By Sarah Michels, Editor in Chief, Rosecall
Visit any popular news website or turn on the evening news and it won’t be too long before you hear the name Stormy Daniels. Her connection with President Trump and the controversy surrounding their relationship is nearly omnipresent in the media world and shows no signs of disappearing. While this story is certainly significant, as it puts Trump in potential danger of impeachment, the voices of the conversation are blocking out, or at least dampening, the voices of other, more important stories.
First, let’s examine who Stormy Daniels is, and why her story is so significant. Stormy Daniels is a middle-aged woman who is known for her work in the adult-film industry. While she began her career acting in this industry, she has now broadened her resume to include directing and writing films. The nature of Daniels’ career has harmed her credibility in the eyes of the American people somewhat, making her allegations seem less pertinent or trustworthy in some people’s opinions.
In February of 2018, Stormy Daniels claimed that her and President Trump had an affair back in 2006 after meeting at a celebrity golf tournament. At the time, Trump had been married for about a year to Melania Trump, who did not know about this alleged 11-month affair. According to Daniels, both sides consented completely with this relationship, and after the affair ended, they both moved on.
Nothing resurfaced about their relationship until 2011, when Daniels did an interview with Touch Weekly describing the affair in detail. Afterwards, Daniels claimed that she was threatened to keep quiet by representatives of Trump, but it never got serious until she was told to sign the non-disclosure agreement created by Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, in 2016. In exchange for keeping quiet, Cohen supposedly paid Daniels $130,000 worth of hush money. When asked about this, he asserted that Trump knew nothing about this deal, and that the money came from his personal funds. The $130,000 was moved to Daniels’ bank account just days before the 2016 election, leading many to believe that this controversy corrupted the validity of the election results. Perhaps if Daniels’ story had gotten out, the populace wouldn’t have voted President Trump into office.
If Daniels’ was paid to keep quiet, why are we hearing about this now? Daniels told 60 Minutes that after discovering that, despite her previous belief, Trump had not signed the non-disclosure agreement, she decided to take action. In February of 2018, she filed a lawsuit against Trump attempting to get the non-disclosure agreement voided, and ever since has done interviews with multiple shows, including 60 Minutes, to tell her side of the story. After the 60 Minutes episode aired, she was sued for 20 million dollars by Trump’s lawyer for breaking the non-disclosure agreement. Additionally, just last Monday, the FBI raided Cohen’s office, taking documents that could possibly incriminate someone in this controversy.
Why is this controversy at the forefront of our news? The one good reason is that this could lead to Trump going to court, where an impeachment could possibly arise. If it is proven that Trump knew about the hush money, he could be in real danger. This impeachment would be a major step towards getting Trump out of the White House, a goal shared by some American citizens and politicians. However, there are no guarantees. It is just as likely, if not more, that this controversy will simply join the many other presidential controversies of history, and therefore will not lead to any tangible result.
This story should not be featured on all the major newspaper headlines or be the conversation every news talk shows is discussing. If it weren’t for the potential impeachment trial, it shouldn’t have been covered at all. Why? Because in a nation and world with many urgent issues that require immediate attention, such as gun violence, the opioid crisis, and relations with North Korea, the importance of Donald Trump’s sexual history is infinitesimal. He was not voted into office due to his great moral character, and something that happened in 2006 doesn’t affect whether he is a capable or effective leader now, over a decade later. The American people cannot be distracted from the major issues of the world by an over-sensationalized affair.
While it is necessary to acknowledge the implications of Stormy Daniel’s story, other stories deserve the front page. Here is a brief review of five issues/events that you may have overlooked or missed because of the extreme focus on the Stormy Daniels scandal:
While the March for Our Lives has come and gone, the conversation concerning gun control is far from over. Watch out for new updates from the activists from Parkland, as well as other youth speaking out. On March 20th, it is National School Walkout Day, and students from schools around the country and even in Louisville are participating. Students will walk out of class at 10 AM until the end of their school day. While Assumption does not have a group participating, some students are planning to an event during lunches to write to legislators and register to vote. While the major news networks may have stopped covering this issue, it is not gone for good.
On April 4th, warplanes dropped bombs on the city of Khan Sheikhoun, targeting hospitals and clinics. These bombs let off a gas that caused foaming of the mouth, constricting of the pupils, and changing color of the face to a blueish tone. These effects led to death by asphyxiation, or strangulation. Those who were simply trying to help, such as emergency workers, were killed upon contact due to the chemicals of the gas. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 89 people were killed, 33 of which were children, and 18 of which were women, and 541 additional people were injured. The United States, Russia, Israel, and Syria are all blaming each other for this attack, but it is still uncertain what exactly happened.
The United States and North Korea have been in a tense relationship for many years, but there may be a new development in sight. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, has claimed that he would be willing to denuclearize. However, President Trump and Kim Jong-Un have differing definitions of denuclearization. Trump believes that it consists of North Korea surrendering all their nuclear weapons and missile systems, as well as allowing international organizations to oversee them to ensure they are following protocol. North Korea has a slightly divergent idea. Kim Jong-Un thinks that denuclearization means taking mutual steps with the US towards getting rid of nuclear weapons and threats, which means ending the military alliance with South Korea as well as getting rid of the nuclear umbrella over South Korea and Japan. A meeting between the two leaders is currently in its planning stage, and many are hopeful that it will lead to peaceful progress.
The United States is growing increasingly concerned with their trade tensions with China. Each year, we import 505 billion dollars-worth of Chinese products, including various electronics, furniture, clothing, and plastic products. However, the US only exports 130 billion dollar-worth of their products to China, which is a trade deficit of 375 billion dollars. A few months ago, Trump enacted tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum in an attempt to narrow this deficit, but instead of helping, these tariffs only made China angry, They retaliated by establishing tariffs of their own, on many products from fruit to steel. It isn’t clear whether these growing tensions will lead into a trade war, but it is certainly possible. Even if war isn’t imminent, it is likely that this conflict could cause Chinese products to become more expensive for consumers.
Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 30% rise in opioid overdoses in America. That staggering number includes drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pain pills. The rapid increase in overdoses has led to a national crisis, and no solutions seem to be working yet. Besides the harm done to victims of opioid addiction, this crisis has caused an economic burden on American citizens. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the United States loses an average of 78.5 billion dollars from opioids, whether from the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. This crisis began when doctors underestimated the addiction potential of prescription pills, and ever since, professionals have been trying to curb the rise of opioid overdoses. The National Institute of Heath (NIH), is attempting to do so by finding alternate ways to treat chronic pain and creating new treatments for opioid addiction, as well as meeting with other researchers and medical organizations to formulate solutions.
So, next time you see a headline about Stormy Daniels, or hear people talk about it on the news, remember not to stop there. Dig deeper for other stories and look closer at the happenings of the rest of the globe, because this storm, while strong, certainly does not carry all the thunder.