There was a lot of criticism thrown at Melania Trump’s wardrobe choice when she was photographed on her way to a migrant detention center in Texas wearing a jacket that read, “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO YOU?” The first lady was called out by the media for her inappropriateness, and sending out a message that she does not care about the hard times of the families facing deportation and bans.
The speculation was that this jacket had a hidden meaning. However, the spokeswoman of Melania Trump denied the rumor. She insisted that it is just a jacket, and that people need to focus more on the work that the FLOTUS did during her time there. This issue got two hashtags of its own- #ItsJustAJacket and #SheCares.
But, people were not having it. It is, after all, the first lady we are talking about. Everything she says and does matter a lot. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza wrote,
We are talking about the first lady of the United States here. And not just any first lady. One who has meticulously minded her public image for decades — not just since her husband started running for president. The idea that Melania just grabbed any old jacket without regard to how people might interpret it goes against literally everything we know about her.
And then, it happened. Donald Trump tweeted something that contradicted everything said by his own side. He tweeted, “‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!” Thus, the true meaning of Melania Trump’s jacket was revealed.
Journalist Liz Plank puts it best. On her Instagram, she wrote, “Melania’s jacket is a pristine example of how an authoritarian government operates to de-legitimize the press. Please don’t be fooled. This is 100% bait.”
Media plays an important role in shaping the opinions of the public. So, authoritative governments always try to control the media to make sure that their regime lasts long.
In this case, the Trump administration is trying to take away the credibility from the press. It is quite easy considering the blind trust Trump supporters put in the president. For them, the coverage of Melania’s jacket is just an evidence that the president is right about the unreliability of media.
Plank elaborates by writing that it was the media who made the public aware about the disturbing violation of human rights at the border, that it was the media who, despite the denial of the administration about the violation, managed to collect evidence to prove that it was happening.
Plank calls out to people to be critical, and to not criticize the reporters who covered the story. It is possible to cover fashion blunders, and it is possible to cover family separation at the border. What is equally possible is to cover both of those issues at once. At times like this, it is important to remember that the media is not the enemy.
What do you think about Melania Trump’s jacket? Let us know in the comments.