At Monday night's presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made a big deal of how Republican nominee Donald Trump supposedly treated Alicia Machado after the 1996 Miss Universe winner gained a significant amount of weight during the year she held the title. Mrs. Clinton alleged that Trump called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping." Trump denies it, and I could find no news account from that time showing that he used either nickname publicly.
Especially since the Clinton campaign is now actively using Machado to promote Mrs. Clinton's candidacy, even including her "story" in commercials, it's fair game to consider far heftier matters relating to Machado's history. The, uh, weight of the evidence leads one to seriously question, as the media won't, Team Clinton's judgment in associating so closely with Ms. Machado.
The campaign appears to have been so tantalized by what they thought was low-hanging fruit demonstrating alleged sexism that they clearly failed to adequately investigate their newfound heroine. Now it's up to the establishment press to protect them.
As to Machado putting on nearly 60 pounds after she won her title, Mediaite's Josh Feldman reported Tuesday evening that it was CNN which mercilessly ridiculed Machado for her weight gain in late January 1997.
Here are a couple of nuggets Jeanne Moos and CNN must have thought were pretty darned funny in a story headlined "Expanding Miss Universe works to shed pounds" (bolds are mine throughout this post):
... as her universe expanded, so did she, putting on nearly 60 pounds.
... Since winning the crown, the former Miss Venezuela went from 118 pounds to -- well -- a number that kept growing like the size of the fish that got away.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump clearly came across as the person showing mercy:
... the loss of her Miss Universe crown is no longer an issue.
"Some people when they have pressure eat too much. Like me. Like Alicia," said Donald Trump, the executive producer of the Miss Universe Pageant.
... Trump, as co-owner of rights to the pageant, said he would never let that happen. "We had a choice of: termination or do this," he said. "We wanted to do this."
CNN also noted the presence of "reporters who could themselves use a little training."
The fact is that Trump could have said, "You're fired," and he didn't. Other available information indicates that Machado "retained her title" for the entire scheduled year.
But all of this is a light snack in comparison to other morsels enterprising bloggers have now uncovered. The most important concerns Ms. Machado's activities shortly after her reign as Miss Universe ended. The Conservative Tree House (link provided later) reports that:
... (she) first turned to a life of crime – including being the getaway driver for her boyfriend during the murder of his brother-in-law. A few weeks later Ms. Machado was accused of threatening the judge who was in charge of convicting her boyfriend.
... Oh, but wait, it gets better.
... Machado is also the incubus for the child of a notorious Mexican drug kingpin.
... it’s actually a common occurrence for Mexican Drug Lords to import south American beauty queens as girlfriends and concubines.
Surely the press must be thinking, "Who is Conservative Tree House?" But CTH acquired its information from contemporaneous news reports filed by the Associated Press, McClatchy and People magazine.
The AP is most obvious offender here, as Julie Pace's story this morning about a few women's reactions to Trump's debate performance ("IN TRUMP'S DEBATE REMARKS, WOMEN HEAR SEXISM AND BULLYING") completely ignores what her own wire service reported about Machado in 1998 (produced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Tuesday night on CNN, Machado admitted to having a "wrong" "moment" at that time. Then she appeared to catch herself and segue to vagueness about "speculation," before finally attempting to excuse herself because "it happened 20 years ago":
Transcript (beginning at 0:08):
ANDERSON COOPER: You said that, you know, the Trump campaign will try to discredit you. There are reports that Trump surrogates tonight have been referencing and pointing to on CNN and elsewhere about an incident in 1998 in Venezuela where you were accused of driving a getaway car from a murder scene. You were never charged with this. The judge in the case also said you'd threatened to kill him after he indicted your boyfriend for the attempted murder. I just want to give you a chance to address these reports that the Trump surrogates are talking about.
ALICIA MACHADO: He can say whatever he want(s) to say, I don't care. You know, I have my past, of course. Everybody has a past. And I'm not, a, saint girl, but that is not the point now. That, um, moment in Venezuela, uh, was wrong, was another speculation about my life, because I'm a really famous person in my country because I'm an actress there and in Mexico too. And he can use whatever he want(s) to use.
The point is that happened twenty years ago.
I'd say the only question remaining is whether she owned up to driving the getaway car after a crime, threatening a judge, or both.
McClatchy, January 20, 2011; "Latest Andean export: Beauty queens for Mexican narcos?"
... Machado, a Mexico City resident, found herself in the news again when a report from a secret witness under federal protection that claimed she was involved with Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, an accused kingpin known as "El Indio," or "The Indian," filtered out to Mexican media.
The witness asserted that Machado had borne Alvarez's daughter, Dinorah, in 2008 and that several drug lords from the Beltran Leyva gang came to the baptism.
Through a spokeswoman, Machado denied the allegation, saying it "was totally false because the father in question is a very respectable businessman."
People, April 23, 2010
Quite upset and worried is former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, after several media affirm that the father of her daughter is the drug trafficker Jose Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, better known by the alias "El Indio", a charge she strongly denies.
"I, Mrs. Alicia Machado assure not have any relationship or have held with Mr. Jose Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez known by the nickname of the Indian," said the Venezuelan of 33 years through a statement.
Lest there be confusion, the word "affirm" in the translation above comes from the article's Spanish verb "afirmaren," a form of "afirmar," which means to "assert" or "declare."
There's more at Conservative Tree House, but it's not safe for work.
Readers can probably guess what a former beauty queen might do if she's looking to keep the income flowing. About the worst of those possible guesses would be correct. Having been forewarned, here's the link.
Thus, as is so often the case, the press is ignoring its own reporting which gets in the way of lionizing a leftist hero or heroine of the moment, in this instance in the name of propping up its favorite presidential candidate and her hapless campaign team.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.