Ever get the feeling that President Trump, and by extension his closest staff, can do nothing right in the eyes of the Washington press corps? It sure seems that way when they pick apart even sweet traditions like serving our troops on Thanksgiving or the decorations chosen by the first lady for Christmas. But let’s be honest, aside from the president, his female staff receive the harshest and most dishonorable treatment.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Press Secretary of the Trump administration, innocently baked a pie for Thanksgiving and posted it to Instagram. It looked delicious. It shouldn’t have been controversial – it’s a pie – but leave it to the media to stoke conspiracy, ridiculously accusing Sanders of posting a stock photo and labeling it #piegate.
Seriously, this happened. Never mind that our nation is grappling with transformative issues like tax reform or dealing with a mad dictator in North Korea. The media focused on a pie solely because Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a member of a presidential administration they despise. Piegate, however, is just nothing compared to the personal attacks. It’s shocking the depth to which they will sink, criticizing her looks, her weight, and her accent.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who makes a career of pettiness and the denigration of conservative women (to the point of being obsessive and creepy), wrote, “And so, at Monday’s off-camera briefing, she stood on the podium, frequently cocking her left eyebrow and raising the left corner of her lips to convey displeasure at the line of questioning. Then, as frequently, she opened her mouth and, with a heavy Arkansas twang, said a lot of nothing.” Most recently, he railed against the “Trump mouthpiece” for her “infantilizing of the press corps” by asking them to say what they are thankful for before submitting a question. The tone of the article went downhill from there.
In at time when we are watching the freak show of frat boy behavior unfold in the media, it’s refreshing to watch Sanders handle her job with poise, refusing to engage in futile, useless, and childish behavior.
A piece earlier this year by Pulitzer prize-winning Los Angeles Times’ columnist David Horsey was so nasty they were forced to take down. In it, he called Sanders a litany of things I’d rather not write here.
His comment about being Sanders being a “soccer mom” was particularly disgusting, because he not only denigrated Sanders but implied that soccer moms in general have nothing else to do but bake cookies and wear running shoes. It was an unnecessarily mean.
And do I even need to mention the childish, expletive-packed rant by Wonkette Senior Editor Evan Hurst, who apparently has never met an F-bomb he didn’t like?
Comedian Chelsea Handler wrote last year that we need to “find women that are different than you and figure out the things you have in common. We have a whole generation of girls who are looking at us to see how we treat each other…” Yet just this week she railed against Sanders, choosing to describe her with crass and rude language. Some role model you are, Ms. Handler.
Beyond bad form.
Sanders arguably has one of the toughest jobs in the entire administration as Trump’s press secretary. The White House press secretary must have a grasp of every major and most minor issues on any given day and be able to articulate a concise and coherent answer to a group of people who, for the most part, want to destroy her boss.
The job requires calm under intense pressure. I have yet to see Sanders lose her cool, even when faced with difficult, ridiculous, or from-left-field questions posed by members of the press over and over again. She’s also funny, exclaiming, “Christmas had come early” when alerted to the fact that CNN was boycotting the White House Christmas party.
The White House press corps were not amused.
Dana Perino, who served as press secretary under President George W. Bush, was only one of two female press secretaries in history (Sanders is the third). She wrote an open letter to Sanders at the beginning of her tenure, urging her to be the “most knowledgeable person in the room” and to “take a moment of gratitude” when walking into the West Wing.
Sanders does even more than that. She reads from a Christian devotional and says a prayer before entering the press briefing room and meeting the press. This is a woman who is grounded in her faith, understands her position, and executes her responsibilities well. On some days it’s a lions den.
One would think that the feminist members of the media would be thrilled to see a courageous woman place another crack in the glass ceiling of power and influence but not so much. Sanders has faced a barrage of negativity from the very people who handled the Obama administration with kid gloves.
In at time when we are watching the freak show of frat boy behavior unfold in the media, it’s refreshing to watch Sanders handle her job with poise, refusing to engage in futile, useless, and childish behavior. The left will never give her a fair shake, and feminists seem to find her a dangerous threat to their demands for fealty from women.
That’s OK; she doesn’t need their acclaim. Young, aspiring professional women love her. Conservative moms at home cheer her on when she is at the podium. People of faith pray for her.
Sanders doesn’t need your approval or even ours, because she plays to an audience of One even more powerful than Donald Trump.