Just four months before his own death in June by suicide, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain fantasized in an interview – published Sunday – about the demise of Harvey Weinstein, the accused rapist and harasser whose alleged victims include actress and Bourdain romantic partner Asia Argento.
In the lengthy Q&A published by the new Popula journalism website, Bourdain, during a discussion that also had him describing Bill Clinton as “a piece of sh*t, entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting,” mused on how Weinstein might depart this world.
“As much as I’d like to see him, you know, beaten to death in his cell,” Bourdain says before offering another scenario:
My theory of how he goes is uh, he’s brushing his teeth in a bathroom, he’s naked in his famous bathrobe, which is flapping open, he’s holding his cell phone in one hand because you never know who on the Weinstein board has betrayed him recently, and he’s brushing his teeth—he suddenly gets a massive fucking stroke—he stumbles backwards into the bathtub, where he finds himself um, with his robe open feet sticking out of the tub, and in his last moments of consciousness as he scrolls through his contacts list trying to figure out who he can call, who will actually answer the phone.
And he dies that way, knowing that no one will help him and that he is not looking his finest at time of death.
The interview was conducted by Popula’s Maria Bustillos in February at a New York City Irish pub. In addition to Weinstein, Bourdain addressed both Bill and Hillary Clinton, calling Bill Clinton’s “a piece of sh*t” whose “bimbo eruptions” were “f*cking monstrous.”
Still, Bourdain did not believe Clinton should have been removed from office following the Lewinsky scandal:
Bill Clinton, look, the bimbo eruptions—it was f*cking monstrous. That would not have flown today. A piece of sh*t. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he—and she—destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this! Screamingly apparent hypocrisy and venality. How you can on the one hand howl at the moon about all these other predators. And not at least look back. OK, let’s say, well, it was all consensual: powerful men, starstruck women, okay fine, let’s accept it at its most charitable interpretation. Fine. He is a very charming man, I met him, he’s fucking magnetic.
As is she. When you’re in the room, you think wow, she’s really warm and nice and funny. But the way they efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited these women for speaking their truth is unforgivable.
But, Bourdain continues, “I don’t think he should’ve been thrown out of office for this.”
I think you recognize people for what they are, and you determine for yourself, I’m not voting for that motherf*cker ever again! Or anybody who enabled him, you know? This product, okay, I voted for it, it’s in. Is this grounds for pulling someone out of office? I don’t think so.
I would look at this way. I would never under any circumstances vote for Bill Clinton today. But I think impeaching the guy over Lewinsky was ridiculous. Particularly given today.
It was the shaming, discrediting, undermining the women that made both of them unsuitable for any future endeavors. I don’t think they should’ve pulled him from office.
Regarding President Barack Obama, Bourdain said he found him “very unconvincing in public, much of the time. I was always wanting a little more passion, stop halting—the halting, careful speech. In person, absolutely the most gracious, graceful, real, funny, uh, no sense of calculation, honest, I mean, you know. Him I’d vote for f*ckin’ again, any time. I believe he may not have been the greatest president in history, but he’s one of the f*cking nicest, good, one of the best people we ever had.
In addition to Weinstein and the presidents, Bourdain commented on other people and topics. Some highlights:
On Jared Kushner: “Does Jared tweeze his eyebrows? They look manscaped. Those are not natural eyebrows. It’s like Howdy Doody time. Can you see eight guys standing around, and Jared’s out of the room? And they’re all co-conspirators, they’re all saying, “’ey don’t worry bout Jared, he’s f*ckin’ solid, the guy will stand up, he ain’t gonna say nothin’.” No one has ever said that! That f*ckin’ little punk is gonna squeal, just show him a tray of jail food, the guy will f*ckin’ shit himself. That kid was a born snitch.
On Bernie Sanders: “He would have been a dream opponent for Trump. We live in a deeply racist society. We hate intellectuals, Jews— I’m a Jew and I’m thinking, believe me, you wanna talk about getting out the vote? You’re gonna get a lot of f*cking people out who don’t plan to vote who’d vote just to keep the Jew outta the White House.
I find his supporters largely—his more vocal supporters—largely insufferable. In spite of the fact that I agree with him on just about everything, it’s not like he’s not talking sense, almost always he is.”
On The New York Times Columnists:
“Who’s the one with the obsession for Asian sex trade? Kristof. A little f*ckin’ creepy.”
Maureen Dowd: “How the fuck do you have a job? At this point she’s sort of like, um, Shecky Greene… she’s like… no! Joey Adams, it’s like the Joey Adams column in the fuckin’ Post! Ten years after Joey was dead! Telling jokes that weren’t funny in 1946! This shtick… god it’s like watching your grandparents breakdance naked. It’s just like, ohh f*ck… grandma nooo ohhh, ohh….”
Frank Bruni: “I know he has his heart kind of in the right place kind of but… he’s a buffoon.”
Asked which Times columnist he’d most like to strangle, Bourdain playfully chooses Thomas Friedman, bypassing Bret Stephens for being “low-hanging fruit. Somebody else’ll get to it.”