Inside the Beltway: Media bias against Melania Trump is now a reality
The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
Is there media bias against the first lady of the United States? James Woods — a veteran actor who is no stranger to the workings of Hollywood, media, politics and publicity — summed it all up in 21 words.
“If the Trumps were Democrats, Melania would be on every cover of every chic women’s magazine in the world every month,” Mr. Woods wrote in a recent tweet which was subsequently retweeted over 20,000 times by those who agree with him.
It is ironic, since Mrs. Trump is a mother, businesswoman and former high fashion model who has been nothing but poised and gracious on the global stage in the past 15 months. The White House itself candidly lists the first lady’s previous credits, noting: “She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, and New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle.”
Media skittishness these days has perplexed more than one journalist.
NBC News media analyst Claire Atkinson investigated the trend in February noting that there was “a clear reluctance among editors to put themselves in the cross-hairs of the culture wars” by featuring the wife of President Trump — despite her stature as a versatile and engaged public figure who speaks five languages and has consistently higher favorability ratings than anyone in the White House.
“There’s also a sense that editors could be taking a political stand,” the NBC analysis said, quoting one editor who claimed it was a “moral issue.”
Now there are some numbers. New York Post media analyst Alexandra Steigrad has parsed coverage of the first lady since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, and here is what she found.
“During her tenure as first lady, Melania has only graced one magazine cover — Vanity Fair Mexico — in February 2017. At the time, the cover caused a commotion due to the president’s insistence that Mexico pay for a border wall, something that has yet to come to fruition,” Ms. Steigrad writes.
“Regardless, not one American magazine has put the former model on its cover, although rumors did swirl in December 2016 when Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, paid a visit to Trump Tower,” she continues, noting that there was nothing to the chatter.
“But Wintour, an Obama fundraiser, did pull out all the stops for Michelle Obama when she served as first lady from 2009 to 2017. During Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency, Michelle appeared on at least 30 U.S. magazine covers, three of which were Vogue. She also appeared twice on the covers of Essence magazine, Time magazine, More magazine and Glamour magazine. Other covers included Redbook, InStyle, and Radar,” Ms. Steigrad said.