Media amnesia over Donald Trump and women on senior comms team

Repeat a lie often and it can become the truth. That is what the media is evidently trying with its claim that Joe Biden shattered a glass ceiling by naming the first all female White House press team. “It is the first time all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female,” declared the Washington Post. “It is the first time the entire senior White House communications team will be entirely female,” added the Associated Press.



a woman in a blue shirt: Media amnesia over Donald Trump and women on senior comms team


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Media amnesia over Donald Trump and women on senior comms team

Besides the fact that an all female White House senior press team can be hardly called diverse, Americans do not have to leave their living rooms to see why this claim is false. Every top communication official representing President Trump and the White House on their televisions is a woman. Kayleigh McEnany, a new mom, serves as White House press secretary. Alyssa Farah, who has served in critical roles in the administration for more than three years, is the White House communications director. Stephanie Grisham now serves as spokeswoman and chief of staff for Melania Trump after her stint as White House press secretary.

Katie Miller serves as communications director for Vice President Mike Pence, and Kara Brooks serves as communications director for Karen Pence. These women are the most senior communications officials in charge of representing the White House. They were preceded by Hope Hicks, Sarah Sanders, and Mercedes Schlapp, who all served in higher ranking roles in different capacities.

As Biden builds his own press shop, the roles on his senior communications team will not look the exact same as they do under Trump. This makes it impossible to do an apples to apples comparison. But in an attempt to prove their claims true, reporters are trying to count lower ranking male deputy communications officials in the White House as senior staff. But it is unclear whether deputy officials qualify as senior officials. The Washington Post admitted this in a later story, writing that “reasonable people can disagree about whether those are technically senior roles.”

If it is true that deputy officials do not count as senior officials, as one of those current deputy officials noted on Twitter, then the Washington Post claim, “It is the first time all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female,” is patently false. Despite receiving hardly any coverage from the media, the current administration shattered that glass ceiling for women.

Similar to how the media tried to erase the role of Richard Grenell in the administration as the first openly gay cabinet level member in the White House, most reporters will never celebrate or even credit Trump for empowering women. He will never receive accolades for nominating two female ambassadors to the United Nations, for selecting women to lead at the State Department, or for empowering Kellyanne Conway, who became the first woman in history to run a successful campaign for president. None of these milestones matter in this liberal privilege world.

The same reporters who pilloried the first lady for four years now adore Kamala Harris for sharing her cornbread dressing recipe and anything else she does. After ignoring the incredible gains women made under Trump, they will issue breaking news alerts about a “diverse” press team that is monolithic in both gender and ideology.

It is always great to see more women serve in senior roles of any administration. But faux diversity celebrations often cheapen the achievements of women by creating a sense of tokenism. Did they get hired because they are women? In an administration obsessed with identity, that is certainly debatable. This undermines the hard work that women do to land important roles and does nothing to reflect their achievements. Yet the left wants more gender and diversity numbers. Gender and diversity numbers signal that individuals cannot reach top positions without special treatment.

They bolster the idea that sexism is the primary driver of disparities in the labor market, when in fact career choices better illustrate these differences. Instead of lauding women only when they land senior roles in their careers, the media should celebrate women for whatever life choices they pursue. Being a top official of a household is also important after all. Instead of pretending that Biden has made a historic moment for women, the media should note that the country already has its first all female senior White House communications staff under Trump.

Kelsey Bolar is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Womens Forum.

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