That White Suit

Does dressing in angelic white help you deal with the devil?

From the start, it did not seem that Kaitlan Collins would be in full control, let alone reign in Donald Trump. Two days ago, at the CNN town hall for the former president to fume, gripe, and taunt, the surly septuagenarian was his usual I-don’t-effing-care self. CNN received immense flak for platforming the former president, who, as before and without fail, built his case upon insults and falsehoods. It was not clear, as we watched him complaining—again and again—on Thursday morning, what the news channel hoped to achieve other than a ratings high. Mr Trump came across as a vile pile vomiting contempt and scorn, like in a bad horror film (the final scene of Evil Dead Rise in which there was the spewing of bloody matter that passed through a crusher?), not caring that what came out of his mouth affronted not only those he attacked, but also those who watched or heard him, or read about his performance the next day. All the while, the CNN host’s purity of whiteness could not repel the putrid bile that was discharged in her direction.

Ms Collins, a former Fox News anchor, did not wear a beige pantsuit, she wore one that was stark white, a two-piece that reminded us of school uniforms. Or, nurses’ work wear. It is not known if she was trying to come across as brightly pure, to better contrast her interviewee’s sinister wretchedness. The man was in his signature dark suit under which was a white shirt and that pitiable red tie. When not talking, he brought his hands between his thighs, open palms placed together, allowing his fingers to come into contact. Ms Collins tried to look calm, but no matter how much her slim, snow-white, single-breasted suit—worn buttoned—may seemingly augment her composure, she did not shield herself from allowing Mr Trump to trample on her. But who was she really hoping to meet? A lapdog that she could pat? Or a beastly individual who did not desire to end the town hall amicably, however impossible that would be. He said to her, nearing the end of the broadcast, “you’re a nasty person, I’ll tell you.” Ms Collins did not say anything; she swallowed it whole. But his MAGA-base-as-audience cheered and clapped.

We wondered what went through her mind. Was the 31-year-old indifferent to the old fox’s stage antics, however disgusting or pernicious? Was she overwhelmed? Out of her depth? It could be understandable that she did not react when she asked Mr Trump about “a significant verdict that was reached yesterday” and he insisted repeatedly that he “doesn’t know” E. Jean Carroll, who won the civil case against him just a day earlier (the jury found the accused sexually abused her), and called her a “whack job” (accompanied by cheering and clapping) and described the sexual assault in a fitting room as “hanky-panky” (more cheering and clapping). Ms Collins could keep a straight face because he was not putting her down. Why did the news anchor even bother bringing up the court case? Did she expect him to croak a different tune from his deposition (he did call Ms Carroll a nut job then)? Or was the recent American banking crisis, for example, just too boring? Donald Trump, looking at Kaitlan Collins’s pristine turn-out, probably saw a clean sheet that was ready to be crapped on, and for the stains to show, and stay.

Screen shot: CNN

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