When Trump hatred is so entrenched that a lack of controversy is regarded as controversial.
Yes, I know — it is Slate. I fully realize they are a thriving self-parody outlet. But sometimes, when they become emblematic of a larger issue within the media, holding up their example becomes valid. Or at least amusing.
This weekend the leftist loudmouths produced a piece that typifies the unhealthy obsession the press has with all things Trump. It so perfectly encapsulates how the media foregoes not just journalistic ethics but also common sense. If it is Trump, it is evil, by default. No room for nuance. They rationalize it is an obligation to expose the venal components of the administration, even when there is nothing to report.
It was a piece so stupid that I am loathe to link to it, entitled “Lara Trump’s Instagram Feed Is an Achievement in Blandness.” Right at the start you get a sense the site endeavored with a hit piece that actually has no target, and thus never manages to land a blow. This reality does not stop them from getting angry at the intended victim.
Amusing as it is to consider yes, writer Heather Schwedel combed through the Instagram feed of a Trump daughter-in-law in order to compile grievances that would expose the vile underpinnings of the family entire. That Heather failed to find anything particularly newsworthy did not interrupt her spitting out 1,100 words of vitriol.
I need to note here this entry is part of a regular series by Slate, called Trumpstagram. The outlet actually dedicates writers to cull problematic and nefarious nuggets from social media. Yes, seriously.
As they describe it: Trumpstagram is Slate’s pop-up blog that close-reads Instagram accounts in the Trump orbit. Past subjects in this series have been wife of Treasury Secretary Mike Mnuchin, Louise Linton; Cabinet member Linda McMahon; and Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter’s pet rabbit. In case you think this trends towards the petty they also featured the Instagram account of Trump Tower, with a plethora of individuals flipping the middle finger — to a building.
So Slate and Schwedel decided to set their cross hairs on the wife of son Eric, Lara Trump. What they found was a shocking…er, no. They found a controversial –…nope, not that either. Well, they managed to discover a woman in her thirties who tends to like her kid, and dogs.
Lara’s world, it turns out, is an exceptionally boring place. It’s a never-ending parade of dogs, baby pictures, and political photo-ops whose only distinction is their utter indistinguishability from one another. Each day is like a scoop of vanilla ice cream photographed from an ever-so-slightly different angle.
That sounds…well, not scandalous. But obviously there has to be something objectionable here. I mean, they would not delve this deeply into someone’s feed, and produce this much lengthy content, unless there was something scathing to report on. Ah, here’s the red meat!
You’ll find little evidence of awkward hashtagging here, and in the language of emojis, she is not merely competent but a master. In fact, the deft way in which Trump deploys emojis is enough to cure you of the notion that there’s anything inherently cute or charming about picture-based speak.
Emojis. That is certainly something with which to be concerned!
She uses emojis the way people I know do, which is maybe what makes it so jarring. In Trump’s hands, a peace-sign emoji feels familiar and also confusing: What does peace mean to the woman who supports her father-in-law’s aggressive foreign policy agenda?
Jarring emoji use. And we placed this family in the White House?!?! There must be something more disturbing to see in this, something of grave concern that — oh wait, sorry, there is more emoji coverage:
Her emojis feel studied, like she’s a pod person who’s been passing herself off as a regular, non-Trump-affiliated 35-year-old mother, absorbing the signifiers but none of the signified. It would be impressive if it weren’t so chilling.
I was not aware emojis packed so much import. Makes it all the more surprising that Chelsea Manning lost her Senate bid. But do note, apparently Lara can be both unsettling in emoji use while also being a deft master at the craft.
More “chilling” facets were discovered by Schwedel in Lara Trump’s feed: she posts about her baby, dogs, working out, sunsets, or horses. Oh, and emojis, of course.
But as is, she gives us nothing redeeming to find in her to help us even begin to consider excusing the terrifying policies she’s helping prop up. And she fiercely supports Donald Trump, even as she is often careful to say nothing of substance about why.
I’m beginning to think that the biggest problem with this Instagram account is that there is not anything objectionable. And that’s a problem! So then Slate has to do the only logical thing when faced with an abject lack of controversial content — scorch Lara Trump over things NOT said!
Sweet, right? Actually, it’s pretty disgusting when you realize that she meanwhile posted not a single word about the children who were separated from their parents at the border as a direct result of her father-in-law’s policies.
There you go! Lara is a disgusting individual based on…uh, what she has not posted…I guess? I am rather surprised I did not see condemnation following Lara posting a photo of her sipping from a Starbucks cup, while blatantly remaining silent on the effects tariffs will have on coffee bean prices!!!
Schwedel has exposed a bit of herself in her closing. The lack of truly bothersome content has obviously left her quite bothered.
On the Instagram account where she is assembling a digital representation of herself, Lara Trump might just be canny enough to know that extreme banality, as mind-numbing as it may be to Trump haters, is exactly what her supporters want from her.
So as Lara creates posts that could be from just about any other 35 year minivan Mom they are actually problematic, based on nothing more than her surname.
I applaud you, Heather Schwedel. You were mind-numbed, but you persisted, and you still managed to produce a lengthy screed of Trump-hate. At least you did not let the lack of evidence deter your mission.
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