It’s impossible to read coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign right now without thinking of the 10 women who have (thus far) come forward with sexual assault allegations. It’s impossible not to hear the gruesome comments he allegedly made towards teen and pre-teen girls echoing in the back of your head. Impossible, that is, unless you’re Salena Zito writing for The Atlantic.
Yesterday, Zito got the opportunity to interview the fruit and the lust of Donald Trump’s loins, his elder daughter, Ivanka. Since The Washington Post’s report on the pussy-grab tape a week ago, hardly a few hours have gone by without another credible claim against Donald Trump surfacing.
But in the space where Zito met Ivanka for a quick sit-down, amid Ivanka’s schedule of “three question-and-answer ‘coffees’” in the Philadelphia suburbs, there was scarcely a whisper of the harassment-and-abuse scandal. Zito dispenses with Donald Trump’s meltdown thus:
Her father was in Florida, where he tried to fight back from an embarrassing 2005 videotape and a New York Times report of allegations by two women that he once groped them.
“Embarrassing” is one way to put it. Damning and pathological might be more precise.
But Zito was there to talk to Ivanka because Zito is The Atlantic’s answer to Media Bias. If you can’t find anyone with anything nice to say, find someone with ties to The Heritage Foundation. Where traditional reporters fear to tread, Zito has come back with stories such as “Taking Trump Seriously, Not Literally” or “Why Democrats in Western Pennsylvania Are Voting Trump,” emphasizing the sunny side of the Trump campaign.
So her encounter with Ivanka produced lines like this:
It’s her family and her faith, Ivanka said, that keep her centered every time the presidential campaign takes a dark turn. “Faith is what I always turn to,” she said. “Always.”
“Faith” in Ivanka’s case refers to her conversion to Judaism, which should put her at odds with the neo-Nazi elements of her father’s support, and with the ever-more-frequent undertones of (if not explicit invocations of) anti-Semitism in Donald Trump’s own speeches. The Anti-Defamation League just yesterday denounced Trump’s message, declaring, “Whether intentionally or not, Donald Trump is evoking classic anti-Semitic themes that have historically been used against Jews and still reverberate today.”
A more conventional reporter might have used that point in the interview to ask Ivanka how she feels about her father promoting the theory that the Jews are stealing the election for Hillary. Instead, Zito writes:
Her father’s campaign faces a stream of tumultuous moments and accusations in the closing weeks of the presidential race. Ivanka, though, was poised, deliberate, smart, and charming. Before the interview, she shared photos from her iPhone of her children—six-month-old Theodore, Joseph, 3, and her eldest, Arabella, who affectionately held Joseph’s cheeks in one candid shot—acting like any proud mother.
What these accusations are and why the campaign is so tumultuous would seem of the utmost relevance here, but this is never actually addressed head-on. Instead, The Atlantic serves up more lifeless platitudes:
“It is just perspective, faith and family,” she said. “I know that my children offer me tremendous perspective. I’ll have days when I read things that are so vicious, and I will look at my children and suddenly things are better.”
Before marrying Jared Kushner in 2009, Ivanka converted to Judaism.
That is what living a life guided by your priorities is all about, she said: “Knowing that I have my family and I have my faith, friends, and siblings, it does lend perspective to everything.”
It is just perspective, faith, and family.
I know that my children offer me tremendous perspective.
Knowing that I have my family and I have my faith, friends, and siblings, it does lend perspective to everything.
All in just a few paragraphs!
The message that Ivanka looks at her children “and suddenly things are better” when she does “read things that are so vicious” is absurd. Remove the willful vagueness, and her statement becomes “I’ll have days when I read that my father sexually assaulted multiple women and lusted after children, but then I look at my own kids and I’m fine.” Or even “I’ll have days when I read that my father told thousands of people to turn their ire towards the secret cabals of globalist Jewish bankers, but then I look at my own Jewish kids and I’m fine.” Words that no sane person could say with a straight face.
But Zito did not go on the Trump trail to deal in the facts of the Trump campaign. She went to write down whatever the campaign wanted written down:
The campaign has had a deep effect on Ivanka. “It is a very emotional experience,” she said with a deep sigh, “On many levels, you have very high moments and you have very difficult moments.”
But she was quick to return to message. “For every negative experience I have, it is really counterbalanced with the unbelievable experience of just traveling around this country and meeting so many people that I may have never met in my life,” she said.
Like her father during a recent visit to Pittsburgh, she connected personally with the service staff in the hall, smiling broadly, shaking hands, and greeting them individually. And, as in her father’s case, her warmth appeared to be genuine.
We’ve reached out to Zito for comment on the conditions of the interview, and will update if and when we hear back.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a genuinely tough and insightful interview with Ivanka, try Cosmopolitan instead.