A month before the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood 2005 hot-mic footage — which featured him making lewd remarks about women such as “grab them by the p*ssy” — surfaced. This was embarrassing for Trump, who sort-of apologized and went on to win the presidency. Whereas the other person on that tape, Billy Bush, essentially saw the end of his career as he knew it. Before long, NBC fired Bush, who faded into obscurity, but he’s back with a response to Trump’s recent suggestion that the footage is “not authentic.”
Bush has penned an op-ed for the New York Times to confirm what most people already knew .. that the footage is real. And Bush does say that he’s ashamed of his appreciative hooting and hollering, which he said was partially designed “to stroke the ego of the big cash cow,” but now that he’s got nothing to lose, Bush is no longer staying silent:
He said it. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real … We now know better.
From there, Bush pens an essay that ties the matter into the recent deluge of sexual harassment accusations against men in power. It’s not a connection that’s new, for many have continued to mention how Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Bush is careful to point out that he realizes that this watershed moment is “no doubt painful for many women,” including those who have brought allegations against the current president. Yet Bush feels that he does have something in common with Trump’s accusers:
To these women: I will never know the fear you felt or the frustration of being summarily dismissed and called a liar, but I do know a lot about the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump.
The man makes a fair point. Billy Bush stands little chance of ever not being the guy who cheered along with Trump’s “locker room talk,” but he’s attempting to distance himself by making amends. You can read the full piece here.
(Via New York Times)