August 21, 2016

THE PERFECT MEDIA MANNERS FOR MALIA, as explored by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, who note that “when Radar Online published blurry pictures of 18-year-old Malia Obama puffing some sort of cigarette at a Lollapalooza concert in Chicago on July 31. Radar’s 18-year-old eyewitness cried ‘weed.’ Video also showed Malia dancing suggestively to a rap song. The press refused to touch the story. Praiseworthy? Yes – if you’re willing to applaud media hypocrisy:”

In the middle of 2001, the media pointed and mocked presidential daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush when they were cited for underage margarita drinking in Austin at age 19. The New York tabloids loved it. It was headlined ”Double Trouble” by the New York Daily News and ”Jenna and Tonic” by the New York Post. The networks jumped all over it, underlining that this was the public’s business because the twins had entered the police blotter, and because their father was a recovered alcoholic.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer sounded the alarm: “Police in Austin, Texas today cited President Bush’s twin daughters for violating state alcoholic beverage laws. Questions about the incident remain off limits at the White House. As CNN’s Anne McDermott reminds us, all first families struggle to retain a little privacy.” Apparently CNN believed the Bush family should be an exception.

Even back then, there was a police-and-progeny double standard. The year before, 17-year-old Al Gore III was cited by police for driving back to Washington from the Outer Banks at 97 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone. Network coverage? Zero.

Malia Obama gets much kinder treatment than the daughters of Republican presidential candidates. Consider the liberal website Slate in 2012 holding a caption contest for a picture of presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s daughters Elizabeth (then age 21) and Sarah (age 14). Sadly, liberal commenters predictably leaped to imagine these conservative Catholic daughters — yes, including the middle schooler — were on contraceptives, or wearing chastity belts, or touching themselves sexually.

The daughters of Sarah Palin have faced all kinds of media shaming and mockery, starting with Bristol Palin’s pregnancy at 17, revealed just hours after Palin was named to John McCain’s ticket in 2008. Palin never achieved national office, but her family’s been mocked ever since.

In reference to Slate, that Website is the last Internet journalistic bastion of the Graham family, which owned the Washington Post for decades, until offloading their failing assets to Jeff Bezos in 2013. So any attacks on Santorum’s daughters can be said to represent their official policy when it comes to attacking children of prominent conservatives and Republicans.

Incidentally on Friday, Radar Online had quite an interesting phrase contained in their headline on their follow-up story of Malia sparking up:  “BUSTED! Angry Dad Barack RIPS Malia For ‘Pot’ Smoking Video Scandal.”

Scandal. Obama apparently isn’t angry that his daughter smoked reefer — assuming that’s what Malia was holding in the Radar Online video — but over how the outrage of her being caught led to his “carefully crafted image of a world-beating family…unraveling right before his eyes” in the last months of his presidency.

But then when it comes to youthful pharmaceutical experimentation, like father, like daughter, apparently.

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