No, Melania Trump Doesn’t Hate Trees
Lemme ask you something.
Which of these two headlines would most pique your interest:
“Dead Tree On White House Lawn To Be Cut Down”
“Melania Trump Orders Removal of Near 200-Year Old Tree from White House”
I’m guessing the second.
So did the people at Newsweek, who slapped that inflammatory headline on a benign story this week about a hopelessly dead magnolia that’s been on life support for nearly half a century. It fed the narrative that many in the media are pushing: that President Trump is unfit to hold office.
Now these “journalists” have gone a step further: They’re trying to portray the First Lady as some kind of tree-chopping harridan.
Truth is, the so-called Jackson Magnolia, planted during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, is dead. It began to fail about 50 years ago. CNN reports that the tree is “completely dependent on artificial support” to remain upright.
A system of cables holds the tree together “and the cable has pulled through the very thin layer of wood that remains.”
If it was in my yard - or yours - the tree would have been firewood years ago. Yet it appears Mrs. Trump made the decision to have the tree removed after consulting with experts who told her the magnolia could fall at any time.
Newsweek should be ashamed. But it isn’t. The struggling news magazine - it stopped publishing print copies about five years ago - is apparently addicted to internet clicks. I didn’t link to the story with the phony headline because I don’t want to be a party to Newsweek’s cynical game.
Look, for 42 years I was honored to call myself a journalist. I was proud of my profession. Reporters and editors I worked with were skilled wordsmiths, committed to truth telling.
But in the past decade I’ve watched too many news organizations sacrifice fairness and honesty in pursuit of page views and clicks.
At first it made me angry. Now it just makes me sad.