Donald’s disrespect of women is so legendary, I hardly have to recount it here. But his sneeringly condescending exchange with NBC’s Katy Tur is emblematic of other problems, too.
Katy Tur valiantly tried to get Donald to answer serious questions about his invitation to the Russian government to infiltrate U.S. government emails. He responded by telling her to “be quiet” and mocking her as a shill for Hillary:
Congratulations and gratitude to Tur for her persistence in trying to do her job — and do it well.
Donald’s response is, first of all, entirely typical of his hostility toward the press. And, as Politico reports, typical of his hostility toward Tur personally: He has previously called her “not a very good reporter” and “Little Katy, third-rate journalist,” her cardinal sin being asking hardball questions in an attempt to hold him accountable.
That is, doing what she is supposed to be doing as a member of the press.
Then there is the other issue reflected in this exchange: Donald did something incredible, unprecedented, and, although there has certainly been media coverage of his calamitous statement, it has hardly resembled what would have happened had Hillary said something similar.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine Hillary saying anything so reckless and ignorant, but, if she had, no less subsequently tried to silence a reporter asking follow-ups, the media would have gone into a full-tilt tizzy.
It would have been 24/7 coverage, dissecting every word she said; examining whether it met the legal definition of treason. Experts would have been brought on to be interviewed about whether she should be indicted for a criminal act. Republican members of Congress would be in front of every camera within a hundred miles of the Beltway, being interviewed about the impending investigation.
The furor would have dragged on for days, weeks, months.
And if she’d tried to claim, ludicrously, that she’d merely been being sarcastic, it never would have been treated with a shred of credibility. And deservedly so.
Which brings us back to Katy Tur. If Donald had, in that moment, indeed been being sarcastic, why, exactly, did he tell Tur to “be quiet,” instead of telling her that she had missed his sarcasm?
When someone is being sarcastic, and the sarcasm gets missed, the response is to quickly clear up the misunderstanding, not to tell someone who missed it to “be quiet.” Especially not when there are a thousand cameras pointed at them.
And “humorless” is the reflexive scold men like Donald use against women, especially women they perceive to be uppity. (Even and especially when those men weren’t joking, but just got caught out by a woman.) If he’d really been “joking,” and she’d missed it, he’d certainly have reached for that classic anti-feminist tactic.
But he didn’t. Tur pressed him, and he continued to try to explain. And when she frustrated him, because there simply is no good explanation for what he said, he told her to “be quiet.”
And in doing so, he gave away the game.