Boy, it’s not even Sunday night yet and I can already feel that 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels breaking ratings records for the show’s long, if previously somewhat stuffy, history.
When I was a kid, I dreaded that tick-tick-tick intro because it meant more boring garbage about Reagan or Ed Meese or Oliver North. And of course, Morley Safer, who was brilliant if he was doing Jackie Gleason, but insufferable when he tried to dissect the art world.
Now that I’m grown up, I can’t help but wonder when America got “locked in” to a future in which we all would dread eventually seeing a picture or, heaven forfend, a video of the President of the United States’ penis. That future may come in scant hours, and it may come courtesy of 60 Minutes not with his journalistic progenitor Morley Safer, but with Anderson Cooper, who represents the transfiguration from stodgy to stylish in the evening news.
And his subject is nothing if not a media maven: Stormy Daniels has spent a lifetime deciding exactly what she wants to do, say, and look like in front of a camera. Absolute autonomy in the creation of her own comfort zone, an ironic twist on a career path that detractors love to call “exploitation.”
Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has crafted a media personality equally suited to the landscape of an America where Trump is the president, and his porn star client is about to take him down with — photo? video? — evidence contained on a compact disc mysteriously tweeted in the days leading up to the big reveal.
And Daniels, whose real name, Stephanie Clifford, is likely a treasure to her these days on weekends and in phone calls, spoken by friends who want absolutely nothing from her, keeps sending her lawyer out to make ever-more newsworthy teases on the daytime circuit, or to the newsmags, or to Vanity Fair, whose pages have never been stodgy enough to turn down the things that 60 Minutes wouldn’t touch in the 80’s and 90’s.
In true two-thousand-teens fashion, Vanity Fair leaps from the page to Twitter, to the quote-hungry #Resisters, ready to pounce on the philandering president:
— Ed Krassenstein 💎 (@EdKrassen) March 25, 2018
We’re certainly not going anywhere, either. After all, 60 Minutes is on tonight.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images