Jason Chaffetz: Melania Trump has been an outstanding first lady — liberal media have treated her unfairly

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In her four years of outstanding service as America’s first lady, Melania Trump could never dream of receiving the fawning media coverage now being showered upon Jill Biden, who will become our next first lady Jan. 20 unless President Trump succeeds in overturning the Electoral College vote selecting Joe Biden as president.

Mrs. Trump deserves to be recognized as an exceptional first lady. With little fanfare and tremendous pushback from some of the most vocal segments of society, she managed to launch a successful anti-bullying campaign, conduct important outreach abroad, protect her teenage son from relentless bullying, and serve as an inspiration to those trying to integrate into American culture. All without making any major missteps.

I find it sad that an unscrupulous liberal media treated Mrs. Trump so unfairly compared to their obsequious coverage of former first lady Michelle Obama and now Jill Biden. Even traditionally nonpolitical outlets ignored Mrs. Trump and dismissed her.

MELANIA TRUMP TREATED WORSE BY MEDIA THAN ANY FIRST LADY IN MODERN HISTORY: CONCHA

Despite her successful career as a fashion model, we didn’t get the barrage of stories about Mrs. Trump’s wardrobe choices that bombarded us when Michelle Obama was first lady. Many didn’t miss such coverage, but the discrepancy is telling. 

Mrs. Trump’s “Be Best” campaign confronted some of the most challenging issues facing children today, highlighting three important pillars: wellbeing, online safety and opioid abuse.

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In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the rise of virtual schooling, and the outbreaks of violence in some American cities over the last year, these issues needed and deserved the attention brought by the first lady. This effort, in combination with good public policy from the Trump administration, coincided with a drop in drug overdose deaths and in increase in life expectancy.

In her travels at home and across the globe, Mrs. Trump has demonstrated compassion, kindness and diplomacy. She has visited schools and hospitals, made a positive impression on foreign leaders, and exemplified beauty and grace.

By all accounts the first lady has been a wonderful mother in a most difficult situation. The children of American presidents live in a bubble most of us can’t fathom, with a lack of mobility few teenagers would covet.

Mrs. Trump has had to raise a teenage son under pressure and in the spotlight. But the Trump family in particular has faced heightened criticism and scrutiny from an overwhelmingly hostile press that has almost always sought the negative side of every story.

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The unfair and biased coverage of Melania Trump is a missed opportunity. Having a first lady who is herself an immigrant, who speaks five languages, and who comes from far outside the elite circles of government is a story that exemplifies the American experiment. Had this first lady been the wife of a Democratic president, the media would have been clamoring to tell her story and to get her commentary an array of issues.

Mrs. Trump made few missteps during her tenure. Perhaps the biggest controversy came when a disloyal former staffer released recordings of a private conversation in which the first lady was heard complaining that policy issues should be more important than decorating the White House Christmas tree. Though much of the media treated this as a scandal, it was hardly that.

Mrs. Trump was understandably frustrated with a media that criticized her for the failings of her husband’s predecessor, blaming her for family separation policies instituted by President Barack Obama based on laws the Democratic House of Representatives refused to change.     

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Throughout the past four years, Melania Trump has never been given the same benefit of the doubt enjoyed by previous first ladies. The mocking, cajoling, and lack of respect by the left-wing media and opponents of the president has been shameful and undeserving.

Mrs. Trump leaves behind a legacy as a classy and compassionate first lady who was deserving of the respect owed the office.

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