Bush And Trump
Youth: Only An Excuse When You're A Kid
Access Hollywood and Today third hour host Billy Bush was recently heard in a 2005 recording with United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, participating in a conversation (via a "hot mic") that was by all accounts quite lewd and demeaning towards women.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” Bush said in a statement, according to Washington Post.
People say stupid things all the time, and that's generally a fact in today's society. However, Billy Bush invoking youth as his excuse for his participation in a conversation with Donald Trump about how certain women are "hot as s--t," and so forth is nothing short of ridiculous.
Immaturity could definitely be a factor, but let's do some math.
Currently, Bush is almost 45 - his birthday is October 13, 1971. 11 years ago, he would have been 34. That's far too old to be saying things about women and claiming it was a mistake of the young. That would, in general, give men of the same age a very bad reputation, and there are far too many in their mid-30s who know better than to engage in such stupid conversation about women - or allowing it to happen.
In addition, Bush would have been married to his spouse Sydney for 7 years at this point. He had to have known that as a public figure - particularly as a relative of the Bush clan - recordings of him participating in such a lewd conversation would have ultimately come to light. In addition, Bush himself has three daughters and at the time, his two oldest most certainly would have been in their early formative years. How could there have been no thought about how he might feel if someone spoke of his own daughters in that regard if they were adults?
While there is every possibility that Billy Bush might have been quite immature at the time of his Trump interview, and perhaps blinded by the level of Trump's celebrity - after all, he is the Donald - there is something to be said about having enough responsibility as a man and an adult to not encourage that sort of behavior and certainly to not applaud it in the end. Bush can be heard on the tape suggesting to Arianne Zucker - the star on Days of Our Lives who met Trump at the time for his recorded segment on the show - that she give both Trump and Bush a hug.
There's no doubt that Bush likely feels great remorse at this point. He has made much of the fact that he sees himself as a family man, and with a marriage that has lasted nearly two decades, he's got more to lose than just his substantial salary. To blame his participation in the conversation on his youth at the time is plain irresponsible.
You're not - and you weren't - a teenager, Mr. Bush. You knew damn well what you were doing.
Strictly Business Turned Wrong
Bush Won't Lose Job
Reports indicate that Bush won't lose his job following this fiasco, but he's lost something far worse than his job. He's lost credibility and respect.
Change.org currently has two petitions out, demanding Bush's resignation from Today - he left Access Hollywood this month to go to Today full time. One has only 24 supporters while the other has around 1,350. While these numbers suggest far fewer people are upset with Bush's comments than might be expected, it's still saying something.
The question is, should Bush lose his job?
The answer is probably not, but things will be quite uncomfortable for a bit for the host. He does work with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, two of the most outspoken - and sharpwitted - women on television today. There's little doubt that while they might show some sympathy for their colleague (Kathie Lee herself was the subject of media scrutiny back in the 1990s over sweatshops), they will not let him off easily.
While they shouldn't, there are things we have all done that are better off left in the past. While Bush made a mistake in blaming his commentary on his youth, these are statements he made 11 years ago, and while he should be given scrutiny to determine whether or not he feels that way currently, as that will definitely affect how he is perceived by audiences (as the current media firestorm he's in will do), he should answer for those comments and move on.
Certainly, he's been more responsible about his statements than Trump has been. Trump tried to turn the lens towards Clinton's marriage, yet again after an abrupt apology. He's been accusing Bill Clinton of being abusive to women for ages, seemingly without looking at his own behavior as a barometer of what abuse might look like.
Come on, Donald. You had a hugely public affair with Marla Maples while still married to Ivana. If one was to look at abuse as a matter of treating someone shabbily by inflicting mental pain every chance you got, imagine how Ivana felt, watching you and Ms. Maples. Not so nice, right?
Take some responsibility and man up about your behavior towards women. If, and the term should be considered loose here, you do become president, you run a very real risk of becoming the first president to cause international relations to melt away because you will do something stupid like trying to cop a feel on Angela Merkel or something like that.
It's great that Bush won't lose his job - he's lost something greater in the meantime - but citizens of the United States really need to look hard at their presidential candidate and wonder just how much crap he could get them in overall. While Hillary Clinton is far from perfect - there is that tiny matter of email - there is too much at stake should Trump come to power, and now that this 2005 recording of how he thinks of and treats women has come out, things have gotten even worse.
Just don't ask Billy Bush to host the next Trump fundraiser or Miss America pageant.