The media accused Melania Trump of doing a disservice to the office of the first lady by complaining about her job last week in an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity. Asked about the most difficult part of her very public role, Mrs. Trump singled out journalists peddling fake news about her and her family.
"I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to performers, book writers," Mrs. Trump.
CNN panelists were outraged by her description of the media, asking why Melania always carries herself with an "air of grievance" or why she "continues to whine."
One reporter in particular, CNN contributor Kate Anderson Brower, wrote an op-ed about Mrs. Trump's Hannity interview. In it she wrote how Melania "proved that she doesn't understand what it means to be first lady." Mrs. Trump should have used her time with Hannity to talk about her anti-drug or anti-bullying initiatives, Brower said. Instead, she's letting her bitterness overshadow it all.
"All modern first ladies can relate to being frustrated with the press over their preoccupation with superficial things, including the way they cut their hair or what they choose to wear, but Melania has clouded the profound responsibility and honor of the position with her own personal resentment."
Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham penned her own counter op-ed, which was also published on CNN. In it, she noted Melania's commendable efforts such as her "Be Best" campaign, and her work against drug abuse, not to mention her compassionate visits to hospitals and immigration facilities near the U.S.-Mexico border. She has also mastered the "traditional" roles of decorating the White House on special occasions and hosting state dinners. Yet, the media has other obsessions, Grisham irritatingly observed.
Whenever Mrs. Trump sits down for interviews, she inevitably gets attacked for her honest answers. I could continue with examples, but will inevitably be attacked for having a "woe-is-me attitude" -- it couldn't possibly be that we are defending ourselves. The simple fact is that Mrs. Trump deserves honest reporting and media coverage that focuses on the substance of her message: the importance of helping children grow up to be happy, healthy and socially responsible adults.
In sum, Mrs. Trump has “made every effort to spread joy and good cheer to citizens across the country," Grisham said to correct Brower.
Of course, that rebuttal is getting criticized too.
Representative-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) took a different approach to the whole Melania-media debate and told everyone to cool it in time for the holidays.
Ironically, @katebrower is the type of opportunist Melania Trump was talking about.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) December 17, 2018
Really hard to see how @FLOTUS answer warrants media outrage. Everyone relax, it’s almost Christmas. https://t.co/cbkTDPY1I3