Donald Trump’s followers like to say their candidate smashes the barriers of what they call “political correctness.” And in fact, thanks to Trump, the entire country has had to deal with the toxic fallout of a new, coarsened kind of discourse, everywhere from our cable news to our public schools. Since just this week, for example, parents can now look forward to their seven year-olds asking them what a “sex tape” is.
The fact is that Trump’s status as a Presidential candidate elevates what he says to a national scale, causing cascades of debate that trickle through the culture. The people on the receiving end of Trump’s “anti-PC” philosophy are invariably minorities and women.
Well, now women have a new word to deal with from Mr. Trump—the “C-word.”
Jennifer Lin worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 31 years. In April of 1988 she was the Inquirer’s Financial Correspondent in New York City, working out of a one-woman bureau at 80 Wall Street.
On April 18 she had been working on a business story relating to a buyout battle between Donald Trump and Merv Griffin for two casinos owned by Resorts International in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The thrust of the story was that Trump was forced, against his will, to buy out other investors at a higher price than he wanted due to the unexpected involvement of a car dealer mogul from upstate New York. It suggested, in essence, that Trump had been outplayed.
The story ran. The same day, Donald Trump called Jennifer Lin. The “conversation,” Lin recalls, was somewhat one-sided:
There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling.
The word “shit” was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective.
I had shit for brains.
I worked for a shitty newspaper.
What sort of shit did I write.
Before I could reply, he hung up.
But Trump wasn’t finished with Lin. He decided to call her boss.
Then he called my editor in Philadelphia, Craig Stock. Now it was Craig’s turn to “Hold for Mr. Trump.”
Craig was treated to the same Trumpian wordplay, but got an added treat. Trump referred to me as “that cunt.”
Craig, a calm Iowan, asked Trump what was wrong with the story. He explained that The Inquirer would run a correction if the paper had made an error.
Trump snapped that he didn’t read the story.
“No one reads the story,” the 41-year-old blustered. “I read the headline and I didn’t like it.”
After watching Trump rudely interrupt Hillary Clinton more than 50 times during Monday’s Presidential debate, while Secretary Clinton calmly reminded 80 million viewers that Trump calls women “pigs,” “slobs,” and routinely belittles them for their weight and physical appearance, Lin decided to share her own recollection of Trump with CNN.
Lin’s former editor at the Inquirer, Craig Stock, who was on the receiving end of Trump’s phone call, confirms every word of Lin’s story.
The Trump campaign is insinuating that both Lin and Stock are lying:
“This accusation is categorically false. I find it incredibly coincidental that this person’s crystal clear recollection of one sentence, one word, spoken nearly thirty years ago just happens to coincide with Mr. Trump’s surge in Pennsylvania. This is nothing more than an avowed liberal reporter who is trying to exploit Mr. Trump’s reputation as click-bait for her tabloid stories.”
In other words, Trump can’t understand how a woman could possibly recall being called a “cunt” after “nearly thirty years.”
Maybe it’s because, through all that time, no one but Trump was enough of a scumbag to actually use that word.
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