Author Michael Wolff has coyly insinuated U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is having an extramarital affair with President Trump. The claim is flimsy and sexist. As my colleague T. Becket Adams pointed out, his claim got maximal attention because of the undue credibility given to him by the many media actors who were so desperate for dirt on Trump they boosted the credibility of Wolff's book far beyond what it deserved.
But the relative silence of the women's movement is also not fitting.
New York Times writer Bari Weiss invited readers to participate in something of a thought exercise this week, imagine the roles were reversed and Wolff had spread such a rumor about Samantha Power during the Obama administration. "Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be?" she wrote.
Nobody should have to sketch that out, because the answer is abundantly clear — fire and fury from the feminist Left, some of the same people who promoted Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Writing in the Times, Weiss continued to explain how the story illustrates "a broader lesson" regarding what is, perhaps, a complaint at the very heart of mounting conservative frustration with progressives and their allies in the media.
There’s a broader lesson here. For years, the fundamental complaint of the right in the culture wars has been that the left is hypocritical, and the Nikki Haley episode perfectly confirms the point: A prominent Republican woman is smeared. The author who does the smearing is celebrated by all the A-listers, including the most prominent Democratic woman in the country, who herself has a history of giving a pass (or worse) to men accused of sexual assault and harassment. And yet the arbiters of American culture cheer the Democrat and, in the words of the actor Don Cheadle, tell the Republican who has the gall to defend herself: “Sit down, girl. You’re drunk.”
These patterns of hypocrisy are maddeningly inane, but persist because those with the platforms and the will to check them exist mostly in conservative media.
Feminists, people who insistently traffic in vapid sloganeering like "Yes all women," justify both their passivity and outright aggression towards conservative women by arguing their politics exempt them from the benefits of equal treatment. To justify her attacks on White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, for instance, Chelsea Handler tweeted, "When someone lies to the American public every single day, i rule out the normal rules of not making fun of someone’s appearance. Sarah Huckabee is pure evil."
The inconsistency is glaring.
Haley's case study is, indeed, an instructive glimpse at why conservatives harbor such intense frustration and distrust towards liberal elites.