There’s a couple of interesting stories coming out about the tape. One of the things that I’ve wondered about is why it surfaced when it did, two days before the debate, and why it got leaked to the Washington Post.
Some answers are starting to come out in a nebulous way.
First, there’s a story floating around that Billy Bush was bragging back in August at a party at the Olympics that he had a tape of Trump being a real dog. If that’s accurate, Billy himself may have started this little ball rolling downhill until it became an avalanche. (And, in his memory of it, Billy probably just focused on Trump, without realising how badly he came across himself.)
Vanity Fair article: “Billy Bush Might Be to Blame for that Trump Video Leak”
But there’s another spin floating around: that it may have been Trump’s reaction to Clinton goading him about the Miss Universe contestant that triggered NBC to do a search of the Access Hollywood archives, where they found the tape. By this version, Billy’s bragging may have contributed, but it was the Trumpster’s Twitter storm that really jogged NBC into action.
(If so, then whoever in the Clinton camp who laid the plans for that deep trap, including the articles by Cosmo and the Guardian about Trump and Ms Machado, really earned his/her salary!)
But if NBC found the tape and was going to release it, why the leak? And by whom?
More murkiness, but People has floated an article that one of the reasons NBC was delaying was they were exploring the idea of editing their guy Billy out of the version they would release.
If that’s so, suddenly the leak makes sense: someone else at NBC said “screw that”, and picked up the phone to call the Post.
NBC denies the suggestion it was going to edit out Billy, journalistic integrity, etc. But according to Vanity Fair, the version that they released on Friday does in fact leave out Billy’s comment about the Donald having a hot actress as the bus arrived.
One can imagine the crisis in NBC at the thought of releasing a tape that shows one of their hot properties being a pig and egging on the Trumpster. Even if NBC was going to release it unedited, the dithering may have contributed to the leaker taking unilateral action.
So then who was the leaker? Speculation in the People article is that it was someone high up in the NBC food chain.
That also makes sense to me, because once the tape was found, it would likely be restricted distribution at NBC while they dithered, if they had only recently re-discovered it and saw what dynamite it was, both for Trump and for Billy.
Which also suggests that in addition to the concern that NBC might not release the tape, the leaker wasn’t too fond of Billy …
Really, all of this makes the intrigues of the court of the Borgias seem rather tame.