New York Times columnist Frank Bruni moderates a ‘Times Talks’ discussion between legendary feminist Camille Paglia and ‘Watch What Happens Live’ host Andy Cohen about life in the Trump era.
Paglia says Bruni’s newspaper and the Democratic Party still have “soul searching” left to do about why they called 2016 wrong. “It is incumbent upon the defeated party to pull itself together, or else we’re going to get the reelection of the present administration,” she said.
“I didn’t take him seriously at all,” she said about the early days of the Trump campaign. “And then, shortly after the very first Republican debate, I saw Diamond & Silk, the African-American sisters doing a pro-Trump attack on Megyn Kelly on their podcast, and… I suddenly saw the populism, and from that moment forward, I could feel the momentum of it.”
“The New York media was in an absolute bubble about this,” she added.
Andy Cohen said he had similar thoughts: “Just today I was walking by a monitor, I don’t know what channel was on, but there was — he has some slogan about jobs for America or some new plan. And I saw that chyron: ‘Jobs For America Plan,’ and I thought to myself… it doesn’t even matter if this works or not, he could get reelected just because he has a ‘Jobs For America’ plan.”
FRANK BRUNI: I feel like one can’t have any conversation today, without it being at some point about Donald Trump. So I thought we’d just begin with Donald Trump.
Get him entirely out of the way.
In my world of friends and acquaintances it seems like everybody is either in near hysteria and feels like we’re in the end of days. Or they look at those people and see a bunch of drama queens. I want to know where you two stand on this. What is your state of mind and state of feeling about the Donald Trump era?
We’ll start with you Camille because I know you’re so shy with your opinions.
CAMILLE PAGLIA: I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I voted for Jill Stein. So I want to make that clear.
My feeling is that an election occured.
It is incumbent upon the defeated party to pull itself together, or else we’re going to get the reelection of the present administration. That’s what I feel right now.
BRUNI: You feel like he is going to get reelected?
PAGLIA: Yes. The Democrats have overplayed their hand. And the — I just can’t imagine–
BRUNI: You’re already betting on his reelection less than 100 days in?
PAGLIA: Yes because what the Democrats needed to do– and the major media, Frank, needed to do was to do some soul-searching.
BRUNI: By that you mean the failing New York Times?
BRUNI: Yes, we’re going to rebrand this ‘Failing Times Talks.’
PAGLIA: If you read only the New York Times– I said, ‘Oh my God!’ The readers of the New York Times are heading for a major, major breakdown shock if Trump is in fact elected.
BRUNI: Did you think he was going to be elected?
PAGLIA: I was the very first to call him a carnival barker, and I didn’t take him seriously at all. And then, shortly after the very first Republican debate, I saw Diamond & Silk, the African-American sisters doing a pro-Trump attack on Megyn Kelly on their podcast, and I thought, I suddenly saw the populism, and from that moment forward, I could feel the momentum of it. And the New York media was in an absolute bubble about this. Let’s not get started on the strategic errors of the Hillary campaign…
BRUNI: We’re going to get to that, but let me ask Andy: When he came down the escalator, almost two years ago now, did you think it was possible we’d be sitting here tonight talking about him in the White House?
ANDY COHEN: No. Actually, I kept thinking in the back of my head, ‘He could win!’ I thought it was possible. I was the idiot who was going to FiveThirtyEight and looking at Nate Silver’s percentages eighteen times a day. And I was like, ‘It’s okay, it’s at 72% today, so it is going to be okay!’
I just felt like the biggest asshole on election night, like I had been–
And then suddenly all the tweets were– The New York Times is predicting 85% chance Trump is going to win by 9:30 at night… So I do feel like an idiot. I got sucked into this thing, but when I did — nothing was sticking to him, he was behaving like a Real Housewife at all of these debates, and he was –and not in a good way…
And he was, but he was talking to people in a way that they were connecting with, and the thing that is so upsetting to me and a lot of people is that facts don’t matter anymore. And he can lie and lie and lie, and it is his own truth, and it is funny you said you think he could be reelected.
Just today I was walking by a monitor, I don’t know what channel was on, but there was — he has some slogan about jobs for America or some new plan. And I saw that chyron: ‘Jobs For America Plan,’ and I thought to myself, okay, it doesn’t even matter if this works or not, he could get reelected because he has a ‘Jobs For America’ plan. But I had that thought today.
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Watch the rest of the event below courtesy of the New York Times:
NYT, April 18, 2017:
Don’t miss this rare and wildly unexpected opportunity to spend an evening with one of America’s most provocative intellectuals and self-proclaimed “Amazon feminist,” Camille Paglia, and Andy Cohen, an Emmy Award-winning host, producer and New York Times best-selling author, best known as the host and executive producer of “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” Bravo’s late-night, interactive talk show. Ever since the release of her seminal first book, “Sexual Personae,” Camille Paglia (who currently serves as the university professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984) has remained one of feminism’s most outspoken, independent and searingly intelligent voices. Now for the first time, her best essays on the subject are gathered together in one concise volume entitled “Free Women, Free Men,” which both celebrates modern feminism and challenges us to build an alliance of strong women and strong men. Paglia and Cohen, who are longtime fans of one another, will discuss their personal and professional endeavors, their mutual interest in “The Real Housewives” and the pervasive issues affecting men and women in today’s tumultuous times. New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni will moderate the conversation.