Many theories flutter around attempting to explain this non sequitur, most of them suitably Marxian and absurdist. The two best seem to be that recorded evidence is somehow always more powerful than reported or second-hand evidence, however reliable the reported evidence may obviously be. It was, in effect, hot mics that brought down Nixon, as they have brought down many a mafia don—even if in all those cases, too, the recording merely confirmed what any sane person knew already
.. This was not a dominant American Mussolini asserting himself contemptuously on stage. It was, well, a loser, struggling to impress a very insignificant new acquaintance with pitiful boasts about his masculinity. What runs through the tape is, along with his one-size-fits-all brutality, Trump’s deep insecurity and desperate need for approval from other men.
.. He is not boasting so much as begging, looking for Billy Bush’s confirmation of his sexuality and his stardom, as crazy narcissists will. The same thing is true of the newly discovered tapes of his conversations with Howard Stern. He engages in matchlessly creepy celebration of his own daughter as an object of sexual interest, yes, but it’s obvious that he is doing it above all to be admired and accepted by Stern.
He is willing to throw his daughter under the bus and onto a mattress, so to speak, in exchange for a moment more of the King of All Media’s approval. It is the desperate need for validation and success, as much as the mere ugliness, that impresses.