[Content Note: Misogyny.]
So, Donald Trump spokesperson Healy Baumgardner appeared on CNN earlier, giving the second of two disastrous appearances in as many weeks. The interview is excruciating to watch, as the CNN anchors express their shock and contempt that she isn't better prepared.
Which, yeah. But this video is really interesting to me for two more important reasons:
1. I've never seen Trump himself , nor his right-hand men Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski, get grilled that hard. Baumgardner gets grilled way harder than the male representatives of the campaign do, and way harder than even the candidate himself does. I'm not saying, naturally, that they should lay off her, but simply noting they don't give him the same treatment.
2. Clearly, Baumgardner is utterly disempowered by the Trump campaign. She can't be an effective spokesperson because she hasn't been empowered to be one. Which I think speaks very clearly to how much Trump values women in his campaign: She's just a token, who's been sent out to do a job she can't possibly do. Her only value to him is being able to have a female spokesperson. It isn't her skills, whatever they may be.
There's so much going on in that video about both the Trump campaign structure and the media approach to Trump, especially with regard to whom the media is willing to confront.
And it's pretty evident that Trump and the media are in agreement that it's fine to use Healy Baumgardner as a rhetorical punching bag, so that the media can avoid having to levy meaningful accountability, and Trump can avoid having to face it.
We can all watch her get thrown under the bus and are meant to agree that it's a job well done all around.