Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. That’s what the media is apparently attempting with its latest claim about presumed president-elect Joe Biden bravely shattering a glass ceiling by nominating the first all-female White House senior 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,” reported The Washington Post.
“[I]t’s the first time the entire senior White House communications team will be entirely female,” added the AP.
Beyond the fact that an all-female White House senior press team is hardly “diverse,” Americans don’t 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 TVs is a woman.
“The current White House senior press team is made up completely of women.” @kelseybolar @IWF joined @CarleyShimkus to weigh in on the media’s praise of Biden’s all-female press team ignoring the Trump Administration’s all-female senior communications team. #progressiveprivilege pic.twitter.com/rdv8ehHNcl— Independent Women’s Forum (@IWF) December 1, 2020
Kayleigh McEnany, a new mom, serves as White House press secretary. Alyssa Farah, who has served in top communications roles within the Trump administration for more than three years, is the White House communications director. Stephanie Grisham serves as Melania Trump’s spokeswoman and chief of staff, and previously served as President Trump’s press secretary. Katie Miller serves as Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director, and Kara Brooks serves as the second lady’s communications director. These women are the most senior communications officials responsible for representing the Trump White House. They were preceded by Hope Hicks, Mercedes Schlapp, and Sarah Sanders, who all served in high-ranking roles in different capacities.
Because the Biden team is molding its own press shop, the roles on his senior communications team won’t 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 White House deputy communications officials in the Trump White House as senior staff.
However, it’s unclear whether deputy press officials qualify as “senior officials.” The Washington Post admitted so in a later story, writing that “reasonable people can disagree about whether those are technically ‘senior’ roles.” (If only they disclosed this in their original claim.)
If it’s true that Trump’s deputy assistants don’t qualify as senior officials, as one of those officials suggested on Twitter, then The Washington Post’s claim that “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 acknowledgement, the Trump Administration accomplished that “first” for women. History, check.
Similar to the way the media tried to erase Ric Grenell’s role in the Trump administration as the first openly gay Cabinet-level member in the White House, the media will never celebrate or even credit Trump for empowering women. He won’t receive accolades for nominating two female ambassadors to the U.N., for choosing women to lead in top positions at the State Department, or for empowering Kellyanne Conway, who became the first woman in history to run a successful presidential campaign. None of these “firsts” matter in this progressive privilege world.
The same press that pilloried Melania Trump for four years will now drool over Kamala Harris’s cornbread dressing recipe and anything the Biden team says or does. After ignoring the impressive gains women made under President Trump, they’ll issue breaking news alerts about a “diverse” press team that is monolithic in both gender and ideology.
Beyond the media’s double standard, there’s the exhausting trend of patronizing women for accomplishing normal things. Yes—it’s always great to see more women serve in senior roles of any administration. But faux diversity celebrations often cheapen women’s achievements by creating a sense of tokenism. Did they get hired because they’re a woman? In an identity-obsessed administration, there’s an open question. This undermines the hard work that women do to land important roles and does nothing to reflect their qualifications and accomplishments. Despite this, the Left wants more gender and diversity quotas, even enshrining them into California law this year.
Gender and diversity quotas signal that individuals cannot reach high-level leadership positions without special treatment. For women, they perpetuate the lie that sexism is the primary driver of disparities in workplace outcomes, when in fact career choices more accurately explain these differences.
Instead of celebrating women only when they land senior roles in their careers, the media should celebrate women for whatever life choices they pursue. After all, being a senior official of a household is pretty important, too. And instead of pretending that Joe Biden just accomplished something historic for women, the media should acknowledge that America already has its first all-female senior White House communications staff. It happened under President Donald J. Trump.
Kelsey Bolar is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum.