You’ve probably seen it all over the news by now: Hillary Clinton reading parts of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” during a skit broadcast at the Grammys on Sunday in New York City.
The surprise appearance drew one of the largest rounds of applause from the crowd, although few were quite aware of what they were clapping for.
They assumed they were clapping for liberalism. Instead, they were clapping for a woman who has recently faced accusations that she covered up sexual harassment by a campaign staffer in 2008.
They were clapping for a woman reading a book that even its author admits was sloppily researched.
And they were clapping at a book that claimed — in the absence of any evidence — that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley was sleeping with the president.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 29, 2018
As The Daily Wire pointed out, author Michael Wolff has insinuated that Haley was trying to sleep her way to the top.
“The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future,” one passage read.
“There is something in the book that I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn’t have the ultimate proof,” Wolff said. “I didn’t have the blue dress.”
However, when pushed, he noted, “You just have to read between the lines toward the end of the book.
“When you hit that paragraph you’re going to say, ‘Bingo!’”
Haley excoriated both Hillary and the Grammys for co-signing a profoundly sexist (and almost certainly untrue) narrative in an epic way:
I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.
— Archive: Ambassador Nikki Haley (@AmbNikkiHaley) January 29, 2018
Even The New York Times excoriated Wolff for his book and comments in a Monday piece by Bari Weiss headlined “The Slut-Shaming of Nikki Haley.” In it, Weiss asked readers to imagine what would have happened if the book was about an Obama administration official.
“Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be? Heads would explode on every cable channel (except for Fox, of course, which would be calling for a special investigation),” Weiss wrote. “Editorials would issue forth condemning this gutter journalism as thinly veiled sexism. Some would insist that it be viewed as a #MeToo moment — unambiguous evidence of the deep discomfort men feel in the face of powerful women.”
“But when the woman in question is Nikki Haley, the United Nations ambassador appointed by President Trump, and the evidence-free detail is being spread gleefully by Michael Wolff, the author of ‘Fire and Fury’? Yeah, not so much.”
Haley has also pointed out the double standard in a Politico interview: “At every point in my life, I’ve noticed that if you speak your mind and you’re strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that and the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows, lies or not,” she said, calling the passage “highly offensive” and “disgusting.”
It was also pretty much verifiably untrue. “I have literally been on Air Force One once and there were several people in the room when I was there,” Haley told Politico, apparently referring to a July flight from Washington to Long Island. “He says that I’ve been talking a lot with the president in the Oval about my political future. I’ve never talked once to the president about my future and I am never alone with him.”
Given that at least Air Force One manifests can be easily obtained by reporters, were Haley lying, she likely would have been exposed as a liar by now. There’s also the fact that Wolff has declined comment; a canny move, given the amount of provable nonsense in the book.
So, here’s Hillary Clinton, reading a sexist piece of material days after it was revealed she likely covered up for a staffer accused of sexual harassment, getting cheered by the #MeToo/#TimesUp crowd at the Grammys.
As political hypocrisy goes, you can’t beat that. At least Nikki Haley had the last laugh.
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