This Christmas, the media swoons after years of insisting the Trump holidays resembled Halloween.
It is well established the national press complex has vastly different approaches to the two political parties. That imbalance, however, becomes further highlighted when we see the differences in coverage on non-political matters. They cannot help themselves and reveal the game when they inject bias even into pleasantries and innocuous events.
This week at the White House, the official Christmas tree was delivered. The Bidens accepted the delivery with the extended family, and the media warmly covered the event — as they should. These are the kind of sideshow activities that do not need to be framed with any broader political impact. They serve as innocent distractions and can be a needed dose of normalcy.
This is a sweet time and the glowing coverage is expected. It is also a refreshing change, because over the past few Christmases, we saw a sour and dour approach to these holiday frivolities, with deeply negative coverage of how the Trump White House approached Christmas. There was even a call to boycott the annual White House Christmas press party, leading to President Trump canceling it outright for the balance of his term. Then, as First Lady Melani took bold stylish decisions, those were greeted harshly. Even today, some could not refrain from acidic remembrances of Christmas past.
Note the raves for Jill Biden’s stylings before they are even revealed. Mike seems desperate to be included on the White House Christmas card list.
The need for the press to be uniformly intolerant of the Trumps extended to the holidays and brought a harsh measure of Melania’s decor each year. The desire of journalists to signal their disdain meant a contemptuous Christmas critique was compulsory, so her designs were always regarded as more the set design from slasher movies.
For the first Christmas, the Trump design was mostly white, to reflect the season. This was met with many in the press who had to see it as a stark and depressing display.
The following year, the theme was red, with holiday touches and themes. This was greeted in the media not as a festive display but as a horror show. Melania Trump didn’t show up to explain her spooky Christmas decorations said the Washington Post in 2018, and this echoed the impressions delivered across the press spectrum for years. CNN had to suggest there was a creepy nature to Melania’s collection of cranberry-covered trees, repeating many of the responses which were negative by rote. Meanwhile, the journalists were notably uncreative in their uniform renditions.
BuzzFeed joined in on the abattoir assessment, calling it a display of blood trees. At The Guardian, a wide collection of psychologists were consulted to weigh in on all the emotional trauma evoked by the supposedly jarring visuals Melania offered up.
So now, today, we see the media celebrating Jill Biden for ushering in a new style of decorations in the White House. The First Lady is being cheered for restoring a level of class and tradition.
This is being reported before a single reveal of the decor has been made. Jill Biden is clearly being lauded in the same manner in the media as her husband. The First Lady is graded with high marks strictly on expectations and not on actual results. Like everything else with this administration, the press will give them an A-Plus simply for not being a Trump.
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