The Name Change Test: Trump, Clinton and Rape

Imagine these were any other people. Any other people at all: 

With Trump again making rape accusations against his opponents husband, it’s really incumbent on reporters to bring up the fact that there is sworn testimony from Trump’s then-wife Ivana that he raped her in a fit of rage over a failed baldness remediation surgery. Come on, folks. Get it together.

Imagine this was Generic Candidate X. He goes out on the campaign trail and calls his opponent’s husband a rapist. Meanwhile, X’s ex-wife has accused him of raping her in sworn divorce testimony.

What would be written about X? About his opponent’s husband? What would the stories be?

As I started to talk about Sunday and never really got into because I was once again overwhelmed with disgust for the bros of all stripes who are dominating this election (a boiled bunny in every pot!), there is this tendency to shrug off shit that should be a national emergency because “it’s Trump, whaddya gonna do?” Or even, “it’s the Clintons, whaddya gonna do?”

We haven’t just normalized Trump. We’ve normalized not reporting on insane shit because the Clintons are frequent targets of it. Like if somebody throws one bucket of shit on you it’s NOT OKAY but if it’s ten buckets, well, you’re just always covered in shit, so you must just attract it somehow.

Therefore I propose that we institute a name change test. If you would report on … let’s say hypocritical, at best … accusations of rape from one candidate against the husband of another candidate, and do your damnedest to find out if ANY of that is legitimate, if those candidates were named Smith and Jones, then you can’t ignore it if they’re named Trump and Clinton.

Trump is not a joke candidate who thinks Elvis is talking to him through the toaster, whose theories you may safely ignore and about whose background you don’t really have to give a shit. He’s the presumptive nominee of one of two major parties for President of the United States.  Change his name. What would the coverage be?

A.

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