Accuracy in Media

Mainstream media used the unveiling of the White House Christmas décor to take shots at President Trump, his wife Melania and his immigration policy.

“Melania Trump is Planning Another Christmas From Hell,” read the headline on Vice. “Red trees! Dark Lighting! Utter doom!” read the subhead.

Last year, Vice dubbed Melania’s “aesthetic ‘the Christmas from hell.” This year, “the first lady has upped her game, entering a circle Dante never could have dreamed up.”

“Although many consider this the season of cheer, this time of the year requires Americans to see members of their families they try to avoid,” writer Eva Peyser wrote. “Winter means glimmers of sunlight amid the endless dark nights, a deadly flu season, and months of bitter cold despair, and Melania Trump has tapped into that.”

The unveiling came in the form of a video “of Trump strutting through a hallway full of blood-red evergreen trees, looking spooky and dour, clad in all black, glumly observing her subversion of the expected Christmas cheer.”

Later, it hit on the red trees again.

“While the spooky trees look anything but ‘joyous,’ the theme, perhaps inadvertently, recognizes the U.S.’s dark history as a violent imperialist world power that committed genocide against the continent’s native peoples and didn’t offer many rights to African-Americans until a half-century ago.”

BuzzFeed outsourced the snark to comedians and comedy writers in “Melania Trump Decorated the White House With ‘Blood Trees’ and People Think They are Spooky AF” by Lauren Strapagiel.

The piece captions photos of Melania putting the finishing touches on various decorations.

“She has all the classic holiday touches, like these glowing golden trees,” it wrote above the first photo. “And these festive red bulbs,” it adds over another. “And this forest of trees that literally look like they’re dripping in deep, red blood,” it said above the photo of Melania walking through the hallway adorned with the red trees.

“It’s really the Merry Cones of Death that have drawn the most praise.”

“Finally, we can stop saying ‘Happy Holidays’ and go back to saying ‘Beware the blood trees, may they not consume your soul,’” it quoted Melinda Taub, a writer for Samantha Bee’s TV show, as saying.

Another comedian, Sean O’Connor, tweeted: “I think this is cool, does anyone know where I can get the blood of the innocent to paint my Christmas tree?”

Yahoo’s story, “Melania Trump slammed for showing off ‘historically ludicrous’ Christmas décor while children are tear-gassed at border: ‘What a great way to start the holiday season,’” by Kerry Justich, implied the very act of decorating the White House for Christmas was out of line.

“Melania Trump is gearing up for the holidays by showing off the newly decorated White House,” Justich’s story began. “But after posting a video to Twitter displaying all of the extravagant décor and numerous Christmas trees around the mansion, people can’t help but point out that the administration is celebrating this festive time while children are being tear-gassed at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Justich tried to present her story as a collection of reactions, but the reactions featured most were hers. She explained that hundreds of Central American migrants had tried to cross into the U.S. on Sunday only to be turned away by tear gas from Customs and Border Patrol officers on the U.S. side.

“Photos of distressed children and families from the scene have caused an uproar online,” Justich wrote. “Nevertheless, President Trump used Twitter early Monday morning to post a threat about closing the border permanently and encouraging more funding for the wall.

“Just about two hours later, his wife posted the video and some photos showcasing the administration’s décor,” Justich wrote. “From pointing out the paradox between the cheerful, bright holiday festivities within the White House and the simultaneous devastation of migrant families to shaming the Trumps for spending taxpayer dollars on the décor instead of helping those in need, people appeared to hold a lot of criticism for FLOTUS’s posts.”

Photo by Ninian Reid

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