NYT facing blowback over attack story in Trump’s treatment of women
The woman whose story was featured in the lede of the New York Times’s big front page Sunday attack on Donald Trump has just spoken out about how her message was totally distorted. The Times began its story:
Donald J. Trump had barely met Rowanne Brewer Lane when he asked her to change out of her clothes.
Donald was having a pool party at Mar-a-Lago. There were about 50 models and 30 men. There were girls in the pools, splashing around. For some reason Donald seemed a little smitten with me. He just started talking to me and nobody else.
He suddenly took me by the hand, and he started to show me around the mansion. He asked me if I had a swimsuit with me. I said no. I hadn’t intended to swim. He took me into a room and opened drawers and asked me to put on a swimsuit.
–Rowanne Brewer Lane, former companion
Ms. Brewer Lane, at the time a 26-year-old model, did as Mr. Trump asked. “I went into the bathroom and tried one on,” she recalled. It was a bikini. “I came out, and he said, ‘Wow.’ ”
Mr. Trump, then 44 and in the midst of his first divorce, decided to show her off to the crowd at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
“He brought me out to the pool and said, ‘That is a stunning Trump girl, isn’t it?’ ” Ms. Brewer Lane said.
Donald Trump and women: The words evoke a familiar cascade of casual insults, hurled from the safe distance of a Twitter account, a radio show or a campaign podium. This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president: degrading, impersonal, performed. “That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” he told a female contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Rosie O’Donnell, he said, had a “fat, ugly face.” A lawyer who needed to pump milk for a newborn? “Disgusting,” he said.
But the 1990 episode at Mar-a-Lago that Ms. Brewer Lane described was different: a debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew. This is the private treatment of some women by Mr. Trump, the up-close and more intimate encounters. (emphasis added)
What the Times editorialized in its news story as a “debasing face-face encounter” is seen rather differently by Ms. Brewer. Nick Gass reports in Politico:
On Monday morning, Brewer Lane appeared on "Fox & Friends" to dispute the Times' framing of her account.
"Actually, it was very upsetting. I was not happy to read it at all," Brewer Lane said. "Well, because The New York Times told us several times that they would make sure that my story that I was telling came across. They promised several times that they would do it accurately. They told me several times and my manager several times that it would not be a hit piece and that my story would come across the way that I was telling it and honestly, and it absolutely was not."
Asked what the reporters got wrong, Brewer Lane said they took her quotes and "put a negative connotation on it."
"They spun it to where it appeared negative. I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump, and I don't appreciate them making it look like that I was saying that it was a negative experience because it was not," Brewer Lane said.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked to clarify if Brewer Lane knew him well and that they dated for several months.
"That's correct. Yes, and he was never -- he never made me feel like I was being demeaned in any way. He never offended me in any way. He was very gracious. I saw him around all types of people, all types of women. He was very kind, thoughtful, generous, you know. He was a gentleman," Brewer said.
Of course, the Times did not misquote its source, it merelty pulled out of context what she said and presented it with a spin entirely opposite what the source intended.
The Times has opened Pandora’s Box here. Donald Trump is not going to let this drop. And by attacking Trump in these terms, it legitimizes every excursion Trump cares to make into Bill Clinton’s far more appalling behavior with women.
The Times story got major play over the weekend. It will be child’s play to put together videos featuring the Fox and Friends interview to discredit those who attack Trump over his treatment of women.