Earlier today, Ed noted that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was not thrilled that Hillary Clinton and the Grammys teamed up to further promote Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump administration. Haley has recently bashed Wolff for suggesting (on Bill Maher’s show) that she and Trump were having an affair. Monday evening the NY Times published an opinion piece criticizing the media’s reaction to this story. It’s titled “The slut-shaming of Nikki Haley” and it may be the first time I’ve seen someone use the ‘What if a Republican had said it about a Democrat?’ thought experiment at the NY Times:

The host pushes the coy writer for a hint. “You just have to read between the lines” toward the end of the book,” the writer answers. “When you hit that paragraph you’re going to say, ‘Bingo!’”

Within moments, every person with a copy turns to the last bit. The woman’s name jumps out as if it was printed in boldface: Samantha Power, the United Nations ambassador. “The president has been spending a notable amount of private time,” the book says, with her on Air Force One.

Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be? Heads would explode on every cable channel (except for Fox, of course, which would be calling for a special investigation). Editorials would issue forth condemning this gutter journalism as thinly veiled sexism. Some would insist that it be viewed as a #MeToo moment — unambiguous evidence of the deep discomfort men feel in the face of powerful women.

But when the woman in question is Nikki Haley, the United Nations ambassador appointed by President Trump, and the evidence-free detail is being spread gleefully by Michael Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury”? Yeah, not so much.

There has been some media reaction to the insinuation about Haley but nothing at the level one might expect if a Democratic woman were the target. And that’s not to mention the current cultural shift around the topic of assault and harassment. The fact that we’ve had a running discussion on these topics for months should make pulling out the old ‘she slept her way to the top’ card far less acceptable than it was even a year ago. And yet, there was Hillary last night helping the author of that insinuation sell books for the amusement of the glitterati:

For years, the fundamental complaint of the right in the culture wars has been that the left is hypocritical, and the Nikki Haley episode perfectly confirms the point: A prominent Republican woman is smeared. The author who does the smearing is celebrated by all the A-listers, including the most prominent Democratic woman in the country, who herself has a history of giving a pass (or worse) to men accused of sexual assault and harassment. And yet the arbiters of American culture cheer the Democrat and, in the words of the actor Don Cheadle, tell the Republican who has the gall to defend herself: “Sit down, girl. You’re drunk.”

Weiss is correct that left-wing hypocrisy, especially in the media, has been a focus on the right for decades. The Haley story is just the latest example but it’s not even the only example of such hypocrisy one could point to today. See Allahpundit’s write-up of Senator Gillibrand going from zero-tolerance for sexual harassment to “I don’t know all the details” when asked about Hillary’s protection of Burns Strider. Going back a few years we could talk about the celebration of Roman Polanski or Bill Clinton, both of whom were beloved in Hollywood until a few months ago.

Left-wing hypocrisy and related media bias are two topics Democrats never seem eager to have a national discussion about. Democrats aren’t really interested in fixing these problems so much as they are in perpetuating them so they can continue to benefit from the double-standards. Kudos to Bari Weiss for calling out the hypocrisy in this instance. It doesn’t fix the broader problem obviously, but it’s a small step in the right direction to have it acknowledged at the NY Times.

 

Correction: I described this piece as an “editorial” but it’s actually an opinion piece by the staff editor for the Opinion section of the NY Times. I’ve corrected that above.