The 60 Minutes segment with Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleges she had a sexual relationship with President Trump, was an informative and somewhat dry lesson on the nuances of campaign finance regulations… is a sentence I never thought I’d write. Though it was short on titillation and revelations, the interview was also a somewhat breathtaking example of the normalization of our current administration’s theater of the absurd.
Perhaps the most entertaining thing about Anderson Cooper’s highly-anticipated sit-down with Daniels (née Stephanie Clifford) was watching Cooper himself — wearing Clark Kent glasses and a regal blue tie — as he worked to maintain a façade of gravitas throughout the interview. At times, this required significant effort, like when he brought up Daniels’ first meeting with the future president in 2006 in Lake Tahoe — an encounter that Daniels said involved her spanking Trump with a magazine. “You told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants?” Cooper asked, his solemn demeanor twitching into a bemused grin. “I just gave him a couple swats,” Daniels noted.
Throughout her interview with Cooper, Daniels was sharp and composed, giving succinct, confident answers, and even cracking a few jokes. (Of claims that she’s doing all of this for a payday, she quipped, “I don’t have a million dollars. You didn’t even buy me breakfast.”) Interestingly enough, the only real anger we saw from Daniels during the interview was at the beginning, when Cooper asked her about people “using” her for their “different agendas,” like the #MeToo movement. “This is not a #MeToo. I was not a victim,” she told Cooper emphatically. “I’ve never said I was a victim. I think trying to use me to further someone else’s agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims.”Read More...