News & Politics

Missing Melania Trump

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

You may have noticed the absence of a certain current First Lady on the covers of all the women’s magazines. Publications like Glamour and Vogue couldn’t get enough of Michelle Obama, who was hardly a fashion model. But faced with the presence of a real fashion model in the White House… ixnay:

Few first ladies have been more prepared for their close-ups than Melania Trump. Yet the former model has not graced the cover of Vogue, Glamour or Cosmopolitan during her husband’s first 20 months in office. Neither has she yukked it up with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel or other late-night TV hosts.

That’s a huge missed opportunity for the Trump White House, says Lauren A. Wright, lecturer in politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University… “[Mrs. Trump] has this toolkit that makes her a unique, powerful surrogate. … It’s so rare for a White House not to take advantage of that,” Ms. Wright said.

Oh, please. Does anyone really think that Mrs. Trump’s inbox is overflowing with photo shoot invitations from Anna Wintour’s rancorously partisan Vogue or any other Conde Nast publication? Mrs. Obama was on the cover of just about every American magazine except Guns and Ammo. Mrs. Trump… not so much.

Mrs. Obama appeared on the covers of Vogue (three times), Time, Glamour, Essence, InStyle, Redbook, Cooking Light and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others, during her eight years in the White House. Mrs. Trump appeared on the covers of British GQ and Vogue before her move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

A far more plausible explanation is that the “Resistance” media simply doesn’t want to give her any face time.

Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at the Independent Women’s Forum, said Mrs. Trump’s pop culture blackout smacks of the media’s anti-Trump posture. “There’s absolutely no defense of this,” said Ms. Gunlock. “It’s snobbery, mean-girl behavior, whereby featuring her they would be humanizing the president. You can’t like Melania. In liking Melania, you’ve at least approved of one of his decisions.”

Ms. Gunlock said a similar tactic is underway with some of President Trump’s most powerful female appointees. “Why hasn’t [U.N. Ambassador] Nikki Haley been featured … in these puff pieces, a regular offering on the newsstands?” she said. Obama administration officials such as Samantha Power (Vanity Fair) and Susan E. Rice (Vogue) have made the magazine cut.

Says it all, really.