President Trump gets a lot of credit — perhaps too much credit — for his mastery of the media. It’s certainly true that he knew how to command attention on the campaign trail, though his favorability numbers suggest that was something of a mixed blessing.
But since Jan. 20, it’s become clear that no one in the Trump family has mastered the media to positive effect better than his daughter Ivanka.
Witness Example No. 42,350 in support of that claim.
Imagine, for just a moment, any other face from the administration on that magazine coupled with a headline reading “I disagree with Trump.” Imagine if it were Stephen K. Bannon or Reince Priebus or Sean Spicer. For two weeks, the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on every weekday would be spent reading @realdonaldtrump tweets excoriating them for their insolence.
Even Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband and long Trump’s rock in the White House, appears to have rankled the president with his recent Time magazine cover — even without a headline that was critical of his father-in-law. In a meeting on Tuesday, the president joked that Kushner had become “more famous than me,” given his recent turn in the public eye. We say joked, but that’s the same thing that Trump said shortly before he fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Ivanka’s unlikely to suffer the same fate.
The extent to which Ivanka and Jared have carefully cultivated their positions as White House contrarians has been a marvel to behold. Steady as a metronome, stories have presented the pair as the quiet, moderating forces in the Oval Office, pushing the president to stick with NAFTA or to prioritize climate change or what have you. The US Weekly article teasing the cover story does precisely that: It presents the eldest Trump daughter as not really being on Team Trump, despite, you know, the no-salary position in the administration and the last name.
Why this article? It certainly doesn’t do Ivanka Trump’s private business any harm to distance her from the unpopular president. Last month, Bloomberg noted a sharp partisan split on views of her fashion label (from which she’s taken leave during her time in the administration). Democrats view it strongly negatively, pushing a net negative view of it among all Americans. That’s not going to be good for sales — especially since one of the groups that’s most critical of President Trump is college-educated white women who are squarely in the brand’s target demographic. (Us Weekly was purchased earlier this year by American Media, the publisher of the unabashedly pro-Trump National Enquirer.)
So what’s “the stand” that Ivanka Trump took, warranting the call-out on the cover of the magazine? You’ll have to buy the magazine to find out, on newsstands now!
Millions of people who don’t buy the magazine, of course, will simply be left with the impression that the cover gives as they pass by it at the supermarket check-out line: Ivanka Trump tried her best to oppose what her father was doing and probably even tried her best on those issues that are most important to you!
Again: a mastery of the media.