March 1, 2017
Every once in a while, the press realizes its errors and comes clean. And we have to give credit where credit is due. This time, it goes to Alyssa Rosenberg, the pop culture blogger on the opinion pages at The Washington Post.
Rosenberg got real honest about recognizing the hypocrisy in the collective media’s outcry that Kellyanne Conway dared to put her heels up on the couch in the Oval Office.
It’s the photo shot that’s been heard around the world on Tuesday: President Trump’s senior advisor looking way too comfortable while her boss is meeting with black leaders from the nation’s historically black colleges.
News headlines went crazy: “Kellyanne Conway photographed making herself comfortable on Oval Office couch, Twitter calls out Trump adviser for disrespect.” “Kellyanne Conway kneels on Oval Office couch, sparks debate.” “‘Show Some Class’: Kellyanne Conway accused of lacking respect after putting feet up on Oval Office couch.”
And on and on it went.
Other talking heads couldn’t resist getting on her case, including CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill who naturally turned it into something racist:
It is hard to believe that Kellyanne Conway would been sitting like this if the President were meeting with the NRA or White evangelicals… pic.twitter.com/bsG3bYwLi4
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) February 28, 2017
Or the unhinged Keith Olbermann who should’ve made feminists mad for mansplaining how a woman should sit properly:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 28, 2017
Never mind that President Obama regularly kicked his feet up on the Resolute Desk or that President Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky under it doing impeachable offenses. No problems with the media, there, as some noted to Olbermann’s post:
— Mary Young (@AmericanHotLips) February 28, 2017
— trev (@angrytrevor2) February 28, 2017
But in a moment of raw honesty, Rosenberg urged the media to “stop treating the women in Trump’s world like we treated Hillary Clinton:”
There are plenty of reasons to dislike Conway, from her cool mendacity to her willingness to toss feminist principles under the bus, without needing to manufacture phony incidents of disrespect for the office she serves in order to feed that animus. The uproar over the photo is particularly silly because the context exists for it in other wire photos taken shortly before that shot: she had knelt on the couch to get all the college officials into the frame of a smartphone picture she was taking. Deducing from a single image that Conway must always lounge around the Oval Office in a supposedly disrespectful way when there’s easily accessible photo evidence of the contrary says a great deal more about the psychological needs of the people who can’t stand Conway than about Conway herself.
See, truthful reporting IS possible.
But Rosenberg continued, chiding the media for writing “fan fiction” about Ivanka and Melania Trump, too:
The assertion runs wild.
• The Trumps will divorce!
• Ivanka is a secret progressive influence on her father!
• Melania Trump is afraid of her husband!
• Ivanka’s conversion means Trump will battle anti-Semitism!
• Melania’s body language is full of secret insights!
Rosenberg blows these headlines off as “wishful fantasies” of those who desire Trump to fail hard in every way. The media want Trump to be “incapable of marital happiness,” they almost want him to be abusive to Melania to “confirm [his] bad character,” and they don’t want to see Ivanka as a “substantive policy adviser” who remains “loyal” to her father.
“Americans spent almost 25 years using Hillary Clinton as the screen on which to display debates about marriage and working women and fidelity, and when it was all over in November, we didn’t know anything more about her marriage or her true character,” Rosenberg concludes. “Our willingness to treat Conway and the Trump women in the same way, like characters in a soap opera, suggested our decades of projecting onto Clinton didn’t teach us much about ourselves, either.”
Note: the video above includes a great take on this faux controversy. But be advised, it uses coarse language to make the point.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 6:30 am