Melania shares the hardest part of job

Melania Trump tells Fox News' Sean Hannity that the hardest thing she deals with is feeling like there are people who use her name to advance their own careers.

Posted: Dec 23, 2018 6:27 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2018 6:49 PM

In yet another unnecessary attack on the first lady, CNN contributor Kate Anderson 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."

This condescending opinion, apparently written in response to a single answer Mrs. Trump gave in a Fox News interview Wednesday, was published just hours after the first lady traveled to Children's National hospital in Washington to read a Christmas story, visit sick children and thank the hardworking hospital staff.

CNN has a dedicated reporter who covers Mrs. Trump. But the media consistently ignores the first lady's work on behalf of the people of this country, and children in particular, in favor of more trivial matters. And my defense, here, of the first lady will certainly draw criticism and be framed as another assault on the press, but this predictable reaction won't make my observations any less true.

This holiday season, Mrs. Trump has made every effort to spread joy and good cheer to citizens across the country. In the past week alone, Mrs. Trump participated in a Toys for Tots toy drive, visited service members and families from three different branches of the military, and flew out to an aircraft carrier for one of the visits, in addition to her time with patients at Children's National hospital.

But rather than focus on these engagements, the good work of the organizations her visits highlighted or the sacrifices of those who serve in the United States military, Brower and other members of the media chose to focus on a soundbite from a 20-minute interview -- and a trivial poll released by CNN.

For Brower to claim that Mrs. Trump's interview was "a lost opportunity to put attention on families of struggling Americans she's met in her role as first lady" is to willfully ignore everything she has actually done to help and support children and families across the globe as a commitment to service she has consistently demonstrated over the past two years.

When Brower claims Mrs. Trump has no understanding of what it means to be first lady, she intentionally ignores all the effort the first lady has put into fulfilling the traditional responsibilities of the role. For example, she has hosted a successful state dinner and dozens of holiday events at the White House. She has led restoration and preservation efforts in the residence. She has welcomed numerous foreign heads of state to the White House. And, most recently, she has represented the country at a state funeral.

In fact, in the past two years, Mrs. Trump has visited several hospitals, both at home and abroad, and visited with children in immigration facilities in Texas and Arizona. In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Puerto Rico, she traveled to the affected areas to support recovery efforts -- and she partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue a public service announcement.

Mrs. Trump comforted shooting victims in Las Vegas, Parkland and Pittsburgh, and thanked law enforcement personnel and first responders for their heroic efforts during times of national tragedy. She has carried her "Be Best" message -- a message of hope and empowerment -- to children in the United States and around the world. She has emphasized the urgency and severity of our nation's opioid crisis with visits to Lily's Place in West Virginia and multiple newborn intensive care units, where she conducted listening sessions before the cameras to shine a light on successful Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome programs across the country.

As part of the broader effort to reduce addiction, she has spoken to thousands of young people about the dangers of drug abuse. She has met with major technology companies to understand the challenges that each faces in the effort to address unsafe or irresponsible behavior online, and has encouraged children to practice digital civility. Each event in her comprehensive "Be Best" initiative is focused on helping children with the many issues they face today. Yet, somehow, she is still characterized as a "reluctant" first lady.

Of course, absurdity abounds in the media's coverage of our first lady. Reports focus on the trivial and superficial, rather than the deeper issues facing our country that the 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.

When she announced "Be Best," her campaign to help children all over the world, the 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. 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 Mrs. Trump 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. Ironically, this same garden had been 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, Virginia, to speak to more than 10,000 college students about the dangers of opioid abuse, the media chose to focus on an off-the-cuff answer that she gave regarding Christmas décor at the White House. The Christmas decorations were mocked last year, and no one is surprised that she is being criticized for them again this year.

When she partnered with the US 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.

Whenever Mrs. Trump sits down for interviews, she inevitably gets attacked for her honest answers. I could continue with examples, but will inevitably be attacked for having a "woe-is-me attitude" -- it couldn't possibly be that we are defending ourselves. The simple fact is that Mrs. Trump deserves honest reporting and media coverage that focuses on the substance of her message: the importance of helping children grow up to be happy, healthy and socially responsible adults.

The role of first lady brings with it unique opportunities to help people across the country and around the world. This is not lost on Mrs. Trump. She has and will continue to demonstrate her commitment to helping children and advancing the causes she is passionate about. But there is nothing wrong with staying true to herself along the way. In fact, her strength, individuality and integrity should be celebrated.

The media also has the opportunity and responsibility to report fairly, accurately and without bias. They are, in fact, writing the first draft of our nation's history. In many ways, they are failing to measure up to this responsibility. This failure must be addressed.

Ms. Brower's piece criticizing Mrs. Trump has this headline: "Melania shows she's a Trump through and through." At least she got that part right. Hopefully, the media will eventually learn to celebrate a woman who, through all the noise, is able to hold steadfast to her mission and stay true to herself. Regardless, Melania Trump is proud to be the first lady of the United States and is proud to represent the American people.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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