Over the past few weeks, the media has appeared obsessed with the whereabouts of First Lady Melania Trump, who had not made a public appearance since having surgery on May 14. Her attendance at a White House event on Monday ended her break away from the public eye, and so the focus has turned to the often-outrageous conspiracy theories that were circulated by media members.
It has been established that the First Lady is not comfortable being in the public eye on a daily basis, but even though her surgery for a kidney condition was the clear reason she refrained from public appearances, two writers floated a disgusting theory about the President and his treatment of Melania.
Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith argued in a tweet that it was not outrageous to assume that President Trump is abusing the First Lady, and her absence from the public eye is due to efforts to conceal it.
In 2014, Rolling Stone was embroiled in a fake news scandal, when it ran a fabricated story about a rape epidemic on college campuses. The story accused a female dean at the University of Virginia of covering up a rape allegation. The story was retracted, and Rolling Stone was forced to pay millions to those individuals it accused.
Rolling Stone seems to be at the fake news swing again, as Smith tweeted this.
I wish that I didn’t suspect that the prolonged, poorly explained public absence of Melania Trump could be about concealing abuse. I wish that it was a ludicrous prospect. I wish that the @POTUS wasn’t a man with a history of abusing women, including those to whom he is married.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 3, 2018
While Rolling Stone’s journalistic integrity has been under question for some time, the publication The Atlantic has fared much better, until now, when editor David Frum tweeted this ugly speculation.
Suppose President Trump punched the First Lady in the White House (federal property = federal jurisdiction), then ordered the Secret Service to conceal the assault. POTUS has Article II authority over Secret Service. Is that obstruction? Under Sekulow/Dowd, apparently NO
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 2, 2018
Fox News reports on the tweets, as well as other wild speculation and obsession by the media in regards to Melania.
Melania Trump was painted as “missing in action” when news broke on Sunday night that the first lady, who is fresh off an operation for a kidney condition, will not join her husband on a pair of international trips. CNN even aired a graphic of a calendar, placing question marks on each date since the first lady was “last seen” on May 10 – but CNN’s coverage turned out to be less appalling than some conspiracy theories floated on Twitter.
Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith wrote, “I wish that I didn’t suspect that the prolonged, poorly explained public absence of Melania Trump could be about concealing abuse. I wish that it was a ludicrous prospect.”
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News that CNN’s calendar graph “was sickening,” but “to see a Rolling Stone writer claim the absence was possible domestic violence is demented.”
The Atlantic senior editor David Frum also insinuated that domestic violence was the reason why Melania Trump laid low for a few weeks.
“Suppose President Trump punched the first lady in the White House (federal property = federal jurisdiction), then ordered the Secret Service to conceal the assault. POTUS has Article II authority over Secret Service. Is that obstruction? Under Sekulow/Dowd, apparently NO,” Frum tweeted.
Media analyst Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “it really is sad that some corners of the media world so easily engage in unsubstantiated speculation,” simply to bash the president.
“Imagine the outrage if that had happened during the Obama years. This is how low the left is willing to go, straight out of the gutter and into the sewer,” Gainor said.
McCall added that, “It is bad enough when this happens with regards to policy matters, but it is really out of line when it deals with somebody’s personal behavior. This kind of toxic and polarized public dialogue damages the public sphere in so many ways.”
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