What better way to end 2017 than with a story that involves misogyny, the mainstream media, misinformation, Twitter, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? It’s the perfect culmination of all the crap we’ve been dealing with all year.
Last week, Vanity Fair posted a video that was apparently a failed attempt at satire aimed at Hillary Clinton. The video makes suggestions to the former First Lady/senator/presidential candidate/lawyer/author/philanthropist/public speaker (need we go on?) of six resolutions she could make for the New Year. They suggest writing a sequel to What Happened and taking up a hobby like “knitting, volunteer work, improv comedy, literally anything that’ll keep [her] from running again.”
Maybe it’s time for Hillary Clinton to take up a new hobby in 2018 pic.twitter.com/sbE78rA5At
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) December 23, 2017
Vanity Fair has been a stand out voice this year in its coverage of the Trump White House and nuanced social issues but this video comes off as condescending and sexist, missing its comedic mark by a good ten feet. We understand satiric comedy, but don’t tell a woman who has been everything from a lawyer to the winner of the popular vote in a presidential election all while inspiring women and minorities and fighting for causes like reproductive rights and gun control that she should take up knitting. Would you say that to Bernie? Twitter quickly voiced it’s displeasure at the video (including a former Clinton adviser and actress Patricia Arquette).
Show me where you put Joe Biden through the same treatment.
You know, the guy who attempted THREE presidential runs so far and never made it past the primaries. The 75 year old whose track record pre-Obama includes reprehensible treatment of Anita Hill.#DoubleStandard
— Selena Adera 🍩 (@Selena_Adera) December 26, 2017
Seriously? Trump is destroying the country, and THIS is the crap you’re focused on? What next, “her emails?” Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
— lowkell (@lowkell) December 26, 2017
You guys don’t get it. Long after Trump is gone and elections come and go, people will still remember Hillary for her mark on history for women. But ALSO people will always remember something sour about you every time they see an ad or your cover. As sour as @PapaJohns
— lorenna cleary (@bipolarlioness) December 26, 2017
Damn, Vanity Fair. Y’all messed up.
Hillary Clinton’s public service career isn’t a “hobby”, and she certainly doesn’t need to find a new one.
— Nathan H. Rubin (@NathanHRubin) December 27, 2017
Vanity Fair tl;dr: Six young white people holding glasses of champagne would like Hillary Clinton to abandon her life’s work and platform and just shut up. Good to know. https://t.co/cELDKdVmYd
— Summer Brennan (@summerbrennan) December 26, 2017
Vanity Fair’s smug dismissal of Hillary is so misogynistic. It makes me feel like we’re about to ring in 1950 not 2018. #CancelVanityFair
— Brenda C (@BCally1995) December 27, 2017
Now #CancelVanityFair is moving.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) December 27, 2017
Hey STOP TELLING WOMEN WHAT THE F-CK THEY SHOULD DO OR CAN DO. Get over your mommy issues.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 27, 2017
On Wednesday, the magazine finally addressed the controversy and offered an apology and explanation, saying the video “was an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark” in a statement. They did not remove the video.
On Thursday, Donald Trump just had to insert himself in the drama — because anything that involves “Crooked Hillary” needs presidential input — and used that new 280 character limit to the fullest. The whole point of Twitter is that people shouldn’t be able to ramble, but Trump somehow still finds a way. He said that Vanity Fair is “on its last legs” and that it was “bending over backwards in apologizing.” He then went on to say Anna Wintour “is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness.”
Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017
That last part about Anna Wintour was a little confusing for everyone because Wintour is the well-known sunglasses-wearing editor-in-chief of Vogue, not Vanity Fair. A less-known fact is that Wintour is also the artistic director of Condé Nast, which is the publisher of both magazines, so Vanity Fair is technically under her purview. She is not, however, the president, CEO or chairman of the company so the tweet rings of misogyny too.
The President and CEO of Condé Nast is Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr. and the Chairperson is Charles H. Townshend.
So… why is Trump choosing to pick on the artistic director of Condé Nast?
I’ll give you a hint: ♀https://t.co/BOgn95BBmD
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 28, 2017
The other part of Trump’s tweet referring to Wintour being the Ambassador to Court of St. James (the title of the ambassador to the U.K.) is just another Trumpian hit at the Democratic government that could have been. There were rumours during the Obama years that Wintour — who is British-American — might be given the ambassador job. Trump appears to be suggesting that Clinton would have made Wintour the ambassador if she had become president. It’s a little hard to imagine Anna Wintour — the supposed inspiration for Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada — “beside herself with grief” over an editorial misstep that could, at most, be fractionally her responsibility.
anna wintour this morning pic.twitter.com/Y2RNxK8DYV
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 28, 2017
In related news: during a game of “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” at The Late Late Show in October, Wintour told James Corden that Donald Trump is the person she would never invite to the Met Gala again. Maybe he’s still a little sore over that one?