The last 6 months have seen the unprecedented media broadcast of Donald Trump’s election campaign, every single nugatory detail related to him and his family. Among the Trump’s clan, Ivanka Trump was highly under the spotlight for various reasons including political and personal. Even before her father’s presidency campaign, she is a vice-president of Trump’s empire. A model turned business woman she has success on many fronts and become the target of severe criticism due to her actions and her role in Trump’s campaign.
She has kept her family affiliation stance when Trump received severe anger and criticism over his stance on abortion, women and his leaked tape. During the last weeks of the election campaign, she actually became the target of all the ‘hatred’ and ‘criticism’ when a campaign gained momentum to boycott her line of clothes.
On the average, a media channel gives a ‘piece of information’ related to Ivanka and the family, every other day and sometimes it even become a breaking news. A recent “breaking news” event happened last Thursday (22 December 2016), when Ivanka and her family were on a JetBlue plane and a passenger shouted at them. Ivanka Trump aggressively confronted by Goldstein who was holding his baby. The Trump family was escorted out of the plane to be carried in private plane and the ‘culprit’ was taken out of the plane.
The details of the Ivanka Trump JetBlue incident were presented as a minute-by-minute-detail in many papers.
- TMZ reported, Ivanka Trump “just had a bumpy start to her Xmas holiday.”
- Matthew Lanser, the husband of the ‘culprit’, tweeted before the actual events occurred, “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil.”
- In another tweet, Lanser claimed that his husband showed his displeasure and the “JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane.”
- The tweets were removed later, even the account was taken down.
- The official statement from JetBlue claimed that it is part of their duty to remove any element of nuisance from the flight especially if the chances of the escalation of conflicts are high. “In this instance, our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight.”
- Another passenger reportedly said that it was Lanser’s husband agitation and loud remarks that caused all the commotion. He was ‘agitated’ but his loud remarks – that were actually targeted at her – were addressed to everyone on board.
Scheff, Fellow Passenger (a witness)
- The passenger reportedly said that she told her security that she did not want anyone removed from the plane and no scene has to be created, as she kept on ignoring the remarks. Ivanka Trump, children harassed, tried to stay busy with them with crayons.
- Accompanied by full secret service entourage, she and her family were taken out of the plane to be flown to Hawaii in a private plane for winter holidays.
- According to the witnesses on the plane, the flight was already delayed because the Trump family was brought to the plane through a different way along with the secret service. Also, the ‘victim’ was not aggressive, he was expressing his opinion “but there were definitely no raised voices.”
- Trump’s spokesman reacted to the incident as unfair as it was unethical to behave like that towards a ‘woman who was on there with her children’, no matter what were the political affiliations.
This incident has brought to the surface, some interesting facts about the role of media in portraying an event:
- The media has treated ‘the Ivanka Trump JetBlue’ incident as a breaking news. Considering that there are serious and major occurrences in the world, this incident was given coverage and high importance. How ethical is media in doing so? How successful is media in shaping the thinking of majority as to pay attention to trivial events as BREAKING EVENTS of high importance?
- The story is presented to the audience at four angles: Trump’s side of the story, Ivanka Trump ‘aggressively confronted by Goldstein version, JetBlue version and the reaction statement from Trump’s office.
- Some papers gave the academic background check of Goldstein and the passenger who was a witness.
Such a coverage of Ivanka Trump JetBlue incident can raise some questions in the minds of conscientious readers. Fore mostly, why the people have started to cross that fine line of personal political affiliations with a targeted personal attack on people. At another level, if Ivanka is such a high profile ‘target’ and travelling with secret service personnel then why she chose to travel on a commercial flight. Obviously, she was working on her public image. The reaction of the flight authorities can be justified as rational to avoid any political backlash.
Reportedly, Ivanka Trump ‘aggressively confronted, but her response was very mature and peaceful as had been displayed earlier at numerous times during election campaign. Such a response is expected from her high-profile future role. She will be a right hand of her father in White House. She was in full control of her emotions. Even during the campaign, she was her father’s ‘adviser and neutralizer.’ “Ivanka’s opinions contain real weight, her thought matters, and Donald listens to her.”
But my question still remains. How justified is media to present the incident at various levels with various ideological implications for its different audience? It can be called a marketing tactic but how such tactics can justify the low coverage of vital issues like the environment. The investigative skills were enthusiastically employed to contact the passengers and their academic lives but no one is ready to investigate the causes of cruelties meted against the children, or the mass construction of destructive weapons in the name of security. At the end of the day, the only agenda is to keep the masses busy in trivial items of news, keep them entertained with the gossips; so, that no one can question any out of the line activity.