Howard Kurtz, Fox News’s media critic and analyst, asks a perfectly valid question: Why are the media beating up on first daughter Ivanka Trump?
I believe I have an answer. Not the answer, mind you.
It’s because Ivanka has become part of her father’s key advisory team, along with husband Jared Kushner. She’s no longer just a charming, poised entrepreneur who stood by Dad while he campaigned for the presidency. She’s now part of the team, part of the inner circle, one of the president’s key advisers.
Kurtz seems a bit alarmed at the apparently sudden turn by the political media. Hmm. Why should it surprise him?
The media have done this many times in the past — and for reasons that have nothing to do with presidential children’s role in shaping public policy.
George W. Bush’s twins — Barbara and Jenna — became media fodder after they got into some trouble in college; conservative critics of Bill and Hillary Clinton turned their guns on Chelsea during their time in the White House over the teen’s awkward appearance; Malia Obama got her share of snark from media critics, too, after she enrolled at Harvard.
By the way, is it me or do the media take special aim at presidential daughters while looking the other way when presidents are the fathers of sons?
Ivanka Trump is treading down uncharted paths as a presidential child who’s been handed a portfolio that enables her to speak publicly about policy matters. She and Jared aren’t getting paid for their presidential posts, but they still have a big influence on Daddy Donald.
I respect Howard Kurtz and his role as a media critic. He’s done it for some time at the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, CNN and now at Fox.
I’m betting Ivanka Trump knows what’s coming as she exerts greater influence on the policies that emanate from her father’s administration.
I do agree with one element of Kurtz’s questioning of the media. Challenging the advice that Ivanka gives her father is one thing. The insults and innuendo are quite another.
As a brief aside, I’ll note that one of Kurtz’s colleagues at Fox, Jesse Watters, has just announced he is going on “vacation” after he made some ghastly, sexually charged remarks about Ivanka after her appearance in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund chair Christine LeGard.
The president was dialed in to life in the public eye as a successful businessman. Ivanka and her brothers Don and Eric had managed to stay pretty much out of the media glare. Then dear ol’ Dad had to run for — and get himself elected — president of the United States.
That’s when it all changed.