Editor’s Notebook: The audacity of grope


I’m no stranger to the kind of talk Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used back in 2005, when he was apparently trying to bro up with Billy Bush and maybe get introduced to some soap-opera actresses so he could, you know… sexually assault them.

That, I’ve been telling myself, must be the difference.

I’ve heard men boast of sexual conquests, use vulgar terms to describe female attributes, even voice personal sexual aspirations with particular women. I worked on Bourbon Street and in dive bars for 10 years, and around restaurant kitchens for another five.

I’d say I have an unusually high tolerance for what Trump and his talking-point minions are insistently terming “locker-room talk.”

But I’ve never heard anybody talk like Trump except for this one guy I used to work with, and also the porn star Ron Jeremy, aka the “Hedgehog,” who I interviewed in 2007 and was absolutely disgusting.

One of my greatest fears is that a wealthy reptile like him might become interested in my beautiful daughter.

And yet I felt filthy like never before after reading a transcript of Trump’s taped comments — I still have not been able to bring myself to listen to the audio. I felt… ashamed.

It made me question every interaction I’ve ever had with women, and reminded me of some of the sleazier sort who used to hang around the bar, the ones we’d warn our female friends away from if they got too close.

Because there’s a difference, I think, between telling a sexually-charged story and describing a method of sexual assault that you employ. And there’s a difference between a group of adolescents in a locker room or a bunch of drunks in a bar or a batch of frustrated line cooks and a 59-year-old reality-television star, let alone a candidate for president of the United States.

Trump’s observation — that his fame allows him unfettered access to women, every inch of them — revealed to me that one of my greatest fears is that a wealthy reptile like him might become interested in my beautiful daughter, get his hooks into her with wealth and power, fly her down to Florida for a new pair of tits and basically trick her out to reality television and his locker-room buddies.

For me, it’s gone beyond not voting for him. I wouldn’t even hang out in a strip club with him.