The New York Times, of all places, is now taking leftists to task for spreading, and even celebrating, rumors that United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley obtained her position in the current presidential administration by sleeping with President Donald Trump.
In an editorial published Monday night, commentator Bari Weiss tears into Democrats who shamed Nikki Haley for commenting during the Grammy Awards that a Hillary Clinton stunt, where she read excerpts from Michael Wolff's widely discredited book, "Fire and Fury," was less than humorous for those whom the book attacks.
Haley tweeted Sunday night, excoriating Clinton for taking part in a gag that saw celebrities reading from the book, referencing an incident last week where the book's author, Wolff, insinuated to Bill Maher that Haley and others had achieved power within the administration by having extra-marital affairs with the president. Leftists quickly took to social media to slam Haley as overly sensitive to what was supposed to be a funny sketch.
Weiss suggests that the Left would have a much different reaction to such rumors if they concerned someone who agreed with them politically.
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). 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.
The title of the piece is "The Slut-Shaming of Nikki Haley," but that doesn't quite do justice to Weiss' point, nor does it address the central theme of Haley's concerns — after all, Haley actually didn't sleep with anyone to get where she is, so there's no actual "slut-shaming," just . . . Republican woman-shaming.
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.”
Nikki Haley has the absolute right to defend herself, and it's great that The New York Times is actually recognizing that.