We all know that this has already been our strangest presidential campaign in history, but what’s happened over the last two days has to be the most bizarre thing that has yet to occur, mostly because almost no one is talking about it.
To review, the New York Post published, on its cover, for two straight days, nude (even lesbian!) photos of the Melania Trump, who, theoretically at least, could be the next First Lady of the United States of America.
Let that sink in for a moment.
That alone should be more than enough to create a massive media firestorm, but I have left out the “best” part: Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, almost certainly approved the publication of the photos and likely facilitated them.
If you look up the ingredients for a story the news media would normally instantly fall in love with, this one has them all. A New York City newspaper they all read, a beautiful nude woman, a ratings-magnet celebrity husband, a hotly contested presidential race to give them “cover” for obsessing over a salacious story, and even a “mystery” angle regarding how the photos came to be published. And yet the news media coverage of this story this far has been scant, at best.
This is truly baffling.
Before I deal more specifically with why the media might be ignoring this potential blockbuster, let me first make the case that Trump has to have been directly involved in their publication. Frankly, it’s not a difficult one. All you have to do to figure out what really happened here is some very simple math (though I have learned in my career that even the most basic of “math” equations can often be far beyond the mental grasp of the average news media member).
The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News Channel. The newspaper has been by far the most reliably pro-Trump newspaper in the entire campaign. The Trump camp’s response to the publication of the nude photos has been beyond tepid, and Trump himself has apparently made no mention of the story, not even in a tweet.
Not one of these facts is remotely consistent with any other explanation than Trump at least having approved the publication of the photos. There is no possible way The Post would have gone with such a relationship destroying story without at least checking with Trump first (assuming he wasn’t the source of the photos to begin with).
If they had, the Trump campaign would have gladly jumped all over them with outrage, not just to protect their boss, but to distract from the very bad news cycle in which they are currently mired. And if Trump himself had not at least approved of their publication, he would have gone ballistic publically, especially since his wife has just endured the public humiliation of the plagiarism scandal because of her role in the campaign.
So, what really happened here? As insane as it sounds, I believe that The Post published the first nude photo on its cover on Sunday with the full approval of the Trump campaign. Whether this was an attempt to “distract” the news media from a slew of Trump missteps and Hillary’s post-convention momentum, or for some other reason, I’m obviously not sure. But what’s really interesting is that there was almost no media reaction the Sunday publication and so on Monday The Post really upped the ante by showing Melania nude and engaged in an apparently staged lesbian sex act.
And still the news media didn’t bite! This is like placing prime chum in front of starving sharks and watching them barely glance at the feast before slowly swimming away.
I honestly don’t have a great explanation for this amazing phenomenon. My only theory (which gives the morons in the news media way too much credit) is they are now hip to Trump’s scam and that this whole maneuver was just a bit too cute.
The news media knows the close relationship between The Post and Trump. Also, the behavior here seems to exactly mimic the dance that Trump did with another media ally, The National Enquirer, over stories involving Ted Cruz, where Trump initially refrained from comment before finally pointing the media in the story’s direction after it was clear they would ignore the content.
But even I am not completely satisfied with this theory. Even if the news media was fearful of being openly manipulated by nude photos of his wife that Trump actually wanted the world to see, I can’t understand why the angle of what role the presidential candidate likely played in their publication hasn’t yet interested them.
Have we really reached the point where the GOP presidential nominee likely facilitating the publication of lesbian nude photos of his wife is not titillating or significant enough to be worthy of major news?!
And if that is somehow not newsworthy, how about the story that this GOP presidential nominee is acting more and more like the Clinton-plant “Manchurian Candidate” that so many people theorized about a year ago?
That idea doesn’t seem quite so crazy now, does it?
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.