After the interview with 60 Minutes, the story surrounding Stormy Daniels finally has something newsworthy about it.
In the discussion, Daniels said she was threatened to keep silent about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. The threat allegedly occurred in 2011, shortly after In Touch Magazine had offered her $15,000 for the story. In Touch ultimately declined to pursue the story.
Daniels said she was with her infant daughter at the time of the threat. This is how she described it in the interview:
“And a guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,'” she said. “And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’
“And then he was gone,” she said.
If true and ordered by Trump, this threat is the first aspect of the story that would rise to the level of criminality. It’s also the first element of the plot that could begin to justify the sustained media attention this case has received.
Until now, it was an extramarital affair and a non-disclosure agreement. If Trump had run as an exemplar of virtue and good moral character, the story would have been relevant. He did not.
Indeed, compared to the infamous “grab ’em by the p****” line in the Access Hollywood tape, an extramarital affair would be quite bland for President Trump.
Trump’s voters preferred him in spite of his moral standing, not because of it.
There’s little doubt that the Stormy Daniels story will continue to dominate headlines and displace coverage of more important problems in the Trump administration–like the appointment of John Bolton, the ongoing US-backed onslaught in Yemen, or the apparent plan to withdraw from the Iran Deal, just to name a few.
Obviously, the media’s priorities are not ideal. But with the new allegation, at least there’s finally something in this story worth covering.