Great piece! I agreed with everything you wrote except the part about Billy Bush. Billy Bush was fired in part because the married woman that Trump “moved on like a bitch” was Bush’s co-anchor on Access Hollywood, Nancy O’Dell. The fact that he didn’t defend her to Trump indicates Bush’s general lack of respect for O’Dell. And a general lack of respect often spills out into the form of creating a hostile work environment. God only knows what abusive conduct O’Dell was forced to tolerate at Bush’s hands. The fact that Bush was summarily dismissed from his duties on the third hour if The Today Show may have karmic payback for all the stuff he did to O’Dell (and all other women) at NBC before.
And make no mistake. Bush could have shut Trump down if he’d wanted to and he wouldn’t have had to jump up on a soapbox and deliver a shrill lecture about sexual harassment to do it. Bush could have changed the subject. He could’ve reminded Trump that they were both mic’d up and could be overheard and he could have said that even if he wasn’t sure if it were true. Politely excusing himself from the conversation would have at the very least denied Trump an audience which would have, consequently, shut him up. Simply not laughing would have done the trick, too; people like Trump often interpret laughter as approval.
The truth is Bush played along with and encouraged the “grab ‘em by the pussy” remarks. And, for that, he deserved to lose his job.