Only in a Trump presidency could someone watching a porn star’s publicity stunt instead of the president’s prime-time address feel like they were choosing the more honest performance.
Porn star Stormy Daniels made that option available Tuesday night, when she offered some salacious counterprogramming to Trump’s fire-up-the-fact-checkers address from the Oval Office. On Instagram, Daniels made good on her promise earlier in the day to provide an alternative spectacle to Trump, the guy with whom she happens to be locked in a legal battle: She appeared in a live video, dressed in a matching lilac lace bra-and-panties set, calmly folding laundry.
Her act was Zen-like — just a gal, at home on her bed, doing an everyday chore, smoothing T-shirts and jeans into piles. (Side note: it does not appear that she uses the KonMari method.) But it was loaded with coded messages. Among the items of clothes was a tank bearing the hashtag #TEAMSTORMY. Her soundtrack was one of defiance. There was Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” (A double whammy, perhaps? The song is about rejecting a lover — and it happens to be sung by a pop star whom Trump said he liked “25 percent less” after she endorsed a Democrat in a House race.)
Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” natch. And Tom Petty’s classic “I Won’t Back Down,” whose lyrics “No, I won’t back down/You can stand me up at the gates of hell/But I won’t back down” seem to be Daniels’s general mood vis-a-vis Trump. She finished with a mic drop of sorts, digging into a bag of Cheetos, a likely reference to a disparaging nickname for Trump.
Certainly, her Insta-live attracted fewer eyeballs than the speech about the border wall by the president, which was carried by all the major TV networks. But Daniels has shown an uncanny ability to keep stealing some of Trump’s thundering mojo: She stirred a campaign finance scandal for Trump with her allegations that she had a sexual encounter with him in 2006 and was later paid $130,000 in hush money.
And she manages to remain a spotlit thorn in his side, with a memoir, appearances at strip clubs and her own provocative social media digs at the president — Tuesday night’s performance included.