MSM's Scorn for GOP First Ladies
Does the press have unfair criticism of Republicans in their DNA? I refer not to U.S. presidents — who as leaders of the Free Word remain fair game — but the MSM’s habitual “mean girl” treatment of their Republican spouses. Contrast that to the often blind, fawning praise lavished on their generally inferior Democratic counterparts.
The most blatant example of “journalistic” bias is the widespread nay-saying of recently departed Nancy Reagan The fact remains that she was the central figure to a great president’s personal happiness — and by any objective standard, she conducted herself with the commensurate grace of her husband as a positive symbol of American optimism to the world. What in death is trumpeted from the liberal media? The petty criticism of perhaps a cool interpersonal persona uniformly condemned by the powers-that-be with the same coded watchword: “frosty.” (Google it: this precise accusation reverberates stentorian in liberal publications across the globe like a 21st century “telephone game.”) Whether this subjective interpretation holds some semblance of truth is ultimately not the point. Greatness is negated by a minuscule, all too human flaw by less fine examples of humanity: progressive ideologues attacking the historical reputation with the politically motivated venom of the yellowest journalism.
Meanwhile, let us move across the aisle. Former first lady (and current Democratic presidential front-runner) Hillary Clinton, with the well known fact-based reputation as a “liar,” is downplayed in the media or ignored as a phantom “right wing conspiracy.” For example, this kind of nonsense regularly comes from liberal columnists like The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, who wrote, “This may sound strange coming from someone who doesn’t expect Hillary Clinton to be indicted [on influence-peddling and corruption] and doesn’t think she should be…”. Ms. Marcus’s knee-jerk fealty to the Democratic Party is more than “strange.” It’s completely wrong, same as her “coverage” of Hillary. (In actuality, that’s really “for” not “of.” ) Indeed, she’s nothing more than a political true believer with a press pass. To any “real” journalist, the first duty is always to the public good — to demand accountability and justice before any other consideration.
Ms. Marcus is so conditioned by the moral equivalency of the tumultuous Obama years, she has become hysterically blind to the purpose and equalizing value of law. To her, even indisputable evidence of wrongdoing — perhaps even treasonous activity — is negated by Hillary’s elitist powerbroker status. Irrationally, Ms. Marcus adds, “there has to be a way to provide more information, in a timely [before election day] way, from a credible source.” That’s code for “not Republicans.” So, like her third estate compatriots, she wants Mr. Obama to spin yet another slow-roll tall tale to protect Mrs. Clinton presidential prospects, at least until after November 4th anyway. As that’s his go-to modus operandi for the numerous and monumental failures of his presidency, why would he do anything different now?
Speaking of the Obamas, let us shift to his “better half” first lady. Ah, pampered, coddled Michelle. She disregards the perks of travel on Air Force One and bulletproof limousines, the prime D.C. address and 24-hour Secret Service protection, the executive chef and small army of personal assistants. As a ceremonial model of American taxpayer largesse, she wore two floral designer frocks by designer Carolina Herrera valued at $6,680 or 23 times the average yearly salary of Cuba’s working class or $288. But this little lady of excess and entitlement isn’t satisfied. She wants to be paid for her time as first lady. And why shouldn’t she gripe at not getting her government welfare check?
To the ho-hum MSM all of this is such a bore and a non-story. Why shouldn’t Michelle complain if she wants? At least she look absolutely fabulous while doing so! Specifically, The New York Times praised Michelle Obama’s fashion choices in Cuba: “When the important questions of the day — human rights, the future of the American trade embargo, Cuba’s future — were raised (if not settled), a frothier one came to the fore: Cuba was giving a party. What would Michelle Obama wear?” Compare this laudatory rather breezy (and blasé) tone to that same publication who hammered Nancy Reagan for sporting fashionable duds in 1981: “The gold crown is studded with costly jewels. The dress is of finest brocade. The cape is snowy ermine. But the majestic woman on what may be Washington’s best-selling post card is not, on second glance, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. It’s Nancy Reagan.” Fashion is subjective, the media’s complete lack of even-handedness is not. (What ever happened to journalism’s core principle of objectivity?)
Pegging politics to fashion’s shifting hemlines is nothing new. As the axiom goes: when skirts get longer Democrats lose. I, for one, hope fervently for a new and sudden Amish fashion craze. Joking aside, there is an underlying historical context to all of this that, once again, lays bare the discriminatory behavior of the media toward only the Republican first ladies. I coyly refer to ‘60s fresh faced fashion icon Jacqueline Kennedy versus outgoing first lady Mamie Eisenhower. Given that Jackie was young and gorgeous (same as her “Camelot” presidential husband), at 64 the outgoing Mamie Eisenhower never had a chance. I mean then in November 1960 or today 56 years later.
I refer to the tale spun by author Kate Andersen Brower: “Mamie’s husband was being replaced by a Democrat, and her own role was being assumed by a woman she sneeringly referred to as "the college girl.” Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s beauty, her modern touch, and her youthful, cutting-edge style would soon eclipse Mrs. Eisenhower’s frumpy shirtwaist dresses, pearl chokers and short bangs.“ Notice the language choices. Mamie, the Republican, is cast in the worst light as "sneering” and “frumpy” while Democrat Jackie is inversely afforded the same pattern of maximal praise with terms like “modern” and “cutting-edge.”
Truthfully, only these two women — like Nancy, now silenced forever by death — knew how they really felt about each other or could authentically speak to the dynamics of their relationship. In tacit acknowledgment of this fact, in the print version (superimposed in the article’s corresponding photograph): What were they thinking (intended to be provocative) floats beneath their feet. Therefore, in the final analysis, one tends to discount this Washington Post guest columnist with a book to hawk — more than half a century after these events transpired.
To be fair — something the liberal media clearly isn’t, at least when it comes to the Republicans — I think Ms. Brower’s description of JFK’s wife is true to life. Yet, even if all of the positive qualities assigned to Jackie are accurate, the skin deep, always glowing narrative instantly afforded all Democrats isn’t really the point, is it? When it comes to Republican first ladies, the propagandist MSM has a real political axe to grind. To misappropriate a fashion term, they have hate-tinged “darts” to throw.
David L. Hunter is on Twitter and blogs at davidlhunter.blogspot.com. He is published in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Patriot Post, FrontPage Mag, and extensively in Canada Free Press and American Thinker.