Exhibit A as to why Americans distrust and despise “the media”: The establishment media’s ridiculous implosion over First Lady Melania Trump’s attire at her husband’s first State Of the Union address on Tuesday. There are countless other examples of horrendous bias, malicious misdeeds, and outright fake news flowing from the liberal-left “mainstream” media, but their collective fixation on the supposed hidden meaning in Melania’s sartorial choice for the serious political event is beyond ludicrous.
While President Trump addressed pressing issues of immigration, taxation, trade, employment, North Korea, China, and other matters of national importance, a sizable portion of the scribblers and babblers in the Big Media corral tried to divert public attention to wild speculation that Melania’s choice of a white pantsuit was a slap at the president and a show of her solidarity with the feminist "#MeToo" movement. And, they darkly noted, the reports that she arrived at the SOTU separately, indicated a marital spat between the First Couple. Really? Yes, really. Although Jake Tapper and Don Lemon over at CNN are on auto-erupt mode at the mere mention of “Fake News” — and other media talking heads react in a similarly reflexive manner — the Melania-SOTU “story” is “Fake News” at its lowest.
The “analysis” from the commentariat ranged from cringe-worthy to hair-pullingly scream-worthy. Here are some headlines from the media dishonor roll:
“Melania Trump and the Case of the White Pantsuit” — New York Times
“Why did Melania wear white? Some see hidden meanings” — ABC News/Associated Press
“Melania Trump's all-white ensemble raises questions at the State of the Union” — AOL.com News
“Melania Trump arrived at State of the Union separately from the President” — CNN
"First lady Melania Trump goes to SOTU speech with guests, not POTUS, wearing all-white outfit" — USA Today
“Melania Trump’s Pantsuit Sparks Comparisons to Hillary Clinton and Resistance” — Newsweek
Ah yes, the “Case of the White Pantsuit,” as the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman put it. “It took the State of the Union to get her in a state of quasi-support,” declared Friedman in her opening sentence. “On Tuesday night Melania Trump finally appeared in public alongside her husband (or at least in the same very large room, though they apparently arrived separately),” she continued, and then speculated that this was due to Melania’s anger over allegations by porn star Stormy Daniels of an affair with Donald Trump years ago (allegations Daniels later retracted).
According to Friedman, the fact that the First Lady attended the SOTU “in a white pantsuit with a glowing white blouse — exactly the kind of outfit that became a symbol of her husband’s rival, Hillary Clinton, during the last election, and has since become widely accepted as sartorial shorthand for both the suffragists and contemporary women’s empowerment and something of an anti-Trump uniform, and also what women gathered behind Kesha wore to display their sisterhood at Sunday’s Grammy Awards — seemed about as subtle a slap in the face as could be contained in a garment.”
Devolving further into fashionista psychobabble, Friedman projected several other political motivations for Mrs. Trump’s SOTU attire. Finally, she conceded, “It’s possible she just liked the color.” Well, as they say: “Duh.”
However, the insightful Times psychic could not leave it there. “It’s possible,” she reiterated, but then felt compelled to continue: “But given that clothes became a symbolic dividing line during this State of the Union like seemingly never before … it’s hard to believe that the potential (and, indeed, probable) interpretations of her choice escaped the first lady.”
The Media Herd Mentality
AOL.com reporter Alexis Shaw wrote that “Not only did first lady Melania Trump garner attention when she broke with long-standing tradition by arriving to the State of the Union separately from the president on Capitol Hill on Tuesday night, but her outfit also sparked speculation across social media about whether she was quietly making a political statement.”
“Traditionally, women in the suffragette movement were encouraged to wear white as a symbol of the movement,” Shaw wrote, parroting the Party line. “Last year, when Trump addressed his first joint session of Congress shortly after his inauguration, Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wore white in support of women's rights, saying it was ‘in spite’" of a president that didn't,” the AOL writer said.
Over at CNN (which many accuse of being the Clinton News Network, but which could also just as accurately be labeled the Crybabies and Nattering Nabobs), the crack team of hosts Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper turned up such stunning SOTU analysis as the report from CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett that Mrs. Trump “did drive up separately this evening from the White House to the capitol.” “We do hear from the White House, however Wolf, they will be driving home together,” Bennett reported, as if the POTUS/FLOTUS transportation logistics for the SOTU were somehow a matter of great national importance. “The President and the First Lady will share the ride home,” she continued, “But it is, again, bucking tradition that she drove up on her own.”
Maybe it is (or maybe it isn’t) “unprecedented” or “bucking tradition” for the POTUS and FLOTUS to arrive separately, but since when do the media herd get all in a lather over anyone “bucking tradition”? Most Americans would consider CNN host Anderson Cooper's out-of-the-closet "marriage" to "gay partner" Benjamin Maisani “bucking tradition.” But at CNN that’s just “the new normal.”
The media mystics might have simply reported the official reason for the First Lady’s transportation arrangements, as stated by Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman. To her credit, Maria Puente at USA Today did include this pertinent information, in her otherwise tawdry report parroting the anti-Trump media line. Puente noted that Melania and Karen Pence were both accompanying the group of heroes that would be sitting with them at the SOTU. She wrote:
“Mrs. Trump is honoring her guests for the true heroes they are,” the first lady's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in an email to USA TODAY. “In addition to holding a White House reception and photo opportunity for them, along with their friends and family, she accompanied them to the Capitol.”
Grisham said Melania Trump and Karen Pence (wife of Vice President Mike Pence) hosted an intimate meet-and-greet with the guests to “engage with them on a personal level before the speech.”
But to the conspiracy theory “journalists” at Big Media, that explanation is too simple; it must be merely a cover story for the real reason, which, for them, means any reason, as long as it reflects negatively on President Trump, their bete noir ne plus ultra.
Hillary’s Harpies and Harridans
It is not without irony that the petty and vicious attacks on First Lady Melania Trump have been carried out by the disgruntled distaff members of the press who endlessly prattle about female empowerment. Of course, virtually all of the female press corps took the “I’m With Her” pledge to Hillary Clinton, and they viscerally detest those women who do not conform to their feminist dogma. Thus their always-spiteful reactions to Sarah Palin, Phyllis Schlafly, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Bachman, Omarosa Manigualt, Ann Coulter, or any other woman who defies the “sisterhood.”
The SOTU “white pantsuit” kerfuffle is not the first time Melania Trump has been subjected to fashionista ridicule. Remember the “hurricane heels” hubbub of last August? It was another truly “Fake News” fabrication aimed at stirring anger at the Trump family for being, supposedly, totally insensitive and lacking in compassion. Again, Hillary’s harpies and harridans took after Melania for wearing her signature “stiletto” high heels. Annie Karni at Politico wrote a piece entitled, “Melania’s stiletto sideshow,” with a subtitle proclaiming, “As the first lady departed to see storm fallout in Texas, Twitter erupted with critiques of her shoe choice.”
“The emblematic first image of the first lady heading off to visit a hurricane in heels — a moment that the president has seized on as an opportunity to project strength and show off decisive leadership — instead became another symbol of a White House that can often seem out of touch,” insisted the Politico scribe.
“There was no acknowledgment from the White House that the first lady’s storm attire was at all off-key,” wrote Karni. “Instead, her staff blamed the media for creating a ‘sad’ side circus to an otherwise somber day. ‘It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas,’ said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, ‘and people are worried about her shoes.’”
Off-key? How about sensational Fake News stories that are off-fact and off-truth? Benny Johnson at the Independent Journal Review provided a much-needed tutorial in Journalism 101 fact-checking for veracity-challenged reporters. His August 29, 2017 photo essay, entitled “Today, We All Learned That the First Lady Owns Two Pairs of Shoes,” delivered an overdue smack-down to the anti-Melania media mavens.
Johnson reported, tongue in cheek, that “it is my duty right now to declare something that many journalists apparently had no idea about as of this morning: Melania Trump owns more than one pair of shoes. It's true. Fact-based, empirical data from Tuesday proves that Melania Trump owns at least two pairs of shoes.”
He then provided photos of Melania Trump, one showing her leaving the White House in her stiletto heels, and the next showing her arriving at the Texas hurricane site in sneakers — with her feet circled in red marker, for those who were so quick to jump to harsh conclusions ahead of the evidence.
Johnson playfully observed that “the first lady and former supermodel is also capable of changing from one pair of shoes, in one location, to another pair of shoes in a different location. This phenomenon is known as ‘changing’ one's shoes.”
“This revelation was shocking to some commenters online, who loudly declared this morning that Melania Trump was wearing high heels in a flood zone,” Johnson noted. “These assumptions were proven false today personally by the first lady, who was seen early Tuesday morning wearing a pair of stilettos while leaving the White House, only to emerge many hours later in Texas wearing an altogether different pair of shoes.”
Newsweek provided one of the nastiest attacks on Melania Trump, in a piece that also targeted President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, as a fashion offender. In an August 10, 2017 article, Nina Burleigh wrote that Melania’s and Ivanka’s high heels are “horrifying.”
“Six months in, and the Trump women are well on their way to normalizing the footwear of the beauty pageant,” Burleigh wailed. She quoted American anthropologist and author Helen Fisher, who puts it more bluntly, stating that high heels create “a naturally sexy posture that men immediately see as sexual readiness. [Heels] are a ‘come-hither’ signal.”
So Burleigh and the media sisterhood who regularly celebrate and make common cause with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, and every other Clinton-endorsing, pornographically attired celebrity, are somehow scandalized by Melania and Ivanka Trump? And this from Nina Burleigh, who infamously fantasized about having sex with President Bill Clinton back when she was a White House reporter for Time magazine. Victoria Taft at Independent Journal Review provides a helpful photo lesson that reporters such as Burleigh could find helpful in overcoming their fact-averse orientations. As in Benny Johnson’s article mentioned above, Taft shows photos of Melania and Ivanka on various occasions — the Inauguration, in France, at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. In each case, she shows the entire photo and says, “Americans saw this.” Immediately below each is a the same photo, but cropped to show only Melania’s or Ivanka’s high heels, with the comment, “But Burleigh saw this.”
Double Standard — Par for the Course
The relentless viciousness of the media attacks on Melania and Ivanka are all the more telling when compared to the slobbering adoration the same media choir lavished upon Michelle Obama during her eight-year run as FLOTUS. Consider, for example — one of numerous similar examples — CNN’s report on January 13, 2016: “Michelle Obama shines in marigold dress at State of the Union,” by Katia Hetter. The opening line gives the flavor: “Flawless. Powerful. Precise. Poised. The reviews of first lady Michelle Obama's appearance at her husband’s State of the Union speech are in, and she may have stolen the show.”
“Never mind President Obama's impassioned defense of his two terms in office; everyone was talking about her marigold midi dress by designer Narcisco Rodriguez,” said the CNN reporter. “Every time cameras panned to the first lady, her sleek, brightly colored dress stood out in a sea of dark suits.The sleeveless dress sold out on Neiman Marcus' website before the President had even finished his speech Tuesday night. Neiman Marcus priced the wool crepe dress at $2,095 but later reduced it to $628, E! Online reported.”
CNN also featured “Lessons in style from Michelle Obama” by Emanuella Grinberg, which admiringly showcased a couple dozen examples of Mrs. Obama’s formal and informal attire. Back then, no fashion faux pas by the First Lady went unrewarded. When Michelle “bucked tradition” by making the sleeveless dress her signature fashion statement (even at SOTUs and other formal state events), she was showered with adoring accolades by reporters who couldn’t get enough of her “fabulously toned” arms.
While famous designers gifted Mrs. Obama with costly, custom-made outfits as gratuities, the PC-conscious fashion world has followed the political correctness of the ruling and chattering classes in designating Melania and Ivanka Trump pariahs with whom they refuse to do business. So malicious are the lock-step anti-Trumpers that the First Lady cannot even donate children’s books to a library without being pilloried as a purveyor of “racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.” Readers may recall that this was the charge made by Liz Phipps Soeiro, an elementary school librarian (and far-left activist) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who made a major show of refusing to accept Melania Trump’s gift to the library of 10 Dr. Seuss books. Naturally, the same Big Media voices that joined in the Melania “Pantsuit Scandal” also attacked her over the “racist” books, ignoring the fact that Soeiro, the Obamas, and many other Democrat “progressives” have also promoted Dr. Seuss.
A national poll conducted in 2016 by the Associated Press, the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and the American Press Institute found that “Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.”
Over the past couple of years, a plethora of stories in the "mainstream" media have appeared with titles such as “Why do Americans distrust the media?” and “Why do people hate the media?” The writers of the articles pretend to be earnestly seeking answers and offering sincere explanations for the dilemma they are facing. However, they invariably miss the mark and, more often than not, blame the public for not understanding the complexities of issues. Here’s a clue to the clueless in the media: The public distrusts you and despises you because you have so often proven to be dishonest and despicable. With your recent heavily biased coverage of President Trump’s State of the Union address — topping off more than a year of non-stop anti-Trump media vitriol — it’s easy to see why so many Americans share the president’s low view of the “Fake News” media.
Photo: AP Images