Donald Trump went after former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, again tonight on The O’Reilly Factor. Only this time, instead of just outright attacking her for gaining weight, Trump tried to make himself out as the noble victim who tried to save her job.
During an interview on The O’Reilly Factor, Milkshake BFF Bill O’Reilly opened the door for Trump to start venting about Machado again and to allow himself to play the hero without any challenge. “Do you have anything further to say on this Miss Universe thing?” O’Reilly asked. We know O’Reilly planned this line of discussion in advance because the producers had photos of Machado ready and up on the screen as Trump began talking about her.
“No, not much,” Trump replied. But after he boasted about the “tremendous price” he sold the Miss Universe contest for, he lit into her.
TRUMP: She did not do well. She had a lot of difficulties. And, you know, they wanted to fire her. The company itself wanted to fire her. I saved her job. I’ll bet you if you put up and added up all the time I spoke to her, it was probably less than five minutes.
[…] I saved her job because I said that's going to be ruinous – and I’ve done that with a number of the young ladies, where I’ve saved their job. But the staff itself - and you know what happened? Look what I get out of it. I get nothing. So a lot of things are coming out about her. I'm not going to say anything. I couldn't care less.
But it’s somebody I don't know. [...] I saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight. And it is a beauty contest. You know, I mean, say what you want, Bill, they know what they’re getting into. It's a beauty contest. And I said "Don't do that. Let her try and lose the weight." Can you imagine I end up in a position like this? So that's the way it is. I really just don't know her.
O’Reilly did his part for Trump's victimhood cause: “Do you think that was a cheap shot by Secretary Clinton to bring that up?”
It’s worth pointing out that O’Reilly never said he thought it might have been a cheap shot for Trump to have called Machado “Miss Piggy” or “Miss Housekeeping,” as Clinton alleged during the debate. Nor that Trump responded to her debate jab by saying:
TRUMP: You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it’s said in entertainment. Some of it’s said — somebody who’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.
No, the one we should feel sorry for is Trump. He now agreed it was a cheap shot from Clinton and that “a lot of things are coming out” about Machado.
TRUMP: They say that she threatened the life of a judge and got involved in all sorts of problems and some reports just came out 20 minutes ago about her. And you know, I mean, if that turns out to be true. A lot of the things that are turning out to be, perhaps, true, I think it's going to make Hillary look extremely bad. But, again, I helped somebody and this is what you get for helping somebody. But I just don't know her.
Josh Marshall noted at Talking Points Memo (whose transcript was of great help in writing this post) said about this segment:
In the situation Donald Trump is in with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, any media professional or really anyone with a conscience would say this: "We quarreled many years ago. It's in the past. I truly wish her the best." Done and done.
But not Trump and not O'Reilly.
Watch Trump play the victim, with help from O’Reilly, below, from the September 28 The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters.
Kinda like the reaction of Rove during the election night telecast when he found out that the fix he had carefully arranged in Ohio had come unstuck.
The likes of Bobby Knight, Rush Limbaugh, BOR and Donald Trump like punching down.
And, in my opinion, that’s the most telling thing about BOR in this interview. We all knew he was going to bring up the matter in such a way that he would be handing Trump an easy way to spin the Machado debacle more to his favor. BOR and FOX “news” in general are well-known for the rehab attempts when it comes to people on their side of the political aisle.
However, just the other night in his Talking Points memo about debate analysis, BOR said that “partisans will never see things for what they are” and that many opinions “are subject to rooting interests”. BOR clearly showed that he was letting HIS own “rooting interest” dictate how he handled this issue. Trump deserved to be challenged on this but he wasn’t. And BOR didn’t just pitch him a softball – BOR set up a game of tee-ball for Trump. “Do you have anything further to say on this Miss Universe thing?” Seriously, BOR? This “thing”? That’s it?
Since BOR likes to present himself as a supposed non-partisan analyst, in the interest of “fair & balanced” and actual freakin’ reporting, he most definitely should have brought up the misogynistic Miss Piggy and the racist Miss Housekeeping insults used by Trump. BOR did a journalistic disservice to his viewers by not even mentioning them in the conversation with Trump. Those slurs are absolutely key with regards to the type of human being Trump is.
Anyone who believes that they are viewing BOR to get some kind of fair & balanced, no spin and non-biased analysis is only fooling themselves. To use BOR’s own Talking Points words, BOR’s analysis on this Presidential race “will always be what satisfies the agenda” – and BOR’s agenda is keeping Hillary from becoming President.
Yet about every sentence out of Der Furor’s pie hole not viciously belittling someone else starts with the word “I”.
We mock politicians. They’re liars. They’re egotistical. Arrogant. Then there’s Trump. Orders of magnitude worse than anyone who preceded him.
So this segment is a natural for Trump. And his similarly temperamental ‘shake and rage’ buddy Bill. They agree on politics. They agree on behavior. Perfect fodder for right-wing fanboys to chow down on.