Photos of Jill Biden En Route to Florida Show Same Attire Mainstream Media Grilled Melania Trump For


Outrage for thee, not for me.

In August of 2017, after Hurricane Harvey’s rampage in Louisiana and Texas, then-first lady Melania Trump went with her husband to inspect the damage in the stricken region. As she left the White House for the trip, she was wearing high heels.

By the time she’d reached Texas, of course, she’d changed into different footwear, as stilettos aren’t exactly made for surveying storm damage. Nevertheless, the media crucified her upon a cross of fashionable footwear.

Some examples:

The New York Times: “Melania Trump, Off to Texas, Finds Herself on Thin Heels.” Vanity Fair: “Who Wears Stilettos to a Hurricane? Melania Trump.”

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“The President‘s clothes — khakis, windbreaker, and sturdy shoes — say, ‘I know what’s going on, at least,’” Vanity Fair’s Kenzie Bryant wrote.

“And then there’s Melania. Her aviator sunglasses and army green jacket say, ‘Business,’ and, ‘Let’s get down to business,’ and, ‘Hello, my name is Tom Cruise and I’m here to give you the business.’ The heels scream, ‘Who’s in for brunch?’”

Vanity Fair would later amend this after the fact by putting this tweet from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins at the top of the piece:

However, the fact remains this was a supposed scandal for more than a news cycle or two — and not only that, but a supposed scandal fueled by what Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, was fond of referring to as “fake news.” Even commentators who acknowledged Melania had changed out of the shoes before she arrived in Texas tried to paint her as out of touch for wearing the heels in the first place.

Meanwhile, in 2022, we have first lady Jill Biden — sorry, Dr. Jill Biden — visiting Florida with her husband to survey the damage left by Hurricane Ian. You might not have heard about her footwear choices as she left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Wednesday — but because we’re here talking about something so fatuous, I’m pretty sure you can take a guess at what she was wearing:

Melania Trump Makes Rare Public Appearance - Newsweek Finds Issue with Coat She Wore

Those, you will not be surprised to learn, are not galoshes. And yet, no one seems to be lashing out with outrage over this one. The frothing mainstream media coverage? Absent. The puff pieces about how Jill Biden’s heels made her look like she was about to invite the gals out for some mimosas and avocado toast on a Sunday morning? Not so much.

Conservative Twitterers, however, had longer memories:

That’s author and conservative media personality Stephen L. Miller noting the disparity in heel/disaster coverage between our last two first ladies in the legacy media despite nearly identical circumstances.

He wasn’t alone:

Perhaps the performative outrage and soft misogyny visited upon Melania in 2017 takes a while to percolate and you’ll start seeing furrowed-brow think-pieces in the Times and Washington Post about Jill Biden in the next few days. (Jill Biden’s “kitten heels” are, after all, just short stilettos.)

Holdeth not thy breath.

Do you miss having Melania Trump as first lady of the United States?

Instead, the lack of attention paid to this ought to underline what Basil Fawlty would have termed “the bleeding obvious”: Heel-gate, like so many other pseudo-scandals during the Trump administration, had nothing to do with an actual offense or faux pas, but instead with the pre-determination that there needed to be a Trump-related outrage involved with every major news story.

There wasn’t any outrage to be found. There wasn’t a story, period. And five years later, the mainstream media has confirmed this by not covering Jill Biden doing the same thing.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture