Free ride?

Media’s puff pieces fail to subject Melania and Ivanka Trump to scrutiny

Melania and Ivanka Trump (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

While Hillary Clinton and her team are raked over the coals — as one might expect of a serious campaign outfit — Donald Trump’s female “assets” (wife Melanie and daughter Ivanka) are seemingly getting a free pass from the media, while simultaneously deflecting attention from Trump’s relentless denigration of women.

That’s the argument Women in the World contributor Emma-Kate Symons makes in a piece for The Australian, examining the “easy questions” that were posed this week in an exclusive interview granted to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski by Melania Trump. “He’s taken a lot of criticism — kerfuffles, of course — during the debate with Megyn Kelly,” Brzezinski said to Melania, before inquiring about the treatment of women in the Trump organization. (Trump had said, among other things, that Kelly “had blood coming out of her wherever.”)

“Characterizing Trump attacking Megyn Kelly by implying that she was on her period as a ‘kerfuffle,’ instead of describing it more accurately, enables and sanitizes Trump’s bigotry and sexism,” said Angelo Carusone, executive vice-president of Washington D.C. media watchdog Media Matters.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka also appears to be receiving the soft-touch treatment, appearing on a series of magazine covers and in profiles, as well as in puff pieces even by serious news services, insisting her father’s insults are “gender-neutral” and that he would be a “great advocate for women” as U.S. president.

No one, observes Symons, has broached Trump’s creepy comments about his daughter’s attractiveness (“if Ivanka wasn’t my daughter perhaps I might be dating her”). Nor have they challenged Ivanka on the actual statements her father has made “and really asked her to address them in view of her statements that he’d be a good president for American women,” according to feminist author Rebecca Traister.

“The few validators that Trump has should at least be presented with an accurate depiction of his comments for them to react to,” said Carusone, although he suspects the media are running scared, for fear of having all access subsequently denied by Trump and his team.

Veteran political journalist Joe Klein calls it “probably the most embarrassing coverage of a candidate” that he’s seen in 11 presidential races, dating back to 1976.

Read the full story at The Australian.

Related:

Donald Trump ranked, disparaged women during appearances on “Howard Stern”

On the heels of Donald Trump’s win in Nevada, Melania speaks out

Ivanka Trump defends her father, says he’s a “highly gender-neutral” insulter

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