Shoes Are Not News …

Dear Free Press … You Blew It … Again

I applaud our press … they have kept us informed despite a secretive and contrary administration.  They have found resources where there might have been none.  They are our last best hope to remain free of the heavy hand of an unhinged dictator.  But this week they blew it.

stop-press4Credibility.  It’s all about credibility.  Too many, following Trump’s claims of “fake news” question the mainstream, legitimate press already.  They must maintain high standards, be their own fact-checkers, and most importantly, focus on what is important.  And quite frankly, Melania Trump’s shoes are not what is important.  Nobody cares if Melania wants to wear 6” stilettos to traipse through the flood water in Texas.  Well … nobody should care.  Those who do, wouldn’t understand real news if it punched them in the nose, so they don’t count.

Remember when First Lady Obama had the gall to … gasp … wear a sleeveless dress to some event or another during President Obama’s first few months in office?  The press was all over that one too.  Now, the New York Times and most other major publications have a ‘fashion’ section, and if they wish to analyze Melania’s shoes in that section, then fine.  But it should not, as it was five days ago, be front page news that …

“When is a shoe not just a shoe? When it is a pair of very high, needle-thin heels worn by the first lady of the United States on her way to the site of a natural disaster. Then it becomes a symbol for what many see as the disconnect between the Trump administration and reality; another example of the way in which this president and his family continue to define “appropriate” their own way; and an excuse for partisan name-calling.”

shoes-1.jpgMind you, I am not disputing the above statement, for it is the truth.  I am merely saying that it is not news, it is not sound journalism, it is not the most relevant issue of the day, and it does nothing for the credibility of the source, in this case the New York Times, though The Washington Post and others also jumped on the bandwagon.  Predictably, Fox News and others didn’t miss the opportunity to criticize …

“Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair all went as low as they could go — all the way to the floor — to attack Melania Trump. Readers were astonished at how ridiculous the media were willing to be to savage team Trump.

Here’s how they decided to play footsie with Melania: Politico’s “Melania’s stiletto sideshow,”  Vanity Fair’s “What Not to Wear to a natural disaster,” and, the Times’s “a symbol for what many see as the disconnect between the Trump administration and reality.”

And of course a few comedians had their say …

“But people weren’t talking about the nuclear missile that Kim Jong Un tested, because Melania Trump apparently did something much worse, She went to Houston wearing high heels.” – Trevor Noah of The Daily Show

Focus, dear press, focus.  We need you to do better than this.  We need you to be reporting on the important news of the day, not on what Ms. Trump chooses to put on her feet. Frankly, I don’t care if Melania chooses to wear cute little bunny slippers … given her past profession, I am just happy to see her fully clothed!

The mainstream media may have learned their lesson, for yesterday, as the Trumps once again headed for a “do-over” photo op amidst the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the above-named media outlets were silent on Melania’s fashion statement, though other, less reputable publications such as The Blaze, Mirror, and The American Spectator picked up the ball and reported on Melania’s “defiance” of the criticism earlier in the week, as she sported her ‘snakeskin stilettos’.  Personally, I have never understood why anybody would wish to try to walk in those things, but that’s just my opinion. I have enough trouble balancing on my flat feet!

shoes-2The mainstream media has always been under a magnifying glass, criticized when they get it wrong but rarely praised for getting it right.  Under the present administration, the scrutiny is even more intense, with daily attacks on the press by not only Trump, but many of his advisors and minions, not to mention the right-wing media outlets and conservative pundits.  It is more imperative than ever that the press leave Melania’s fashion choices to the fashion pages and instead keep the ‘news’ section for real news such as North Korea’s missile tests, Trump’s abhorrent staff picks, his attempts to destroy federal regulations, and his undermining of foreign relations, to name a few.  Focus on the connections between Russia and Trump last year, focus on the connection between Hurricane Harvey and carbon emissions.  Just don’t throw away your credibility, for our very freedom depends on you, our press, to shine the light in the dark corners. Shoes are not news.

52 thoughts on “Shoes Are Not News …

  1. on the other hand…beautiful sexy stilettos notwithstanding…shoes are more comprehensible and palatable than devastating floods and annihilating bombs. Stilettos are a reminder of sex and popular-sins, moreso than fashion. OK, maybe we are jealous….if I tried to walk in stilettos it would be silly and it would kill me. But back in the day….come on ladies, own up. :-0

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  2. I think their prenuptial agreement contains the phrase “…shall at all times appear as a beautiful model, which includes wearing of stiletto heeled shoes.” I say give Melania a break… but it is disgusting the way they always have her all dolled up like a Barbie doll; especially at events which include real women dressed appropriately. One wonders what she would choose if left to her own auspices in her wardrobe closets.

    One other point though, Melania was a model in her former life…not a woman of ill repute/whore..

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  3. All that talk about shoes and it wasn’t even a slow news day. Melania’s shoes didn’t bother me. What did bother me was all the pitch black smoke from the chemical plant that was pouring into the air from the fire and the fact the EPA said it wasn’t harmful. No one was told Agent Orange was harmful either until the serious problems turned up. — Suzanne

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      • I’m willing to give her a break because I remember who she’s married to. He judges people by how attractive they are and she depends on him. I wonder how long she’ll stay after the boy is raised and educated. Of course, by then DT will probably not be making much sense and have a caregiver and medication to control him. —- Suzanne

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        • 😀 And drooling on himself! I don’t really dislike Melania, and I almost feel sorry for her, except … she almost certainly married him for his money and she had to know what a piece of rubbish he was before she married him, so in a way I think she got what she deserves. Still, I do feel sorry for her, and if she leaves him, I’m sure she will have even more troubles. I just hope she instills some values in her son so that he doesn’t turn out like Trump’s other two sons, who are exactly like him.

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  4. You must not forget the selling power of sexuality and without it the press would close down and millions of internet sites would fold up. Open any newspaper and you will see many images of fashionably dressed women parading across the pages, some publications have nothing else in them. What made Princess Diana so popular was not her character but her fashionable iconic beauty , Mother Teresa was not photographed so much. So the food of news the majority crave for is not news of impending nuclear war , or the Brexit debate oh no it’s the latest shenanigans of the rich and famous, and those rich and famous must love children to keep themselves in the public eye.

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    • Ah, such a cynical view of human nature 😉 I’m sure that is true of some, and still others are more drawn to the ‘blood & guts’ images. But I believe there are still a large number of us who seek actual news and are not impressed by sexuality nor sensationalism in the news. Perhaps I am wrong, and speak only for myself, but …

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      • I hope you are right but I believe the press and internet are largely entertaining organisations. I can remember black and white TV and everyone said what a marvellous medium it would be for education well now we have twenty four hour multiprogram TV we must all be walking geniuses.

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        • Yes, I hear you! It is an entertainment industry, reliant on advertisers who put their money where the largest number of viewers are. I just like to think that the majority of us are not so shallow that we would judge our news content on the vision of sexy women (or men, for that matter). I am old and old-fashioned, I suppose.

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          • I’m 75 and the hey day in the blood is over but we must acknowledge all sides of human nature , after all it has made the world what it is , there is no one else to blame unless you believe in the Devil. I consider my self very fortunate to be among the world’s richest occupants , not quite in the top 1% but certainly in the top 3%. Incidentally the top 1% now have half of the global wealth and most of them live in rich western nations. We must not forget the top 1% amounts to about 75 million people since the global population is now an incredible 7.5 billion.

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    • just imagine for a moment what chaos would have ensued had Mother Teresa appeared publically in clothing fancied by Princess Diana… amid the rich and prominent world leaders. Both were role models: Diana because so many saw her as a breath of fresh air, a different kind of Royal; Mother Teresa potentially as a voice for representing her influence with world leaders on behalf of the sick and the poor to end causes of poverty.

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      • You are right Diana did break the royal mode but she had the fashionable beauty to do it and was unhappy enough not to tow the line. I loved the wrinkled face of Mother Teresa and her moral force was overwhelming.

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        • right. Not to put Diana down at all, I admire her very much. Once in Portugal at the Lisbon airport my husband and I were grounded because of some emergency while the plane was searched, and one of the Sisters from M.Teresa’s order came over and stayed by us until the flight was called. She was quite young, and was headed I forget where.

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          • The days of royal governance are long gone now they are just expensive figureheads but the pomp and ceremony is indispensable in all nations most of us love a spectacle. Flags flutter all around my obscure small coastal town but now we see more of St George than the Union Jack , union is not a popular word these days Brexit fits nicely with break up.

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          • Everyone will claim they have made the world a better place but the differences between people are enormous. Now Mr Trump donated a million dollars of his own money to Texas flood relief, now what are we to make of that? Who is going to add up the checks and balances? Maybe if the scales come down on the good side the golden gates will open. Perhaps the parable of the widows mite will illuminate our thoughts on the matter.

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              • You are a far closer observer of Mr Trump than I will ever be and I bow to your more accurate assessment of the man. I was merely pointing out that to assess the goodness or badness of any individual we need to look beyond politics and ideology. Besides people are like icebergs four fifths of them is below the water line. My suspicion is that goodness and badness , by that I mean considering the well being of others, follow a bell curve in much the same way as IQ . Now well being is a tough nut perhaps musicians and composers contribute more than medical trench-workers.

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            • Dear Kertsen,
              I don’t have the critical eye to be as discerning as you seem to be, I look foe a consistency in one’s work over a significant amount of time. Both Princess Diana and Mother Teresa touched people’s hearts and gave comfort to lots of peoples, strangers. It is true that one did it where it involved much more sacrifice but both acted.

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              • Gronda I hope I’m not too critical for I’m in no position to cut men or women down to size being a thing of shreds and patches myself, but we must judge to get our bearings in the world while we are here. It is human nature that makes us and breaks us , that builds us up and cuts us down, makes us dance and reduces us to tears.

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                • Kersten, to comment from a position of “deeper understanding,” as I once heard said…is a gift. Opinions and viewpoints are usually formed early on in life and change is dependent on an openness to all possible sides of any given situation. That is considered “wishy-washy” by some, but I prefer “eclectic.” Making up one’s mind and sticking to their views no matter what is dangerous, much better to remain open to all possibilities of human nature. I say never apologize for expressing ideas or opinions that may divert from the “norms” of fairy-tales and political rhetoric.

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  5. David Brooks noted the President did well by going, but sent a terribly wrong signal that this will be a quick recovery. This will be a long ordeal and that should have been the message along with you will have our support. Staying with Harvey, Congress needs to act, but the number the President threw out is way too low by a factor of twenty. This outside of the cuts he proposed to FEMA, HUD and EPA budgets which also dwarf the number he threw out. I fully expect him to get the optics right, but fail to deliver over the long haul as this is a terrible calamity.

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    • I agree with all you say, and yes, going there was indeed the right thing to do, as I’m certain all his advisors told him. But the thing is … it all came off to me as a big photo-op on his part. Perhaps I am simply jaded by his past performance and by what I know of him, but … he simply did not seem sincere, still appeared more to be promoting himself than anything. But to your point, yes this will not be fixed quickly. And perhaps more importantly, this should be a huge wake-up call on the effects of climate change. Considered in conjunction with the even more serious storms and flooding in South Asia, we cannot afford to continue on Trump’s path of de-funding the EPA and every other branch of government that is involved with research in this area. I still don’t think Trump, Pruitt and the rest actually get that.

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      • Pruitt and the EPA reacted negatively to a news report by a watchdog who said there are several toxic dumps at risk due to Harvey. Pruitt said they had not been able to check them yet due to safety reasons, but the watchdog had. When thejy raised the issue if Harvey had changed Pruitt’s thinking on climate change, his response was that the watchdog was politicizing a disaster. No, Mr. Pruitt, GOP leadership is politicizing climate change.

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  6. I completely agree. I could care less what the Drumpfs wear to their latest bigly disaster (they have the best ones, you know). What I did realize when I saw the pictures though, was that these two are indeed performing in their latest reality show. They are simply playing The Prez and Mrs. Prez,, something his actions and words/tweets have been confirming since day 1.

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