Why is there suddenly so much media enmity toward Ivanka Trump?
Her visit to Germany has unleashed a wave of insults and snarkiness that seems wildly out of proportion to what actually happened on the trip.
The short answer, of course, is that she is a target of animosity that is really aimed at her father.
But it goes deeper than that. Some pundits seem to blame her for not transforming the presidents policies, despite the fact that hes the one who got elected. Even more strangely, some blame her for not speaking out against her dad.
During the campaign, when I happened to chat with her a few times, Ivanka was getting pretty good press. And why not? She is a poised and accomplished entrepreneur who handles herself with grace.
I get that its strange for Ivanka Trump to be a top White House aide, and that some people cant had recognized that. She originally just wanted to be an informal adviser. But with critics creating conflict questions about her business, Ivanka decided to relinquish that role and take an office in the White House, working with her husband, Jared Kushner, whose role in the administration keeps expanding.( Neither is drawing a salary .)
I understand that her detractors say Ivanka owes her business opportunities, and now her political possibility, to her papa. Fine. The chairwoman knew he would face nepotism charges when he made the appointments. And she had to know she was putting herself in the line of flame when she took an official title.
But compare this to the situation faced by every first ladyand its an apt analogy because Ivankas high profile is partly due to Melanias low-key role as she remains, for now, in New York.
Each first lady gets a government staff and an international platform, simply by virtue of the fact that her husband won high office. And every first lady is widely admired, although there has been criticism of some( especially Hillary Clinton, who later sought the top chore) for wading too deeply into policy.
So is a first daughter truly that different from a first lady?
When Ivanka , noting that the president has applied thousands of women, depicted some boos on the Berlin stage with Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, that opened the floodgates.
Asked by NBCs Hallie Jackson how she feels about being called an accomplice to her parent, Ivanka said she didnt like the word. I suppose one of the things I value about my father as first a businessman and now as a leader of the country, is that he creates ideas and he likes to hear from people with diverging viewpoints. And thats not always true in politics.
Still, were seeing headlines like this one in the liberal Huffington Post: Trumps White House Family Affair Seems A Lot Like The Most Corrupt Nations In The World.
CNN commentator and former Ted Cruz aide Amanda Carpenter said that when I assure Ivanka taking on this role, I truly find her becoming like Hillary Clinton in the worst styles. Shes sort of becoming increasingly unlikable. Shes trying to get these tasks shes not qualified for based on family connections.
MSNBCs Chris Matthews compared the Trumps to the Romanovs, saying the president envisions a royal family and it is un-American. It is untraditional. Its somewhat weird.
Matthews wrote a volume about JFK, who of course named his brother attorney general. Times have changed, but its not like Ivanka is operating a major department. When Joe Scarborough brought up Bobby Kennedy and Mika Brzezinski asked whether he was comparing RFK to Ivanka, he accused her of being snotty and taking a cheap shot.
The Guardian ran a snarky column went on to say that Trump invoked her own impressive achievements as an example of her fathers commitment to equality . .. Trump is, indeed, a wonderful instance of what girls can achieve with merely perseverance, tenacity and millions of inherited dollars.
Some of this is so personal that its plainly not really about Ivanka.
She is clearly more moderate than her father and has been an advocate for womens rights, family leave and child care. Yet her detractors had unrealistic expectations about her role and insist on holding her accountable for his past Access Hollywood-type remarks about women.
Maybe a truly feminist approach would be to magistrate Ivanka Trump on what she actually does in the White House , not on their dislike for her dad.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz”( Sundays 11 a.m .). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.
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