Days out from a widely denounced smear of his ten-year-old son Barron Trump, the president has issued an executive message about attacks on his family.
The White House memo comes in the wake of a jab at the child as a future “homeschool shooter,” one that led to SNL writer Katie Rich’s suspension and subsequent apology.
As documented here, several writers and comedians piled on with Twitter potshots taken at the boy, one claiming that he would be “mutilating cats on the White House lawn” and another stating that he will be climbing a “clock tower with an assault rifle.”
After Rich was suspended by NBC, writers and comedians came to Rich’s defense, one even pleading she “did nothing wrong.”
In the aftermath, the Trump administration has issued a message asking for privacy for the family. The White House:
“It is a longstanding tradition that the children of Presidents are afforded the opportunity to grow up outside of the political spotlight. The White House fully expects this tradition to continue. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”
It’s sad and unfortunate that members of the media have to be reminded that children are “off-limits” when it comes to vile personal attacks.
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, also came to Barron Trump’s defense, while launching an awkward broadside against his father.
“Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid,” she wrote. “Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.”
In addition, several barbs at Donald Trump’s marriage to Melania have made the rounds; in particular, deceptively edited videos and photos published with distorted or dropped context.
One video purported to show Melania Trump smiling to Donald Trump during the Inauguration, only to scowl upon him turning his back.
The viral video partly led to the hashtag: #FreeMelania.
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) January 23, 2017
A broader video shot reveals that the entire audience returned to a somber expression after Franklin Graham’s rain joke.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) January 24, 2017
The context of this was a sober occasion, the inauguration luncheon, and the moment was captured during a long lecture on art and history. The First Family was simply responding to the dignified affair, and others, such as Mike Pence and his wife Karen were similarly sober.
President Trump implored the media to respect the First Family’s wishes for privacy, knowing full well the vicious battles that lay ahead.
While Donald and Melania Trump, as public figures, know politics can be a contentious battle, their son should be off-limits. It remains to be seen if the media will truly extend its full cooperation in the matter.