A fellow named Dean Karanyanis has written an essay for the conservative newspaper Washington Times in which he says something so preposterous in his opening paragraph that I must respond and refute its assumption.
He writes: There used to be a rule in Washington that families are off-limits, but our media referees only throw flags on one team. So as Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, finds herself at the heart of a manufactured firestorm over leaked text messages, it’s worth asking why the party that demands civility feels free to savage her for having strong opinions.
I presume he suggests that only family members of conservative public figures are open to the kind of scrutiny being leveled at Ginni Thomas. What a pile of horse dookey!
Hmm. Let’s see. We have Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of FDR, the Democrat who led the nation during World War II; she was pilloried continuously during the time she served as first lady. Amy Carter, daughter of the President Jimmy Carter, who was a teenager when she lived in the White House; the right wing took great joy in pillorying her for whatever the hell she did while her dad led the Free World.
You want more? We have Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry; right-winger suggested she was somehow the corrupt wife of a politician who married only because she was an heiress to a condiment empire. Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of President Clinton; enough said there. Michelle Obama, wife of President Obama; let’s throw in the Obamas’ daughters, too, as they were targets of prying media inquiries.
I need to mention Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and take particular note of what the media did to sully the reputations of their wives. Jackie Kennedy was seen as aloof and aristocratic; Lady Bird Johnson was known — in addition to her national beautification efforts — for her business acumen that came from her ownership of Central Texas media outlets.
I believe we need to cease this notion that only the spouses and kids of conservatives become targets of those who work in the so-called “liberal, mainstream, Deep State media.”
The media don’t play nearly the favorites that their critics allege.