Donald Trump is being assailed in the media for disparaging comments he made about Alicia Machado, the Venezuelan winner of the 1996 “Miss Universe” competition.
Machado claims that Trump, who ran the Miss Universe pageant, called her “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight. Trump himself said earlier this week that Machado “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.”
So let’s take a look back to the late 1990s, when the Miss Universe organization put Machado on a strict diet and exercise regime, and media outlets flocked to film her working out in a New York City gym. In fact, the media’s coverage of the spectacle was every bit as “fat-shaming” as Trump’s remarks.
CNN, for example, would be aggressively denounced today for what the news network wrote about Machado in 1997.
“When Alicia Machado of Venezuela was named Miss Universe nine months ago, no one could accuse her of being the size of the universe,” wrote legendary CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos. “But as her universe expanded, so did she, putting on nearly 60 pounds.”
Some have noticed another interesting aspect of this story, which blew up after Hillary Clinton very deliberately mentioned Machado at the end of the presidential debate on Monday. As it turns out, sympathetic mainstream media outlets had been working on profiles of Machado since last week, causing some to wonder if the press was coordinating all along with the Clinton campaign.
Great coincidences in campaign reporting: The Guardian & Cosmo sent reporters just before debate to profile Machado, then pubbed today.— Lee Fang (@lhfang) September 27, 2016
Sat down with Alicia Machado in LA last week to talk Clinton love, Trump hate, and more inclusive visions of beauty https://t.co/e9mBePVXIh— Lucia Graves (@lucia_graves) September 27, 2016
I ate lunch with Alicia Machado last week and we talked about Trump (and life beyond Trump) https://t.co/DVa5sflNI4— Prachi Gupta (@prachigu) September 27, 2016