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Trump blames 'entertainment' for his rhetoric towards women

When it comes to his rhetoric about women, Donald Trump keeps using the word "entertainment." That's ridiculous.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Biloxi, Miss., Jan. 2, 2016. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Biloxi, Miss., Jan. 2, 2016.
At last week's presidential debate, after Hillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump's rhetoric towards women, the Republican presidential candidate said many of his most controversial comments were "said in entertainment." This week, Trump used the same line in an interview with Jim Snyder at the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas.

"You have two beautiful daughters past their teenage years, can you understand the concern from parents of younger girls that some of your comments could be hurtful to girls struggling with body image and the pressure to be model perfect," asked Snyder.Trump blamed entertainment. "A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment, there's nobody that has more respect for women than I do," he said.

Even at face value, this is a horrible argument. Misogynistic rhetoric that degrades and belittles women is not "entertaining," especially when coming from someone who aspires to the nation's highest office.But let's say Trump is sincere. Just for the sake of conversation, let's imagine that Trump didn't really mean all of the things he's said about women, and that it was all just an offensive act from a media personality who simply wanted to be "entertaining." Donald Trump the character is a misogynist, the argument goes, but Donald Trump the person has a deep and abiding respect for women.If that's true, what explains Trump's behavior in private, away from the cameras?The Associated Press ran this devastating story this week.

In his years as a reality TV boss on "The Apprentice," Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he'd like to have sex with.The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people -- former crew members, editors and contestants -- who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show.... Interviewed separately, they gave concurring accounts of inappropriate conduct on the set.Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka. [...]During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.

So, "a lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment"? Entertaining who, exactly?The Daily Beast ran a related report this week on Trump's former ownership of the Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, and Miss USA pageants, and audio clips that have emerged from that period. The report explained, "Dubbed 'The Trump Rule,' the ex-reality host would oversee a pre-screening of the Miss USA contestants in revealing outfits and play his own personal game of Hot or Not, dividing the women into groups. He'd then demand that each beauty contestant name another contestant they felt was the most beautiful, and separate the contestants accordingly."A lot of adjectives come to mind. "Entertaining" isn't one of them.