It’s bad enough that in the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the legacy media have refused to give him an ounce of credit for turning around a moribund economy, putting Americans back to work, and extending opportunities for minorities. That is a function of their built-in bias toward Trump the man and conservatism in general.
But when they bare their talons for the first lady, that’s another matter entirely. That is what CNN contributor and self-styled authority on first ladies Kate Andersen Brower has done repeatedly. The most recent full-frontal assault by Brower, who is author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” is titled “Melania shows she’s a Trump through and through.”
The piece opens with the claim that in a recent interview “Melania Trump proved that she doesn’t understand what it means to be first lady.” Brower’s support for the claim?
She told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that “opportunists who are using my name” are the hardest part of being first lady, again making the job about herself and her family instead of taking the opportunity to talk about the challenges she sees other people facing.
She reserved her harshest words for the media, her husband’s favorite punching bag. The biggest challenge she faces as first lady, she said, is from “comedians to journalists to performers, book writers.”
Really? Is her family’s legacy the thing that worries her most? After all the pain she has witnessed as first lady, from meeting with a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting to visiting with children separated from their parents at the border, has the media really been the most difficult part of her job?
The irony is thick enough to cut with a knife. Here is a member of the very “media” that the first lady says is making her life miserable proving her point. Does Brower genuinely believe that Mrs. Trump was unfazed — that any first lady would be — when late-night “comedy” host Jimmy Kimmel derided her accent? Forget that Melania Trump speaks six languages, which is five (and maybe six) more than her predecessor, whom the media adored.
In April, the same month Kimmel delighted his audience with a crude mockery of Mrs. Trump’s pronunciation of English words, CNN contributor April Ryan attacked her as “not culturally American,” former Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines derided her genteel presence at the funeral of Barbara Bush, and horror writer Stephen King found humor in her hospitalization for kidney surgery.
Maybe Kate Brower has thicker skin than her CNN colleague Jim Acosta, who wept on air over his harsh treatment by the White House. But even if she does, there is no reason for her to assume that Melania Trump is not entitled to air her hurt feelings when she is savaged, unnecessarily, by the press.