

      Here is the transcript:

      Trump: Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

      The usage of “let” is in reference to kissing, not crotch grabbing, and since Trump says “I don’t even wait”, that indicates he proceeded without waiting for consent.

    16. Didn't Trump once claim he wasn't a rapist? Why would any fool believe anything he says?

    17. @12:55 You stopped too soon. The conversation continues directly as follows:

      "Trump: "Yeah that's her with the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."

      Bush: "Whatever you want."

      Trump: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

      Bush: "Yeah those legs. All I can see is the legs."

      Trump: "It looks good."

      Bush: "Come on shorty."

      Trump: "Oh nice legs huh."

      Bush: "Get out of the way honey. Oh that's good legs. Go ahead."

      You guys are always so dishonest.

    18. 12:30 was dishonest.

      The “let” referred to kissing, which Trump says he doesn’t even wait, he just does it.

      Trump never said they “let” you grab.

      These Trump apologist trolls are the dishonest ones.

    19. @12:55 was dishonest. He cut the excerpt right before it said what 12:55 said Trump didn’t say.

    20. 2:52, unfortunately or fortunately, that is inaccurate.

      12:55 is correct, Trump never said they “let” you grab.

      This is demonstrated by the transcript.

      You can’t be excessively literal when it serves you and then claim context matters when you want to win a losing argument.

      The transcript demonstrates, Trump did not say they “let” you grab.

      Worse, Trump does say “I don’t even wait”, indicating he doesn’t get consent before proceeding with his sexual misconduct.

    21. You guys lie.

    22. Who let a 10 year old into a rape discussion?

    23. Who knows his age, but maturity-wise that’s probably on the nose.

      This moron has been here all week with his false and nonsense claims in an effort to excuse sexual misconduct.

      As *erudite* as many of the commenters here are in their accurate critiques of Somerby, they failed to notice the obvious flaw in this moron troll’s weak claims.

      Trump never said they “let” you grab, he said they “let” you kiss, and then clarified by saying he doesn’t “even wait”, thus admitting he doesn’t get consent.

      Indeed, Trump’s “they” in “they let” may very well mean the authorities, as in Trump forces himself on women without consent, and the authorities let him get away with it.

      Until now.

    24. He said, specifically, they let you do anything. He then used grabbing pu**y as an example, repeating, when you're a star they let you do it. The transcript has been posted here already, go read it. And no, he wasn't talking about kissing the authorities or grabbing them. Trump and Billy Bush were eyeing and talking about actual women who would be in the show with Trump, which is why he grabs a tic-tac. These suggestions need to fit the rest of the context to be plausible.

    25. Suddenly context matters to you, hilarious!

      The fact remains, Trump never said they “let” you grab them. Never said it. It’s as plain as day in the transcript. Trump also never repeated “they let you do it”, this is yet another false claim. You can’t quote Trump saying it because he never said it. Here is the one and only time Trump said “let”, and it’s in reference to kissing:
      Trump: Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

      Now, if we are getting contextual, then it is clear that by “let” Trump never meant they consented; Trump meant they “let” you get away with it without getting consent, made all the clearer by Trump explaining “I don’t even wait”, which, given the context, indicates he acted without consent.

      Trump literally never said they “let” you grab them.

      Your claims were always moronic, disturbing, and false.

      Later in the conversation on the bus, Bush provocatively says this: “ Down below. Pull the handle.”


      When the tape was revealed to the public, Trump was running for president and was terrified of the impact, so like a true coward, he said this:

      “I've said and done things I regret… these words don't reflect who I am…I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize... I pledge to be a better man tomorrow”

      Trump momentarily reduced to nothing more than a wimpering prison bitch.

      Billions of dollars, corruptly acquired from American rubes and various foreign entities, later, Trump doubled down, and reasserted that indeed stars can engage in sexual misconduct and get away with it, and then proudly proclaimed himself to be such a star.

      Every one of your own wimpering comments is like music to my ears, I’m totally getting off on roasting you.

  5. Republicans should support statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

  6. To actually, properly illuminate this I think you would have to go back to the apology tape Trump released when the Access Hollywood Tape surfaced. Trump said he said horrible things, but didn’t DO anything, and the campaign went on offense, claiming Bill Clinton said and did horrible things to women. The press followed his lead on this, using Juanita Broaddrick as their central witness, who had signed a legal document claiming Clinton had not raped her, but now claimed he had (along with the claim Hillary Clinton approved of the rape). Broaddrick now jeers at all of the Trump accusers (She went on MSNBC claiming She spoke for all victims) This week She tweeted that the Carroll Jury “belong in hell.”
    But, Bob Somerby is a misogynist asshole and pursuing the idiotic claims of this post would be to indulge another obvious screwball.

    1. Because Bob says that the tape says something that he's actually correct about -- or even if he is wrong about this -- that makes him a woman hater?

      You're perverse. No, dishonest.

    2. Anonymouse 2:27pm: “But, Bob Somerby is a misogynist asshole and pursuing the idiotic claims of this post would be to indulge another obvious screwball.”

      Anonymous 4:56 PM: “Because Bob says that the tape says something that he's actually correct about -- or even if he is wrong about this -- that makes him a woman hater?”

      No, Anonymouse 4:56pm, the Anonymouse 2:27pm, is not saying that Bob is a woman hater.

      She’s saying that Bob is a Putin operative, stealth conservative, racist, transphobic, paid troll, failed teacher who hated his students…and some stuff that is even worse…woman hater.

      Any heterodoxy is as tolerable with these folks is as it was with the Spanish Inquisition. They’re all the same crime and you are all the bad things in the world.

      Wear it proudly.

    3. You're funny, Cecilia. I like you.

      Oh, and I will. But I'll try to work on my "misogyny" and pu**y grabbing !

    4. What makes Somerby misogynist is that he ignores what Trump did to Carroll and focuses only on a highly unlikely alternate interpretation of a small part of Trump’s deposition, without considering the bulk of the evidence presented at trial, which rules out his theory.

      He won’t say so, but his motive is to leave some small chink to let Trump true believers keep their faith. Women deserve better than this.

    5. Somerby is workng hard to maintain Trump’s privilege to assault women.

    6. Cecelia, do you disagree that rape is bad?

    7. Anonymouse 7:00pm, there’s not a person commenting on this board who disagrees with that.

      Quit being a disingenuous putz.

    8. All crime is bad.

    9. There are some new trolls here telling us that they don’t understand what rape is. That’s scary for them and any women around them.

      Trump is scary that way too. He kept trying to swoon young staffers even after Carroll’s lawsuit and other accusers came forward.

    10. Are your new trolls the Carroll trial jury?

    11. @4:53 thinks if you start raping a woman and she says and does nothing about it, it is ok to continue because she is letting you and that is consent. Maybe you can send him postcards in prison, since you both share an admiration for Trump.

    12. Anonymouse 9:39pm, it’ took me literal years to learn the definition of incel and to then remember the definition afterwards.

      I’ve got it now, and it’s obvious that all anonymices are incels.

      They ascertain none of the social cues and signals that give other people clues as to their frame of mind, approachability, etc.

      None of the speed of light facial expressions, body language, and general aura of flirting and exuding “I’m open for business, Mr. Bigshot”, are perceivable to them.

      Therefore they think it’s just straight walking over to a woman and grabbing her pousai. With less eye contact than a handshake.

      It’s all assault. It’s all rape. Any suggestion of a more complex (yet very basic) age old interaction is the same as accusing a six-year-old of “asking for it” or denying the very reality of rape, let alone that someone may have been raped.

      Anonymices are militant and fatuous to their core.

    13. So, Cecelia, is it wrong to vote for Trump?

    14. Being opposed to rape, even when the president does it, is militant?

    15. One of Trump’s accusers was standing waiting for an elevator. Trump “moved on her like a bitch” and without warming, his tongue was down her throat. She was stunned. Are those the subtle cues you’re talking about Cecelia? Go back and read Carroll’s testimony. No cues there either.

      I don’t know how any bona fide woman can defend this behavior.

    16. warning (cell phones have small keys)

    17. No one here has challenged sex with consent. How is elevator waiting a form of consent? Go read Trump’s definition of swooning, his pet name for rape.

    18. I’m sure Trump is occasionally respectful of Melania. Why is he even grabbibg anyone else’s p***y, with or without eye contact. Read what Trump did on the airplane to Leeds. She got up and moved to the back of the plane. Is that a new type of flirting? And you call us fatuous. You have sense of decency.

    19. Anonymouse 12:10am, no, doing what you’re now is militant.

      You’re demanding that everyone take it as indisputable fact that Trump raped Carroll, because to think otherwise, is to believe that rape in some circumstances is fine.


    21. He was convicted of sexual abuse and defamation. End of story.

    22. Anonymouse 11:54pm, no. I’m not telling anyone that they are “wrong” to vote for the candidate of their choice.

      I leave it to you anonymouse militants to excoriate people for that.

    23. Carroll did not admit to rape, but Trump did. How can you claim consensual sex given the evidence? Trump is evil and you defend him. GO AWAY

    24. Anonymouse 12:22am, you have no sense of context.

    25. I love Trump. That doesn't mean I'm going to rape him though.

    26. Anonymouse 12:26am, no, dear. I’m not going away. Go get some rest on your fainting couch.

    27. I have no idea what Cecelia is trying to convey, who, ironically, is pretending to be a woman while spewing nonsense. There’s a mention of the Spanish Inquisition, which involved torture and murder; so far only one of Trump’s victims was able to bring some justice, and only in a civil case, that resulted in Trump having to pay what is pocket change to him.

      When you work as hard as Somerby and his fanboys do at blaming the victim and excusing perpetrators of sexual assault and rape, you’re in essence soliciting others to engage in similar violence against women.

    28. Anonymouse 12:24am, he was convicted for sexual assault based upon what he said to Bush. Words that were interpreted outside any consideration of the usual context of flirtation.

      So naturally that’s all got to be morphed into not one rape, but multiple ones.

      Otherwise, you don’t believe that rape exists.

    29. Trump wasn’t convicted of sexual assault, he was found liable in a civil judgement for sexual abuse and defamation.

      We don’t know what the judgement was based on, but Carroll’s lawyers presented witnesses, other victims, and evidence of a pattern of behavior of sexual misconduct.

      Trump’s words match the assault women have accused him of. No women testified on his behalf, there was no testimony that suggested a “context of flirtation”.

      Trump has been accused of 3 rapes, one with a minor.

      In the US, every 68 seconds there is a sexual assault, every 6 minutes a woman is raped, every 9 minutes a child is sexually assaulted.

      In the US 1 in 5 women will be raped.

      Rape exists, it’s pernicious, it’s frequent, it’s unfortunate, not fortunate.

    30. "there’s not a person commenting on this board who disagrees with that."

      I told you they were trolls, and not really Republican voters. I'll be accepting apologies all day, from those who disagreed.

    31. Cecelia -- He was convicted for sexual abuse, based on what he DID to Carroll. The rest of the evidence helped convince the jury that he did what she said.

    32. Cecelia, this isn’t one crime being “morphed”. There are 25 other women accusing Trump. He didn’t just do this once a long time ago. According to his own Republican staff (e.g. Stephanie Grisham) his behavior was an open secret during his term as president. They hadtp protect young staffers from him.

    33. “ It’s all assault. It’s all rape. Any suggestion of a more complex (yet very basic) age old interaction is the same as accusing a six-year-old of “asking for it” or denying the very reality of rape, let alone that someone may have been raped.”

      That’s all well and good, Cecelia. Until it isn’t. The point is that someone with Trump’s attitude may get away with it in some, or even many, cases, where the woman is actually willing. But there are others for whom what you call “flirtation” is unwanted and without their consent it becomes misconduct, assault, or rape, depending upon the extremeness of the act. Trump’s attitude is clear.

    34. No woman has come forward with testimony to defend Trump, to testify that Trump’s actions were the result of “flirtation.”

      Cecelia, who is not a woman, is encouraging rape. What Cecelia is doing is repugnant and immoral.

    35. Many women came forward with testimony to defend Trump actually.

    36. 8:13,
      Those are the exact same women, with the exact same names no one can mention, that are Republican voters who aren't bigots. All none of them.

  7. Defund the Supreme Court.

  8. We live in a giant spiral galaxy.

  9. “Fortunately or Unfortunately” ( in other words, “hey it might be a good thing”) Bob’s spin on this is, “well, he never seems to think about anything seriously.” Great!! We should all take comfort it’s OK then…..

  10. No it's not, for the simple reason that "let" means they let you do it.

    It means accept, approve, validate, and possibly even respond. It doesn't mean they lie back and take it and think of England.

    What was moronic actually was that the plaintiff's attorney didn't nail him on this supposed ill intent of his during the deposition.

    Or was it intentionally dishonest on her part? She didn't want to pin him down on this because she was afraid -- or knew -- that Trump would DENY that he meant he had a right to assault women?

    That maybe he would explain exactly what he meant, instead of "letting" the MSNBC crowd and others explain it for him?

  11. Let is not a form of consent.

  12. 4:53 you are mind reading Trump when you conclude that by “let” Trump meant he was given consent.

    It is more likely to conclude that by “let” Trump meant they “let” you do it without consent, since Trump goes on to say that he acts without waiting, “I don’t even wait” he said. Wait for what?

    Your claims about Carroll’s attorney are similarly misguided, even Somerby puts it in his post:

    KAPLAN: And so does that mean that you didn’t really mean it?

  13. I love the sound of crickets in the evening, it sounds like victory.

    Quoting Thomas Friedman, the great champion of the Iraq war (where perhaps a million civilians were killed), y’all Somerby fanboys can “suck on this”.

  14. Trump wasn't saying he grabs them by the pu***. He was saying "they "let you do it.
    It's like saying he's to blame for the rigged economy, just because he said the economy is rigged... and he put a bunch of elite pieces of shit who rig economies in his Cabinet.
    Oh wait, i'll come in again...

  15. "'They' are Adderall addicts."
    Donald Trump, probably.

  16. So it’s the job of Trump’s attorney to get him on the stand and ask him what he meant. If it’s such a crucial passage, where he says that they let you do it if you’re a star, then it was HIS attorney’s job to get him to explain it, not Carroll’s attorney. You should be upset that Trump’s attorney didn’t do that. But of course, Somerby is upset at Kaplan. It figures.

    Do you think maybe his attorneys asked him what he meant, and they didn’t like his response? In what world Somerby thinks that a) any plain, simple, truthful answer will ever be given by Trump about anything and b) Trump doesn’t believe he is entitled to start kissing and moving on women like a bitch etc is anyone’s guess.

    He said it was locker room talk. Either you take that to mean it was all a joke (but with fantasies of carte blanche behavior), or you take that to mean he was bragging about his own behavioral habits. In the latter case, you have to examine whether this idea of implied consent is a universal get out of jail free card for his behavior towards women that shows his general frame of mind.

    Trump denied throughout his deposition that he even knew Carroll, and that the alleged incident could not have happened, partly (or mostly?) because she wasn’t his “type.” But these assertions under oath didn’t stop the jury from disbelieving him. So, it’s doubtful any explanation he might have given for those remarks on the Access Hollywood tape would have swayed the jury.

    It seems to me that Somerby is upset at the jury verdict, but is couching that in media criticism.

    1. Trump has many fantasies of carte blanche privilege: (1) he thought he could overthrow an election via insurrection, at one point talking about not moving out of the White House, (2) he thought he could just keep whatever classified docs he wanted, also gifts he was supposed to return to the archives as property of the US people, he gave away White House furnishings to his friends (3) he thought he didn't have to tell the debate organizers that his people had covid (or wear any masks), (4) he thought he could meet with Russians and show them classified secrets without keeping a transcript of the meeting or having any staff present beyond translators, (5) he thought he could walk into beauty contest dressing rooms while girls were undressed because he owned the contest, (6) he thought he didn't have to observe court-ordered gag orders and desist defamation orders, and any number of court orders to turn over taxes, documents, appear for deposition, etc. (7) he thought he didn't have to follow protocol with Queen Elizabeth, ignoring precedence and formalities of respect, (8) he has crashed weddings (did they let him?), (9) if he didn't want to pay contractors, he just didn't pay them, (10), he has never been faithful to any of his wives, (11) if he didn't want to do a part of the job as president, he didn't do it, from attending ceremonies to reading daily briefings to preparing for meetings, (12) he cheated at golf, including to win course records and championships, (13) he wanted to be on Mt Rushmore so he had a painting commissioned showing his face there, similarly with fake covers of Time Mazagine and various honors he just made up about himself.

      What is a little rape in the context of this misbehavior? Of course he takes what he wants from women, no matter what their wishes. Many of us think Ivanka was no exception, why would she be?

      Grown men who have met Trump have called him evil. What do you think they were talking about? This is a man who does whatever he wants no matter what the consequences to anyone else (including himself). It is right that he is finally being held accountable for the variety of transgressions he has committed against our country and other people.

      Those who defend Trump have to be among the stupidest people on this planet. When Trump goes to jail he may finally experience the concept of boundaries, for the first time in his life. E. Jean Carroll deserves a great deal of credit for pursuing this to the end, asserting her own rights against this monster. She has done that for all of us and I personally am grateful.

      I have no idea what Somerby's beef is, but I know he cannot mistake what Trump is. I see no good explanation for what he has written over the past few days. Somerby gets worse as time goes by. There is nothing liberal about him and I do not think it is funny or clever to enable the kind of evil Trump represents. Look at the trolls here arguing in support of rape, eggs on by Somerby. Whatever is going on, has nothing to do with liberals, our blue tribe, Democrats or the 2024 election.

      I'm glad I don't actually know any of the horrible people popping up here lately.

    2. One main problem for you is your lack of intelligence and reading comprehension skills which lead to comical and compulsive complete misreadings and misunderstanding of this commentary.

  17. Cecelia, did you vote for Trump in 2020? Do you plan to vote for him in 2024?

    1. The next election is in 2026.

    2. Presidential election years in the United States are multiples of 4.

    3. Here is another take on when elections actually take place.

  18. Anon 1:21 PM - come on, do the maths!

  19. Trump ignored Melania today — of course he did.

  20. Somerby likes to borrow phases from songs and poems, verbatim, without credit to the author (whoever owns that intellectual property). He doesn't ask for consent. Do you suppose they are just "letting" him do that, and if so, what does let mean? Does it mean he owns those lyrics? Does it mean they want him to steal their material? If they don't bother to send a cease and desist, isn't that the owner's prerogative rather than Somerby's entitlement?

    It doesn't seem surprising that a man who thinks he can steal song lyrics would be inclined to regard other kinds of permissions as optional too. This is what entitlement looks like. So are all these right wing trolls shouting "she let him" as if that made rape legal.

    Somerby is an asshole.

    1. You can't copyright a phrase.

    2. No, you can't copyright a title. But does something have to be copyright before you acknowledge who wrote it and give them due credit?

      This is the difference between weaseling out of a crime with a chickenshit defense ploy ("she let him, or he was just joking") and showing genuine respect for women (or an artist's work).

  21. Think about it from President Trump's perspective.

  22. So..............
    I have an important question to ask.

    If you found yourself in a crowded elevator and you suddenly smelled a potently terrible and foul gaseous odor, would you:
    A) do and say nothing, doing your best to ignore the offending odor
    B) deny any and all involvement in the production of the foul odor
    C) blame it on the person standing to your left
    D) claim complete responsibility for the windy production, even if you didn't produce it!

    If you chose the last option, then you should check out this video:

    You will be most pleased.

    1. I'd vote for it in the Republican primary.

  23. And here is a different perspective altogether.