Pop culture blackout: Melania Trump missing from magazine covers, TV appearances

The Washington Times | 9/23/2018 | Staff
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Few first ladies have been more prepared for their close-ups than Melania Trump.

Yet the former model has not graced the cover of Vogue, Glamour or Cosmopolitan during her husband’s first 20 months in office. Neither has she yukked it up with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel or other late-night TV hosts.

Opportunity - Trump - White - House - Lauren

That’s a huge missed opportunity for the Trump White House, says Lauren A. Wright, lecturer in politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Others insist Mrs. Trump’s low pop culture profile smacks of media bias that extends to other women in the Republican administration.

Mrs - Trump - Toolkit - Surrogate - White

“[Mrs. Trump] has this toolkit that makes her a unique, powerful surrogate. … It’s so rare for a White House not to take advantage of that,” Ms. Wright said.

The modern first lady routinely graces the media landscape in creative ways. Michelle Obama, for example, appeared on the popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment on CBS’s “The Late Late Show” with host James Corden. The Atlantic noted Mrs. Obama’s appearance and described her banter with Mr. Corden as “lively and watchable, but definitely driven by an agenda.”

Mrs - Obama - Covers - Vogue - Times

Mrs. Obama appeared on the covers of Vogue (three times), Time, Glamour, Essence, InStyle, Redbook, Cooking Light and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others, during her eight years in the White House.

Mrs. Trump appeared on the covers of British GQ and Vogue before her move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Nancy - Reagan - Culture - NBC - Diff'rent

Even Nancy Reagan flexed her pop culture might when she appeared on NBC’s “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1983 to promote her “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.

Such appearances offer “a really good opportunity to get that different audience without being called unpresidential,” Ms. Wright said.

Villanova - University - Communication - Professor - Susan

Villanova University communication professor Susan Mackey-Kallis noted that Mrs. Trump has given fewer speeches than either Mrs. Obama or Laura Bush, at least up until this point in the Trump presidency.

“She seems far more uncomfortable...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Washington Times
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