Accuracy in Media

Stephanie Grisham, deputy chief of staff for communications for first lady Melania Trump, wrote a CNN opinion piece to respond to an attack on the first lady by CNN contributor Kate Andersen Brower.

Grisham expanded her criticism to include multiple instances of mainstream media bias against the first lady.

“In yet another unnecessary attack on the first lady, CNN contributor Kate Andersen Brower, who purports to be an expert on the customs and norms of first ladies and yet has never met Melania Trump, wrote Thursday that Mrs. Trump ‘proved that she doesn’t understand what it means to be first lady,’” wrote Grisham, who laid out the multiple problems with Brower’s piece.

“Of course, absurdity abounds in the media’s coverage of our first lady,” Grisham wrote. “Reports focus on the trivial and superficial, rather than the deeper issues facing our country that she has tirelessly worked to address. Last year, when Mrs. Trump traveled to Texas to comfort and support the people affected by hurricanes, the media focused on the pair of heels she wore to board Air Force One.

Grisham called out the media for its vicious response to the First Lady’s “Be Best,” campaign to empower children.

“[T]he media criticized her for focusing on the importance of safe and responsible behavior online, presumably because they disagree with her husband’s use of Twitter,” Grisham wrote. “In doing so, the media fumbled a critical opportunity to highlight the many inspiring children, families and programs Mrs. Trump mentioned during her speech. News personalities and outlets use the “Be Best” hashtag to taunt her about her husband, instead of focusing on the underlying message of kindness and compassion the campaign is intended to convey.

The list goes on. When the first lady invited children from a local Boys and Girls club to help plant vegetables in the White House garden, the media chose to focus on the cost of her shirt and the fact that her shoes were clean. The garden was the focus of significant media attention when some speculated that it would be destroyed simply because it was an initiative led by the first lady’s predecessor, Michelle Obama.

When the first lady traveled to Lynchburg, Va., to speak to more than 10,000 college students about the dangers of opioid abuse, the media focused on an off-the-cuff answer that she gave regarding Christmas décor at the White House.

When she partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development and traveled to Africa for a four-country goodwill tour that focused on children’s health and education, conservation efforts and social and cultural issues affecting each region, what did the media focus on? Her clothes.”

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