Skip to contents
Office Hours

Office Hours: Dirty Launder-y

Get your detergent and fabric softener — it's time to launder some reputations!

Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci's heads rolling in the windows of washing machines
Photos via Jdarsie11 and Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons; Gage Skidmore and Stephen Kelly/Flickr. Remix by Samantha Grasso.

“It has…” (an evil intergalactic sorcerer once ominously intoned) “…begun!”

We’re not even a month out from Donald Trump’s time in office — not even a week since he was (duh) acquitted by Senate Republicans in his lucky-number-two impeachment trial — and already the reputation rehabilitation and public persona laundering has begun. Not his, of course. He doesn’t care about his reputation, so long as he’s still making money, and causing tsuris for his long list of enemies both actual and imaginary. But for the various hangers-on and enablers who helped the former president steer us all directly into the side of shit mountain, there’s never been a better time to pull a Tom Sawyer — by which I mean convincing a gullible public to do your whitewashing for you, while you kick back and reap the benefits of our goldfish-length communal memory.

This week we saw it happen with Kellyanne Conway, who managed to keep her feet on the deck of the Trumptanic for longer than just about anyone other than Stephen Miller (who’s like a racist carbuncle firmly affixed to the underside of whoever can help him be more racist at any given time) and Mike Pence (who, same, only slightly beefier). Before that there was Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci, and Michael Cohen, and so on and so on forever and ever amen. There’s nothing this country loves more than a redemptive comeback story. And thanks to the Trump administration’s endlessly rotating cast of racist ghouls, ghoulish racists, and edged weapon combatants, we have a virtually unlimited supply of soulless opportunists eager to land a lucrative book deal, or reality TV spot, or whateverthehellthisis to scratch that particular itch until it starts to bleed, then gets infected, and then we all die of sepsis.

What I’m saying is that not only will each and every one of the Trump administration’s laundry list of villains not face any serious consequences for their actions, but as we’ve already seen, it’s only a matter of time before they all figure out just how best to actively turn a profit — thanks in no small part to the fact their profit means an even bigger payday for the tv networks and publishing houses and corporate boards eager to help them with their reputation laundering. Making sure the Kellyanne Conways and Mike Pences and Sean Spicers of the world live with the irredeemable stink is one of the most important tests we face in this brave new Trump-less world, and already we’re failing miserably.

Unless!…. we extend that stink to the enablers’-enablers. The Dancing With the Stars and American Idols and whathaveyours who are busy trying to turn the rehabilitation of some of the worst villains of 21st century into made-for-TV feel good narrative. And boy is there plenty of stink to go around.

Which is why, for this week’s Office Hours, I ask you: who’s next on the reputation laundering list, and who’s gonna be their corporate lifeline? Is some up and coming genetic testing company gonna hire Stephen Miller as their spokesman (“at, come see how blue your blood really is!”)? Will Ben Carson become the new face — and more importantly, voice — of Nyquil?

We know the nauseating parade of attempted reputation redemption is inevitably headed our way, so let’s get ahead of it while we still can. It’s Office Hours, folks — so let’s get speculatin’.