Drawing lines where they don't exist: this is one of the mainstream media's favorite activities to engage in.
Since the top headlines of the day aren't always a matter of life and death, during your average 24-hour news cycle mainstream outlets like CNN and the Washington Post will try their hardest to invoke fear and concern into the hearts of media consumers.
When there's no way to instill fear into the hearts of their audience, they focus on fake examples of hypocrisy. Let's talk about that for a minute, shall we?
Melania Trump is currently campaigning against cyber-bullying. She's concerned about the suicide rates of teens, adolescents and young children. She's seen research that demonstrates how depression among children can be caused by both their home-life and their life at school. That makes sense, right? A child who is abused at home might suffer from depression, but getting picked on at school can be pretty rough on a young, developing mind as well.
Since this is the 21st century, sometimes the world of schoolyard bullying bleeds over into the world of social media. Much like you and your co-workers, your kids and their friends very likely have social media accounts. They're hungry for likes, retweets, shares, smiley face emojis and invites to private discussion groups with the cool kids on whatever social media network the kids in their town are using this week.
For school counselors and social scientists, childhood bullying is just as big of a concern on social media as it at school (although some would argue that a little bullying might toughen your kid up, but I digress).
Meanwhile, it should be no surprise to most American voters and media consumers that our President, Donald J Trump, is also a big fan of social media. Particularly Twitter.
On a slow lazy news day, media outlets will run stories about whatever Trump said on Twitter that morning, often with an emphasis on which Washington insider, coastal elitist or world leader he's criticizing on that particular day.
The President of the United States has used twitter to criticize Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alec Baldwin, Marco Rubio, Omarosa, Steve Bannon, the cast of Saturday Night Live, Jeff Sessions, CNN, the Clintons, every Democrat, Univision, Michelle Wolf, Jeff Flake, John McCain and pretty much anyone else who's disagreed with Trump politically or said something publicly that contradicts his own public opinions.
But the people he's criticizing all generally have a few things in common: they're public figures who are highly accomplished and they use their celebrity platform to make opinionated statements about government policy and other hot button issues.
Here's what they're not: adolescents with depression issues. This is a pretty important difference to highlight between the people he criticizes on social media, and the type of people our First Lady is currently trying to defend with her own platform.
Melania Trump is pushing the issue of cyber bullying to the national stage because she's worried about delicate little kids who might come from abusive homes and might not be emotionally strong enough to handle criticism from their peers.
Strangely, the mainstream news media doesn't seem to know the difference between high ranking political leaders (or affluent Hollywood celebrities) and young children who don't have public lives.
Here's a few headlines from some of your favorite left-leaning news outlets this morning:
- NPR: As The President Tweets Attacks, Melania Trump Speaks Out Against Cyberbullying
- CNN: Is Melania Trump trolling her husband with her anti-bullying agenda?
- ABC News: Trump sends mean tweets, first lady talks positivity online
- The Guardian: Melania Trump rails against cyberbullying – but she is using social media to gaslight the world
You get the idea.
The concern against cyber-bullying young children stems from the theory that they may develop severe depression issues, which can lead to substance abuse, suicide and other forms of self-harm.
The concern against Trump criticizing public figures is that said public figures might do their jobs differently based on how the most powerful political leader of the free world judges them on a public forum.
Nobody is worried that Robert Mueller is going to commit suicide after being mocked by Trump, right? I mean, it's probably a safe bet that someone who previously ran the FBI and is currently conducting the most important legal investigation in the world probably has thick enough skin to handle a little criticism from the President, right? If not, he may not be qualified to hold the job.
The point is, criticizing young children on social media is not the same thing as criticizing powerful adults who attended Ivy League colleges and ran government departments.
Similarly, when Trump uses silly terms like "Sloppy Steve", "Little Marco", "Crooked Hillary", or even "Lyin' Ted Cruz", it's not the same thing as children using racial and homophobic slurs or other vulgarities to describe their classmates.
If you think this is the same thing, you're only fooling yourself (and other Democrats). But that's what this is really about: Democrats don't want Trump to use his platform to influence the kind of change that they're against. They don't care about Robert Mueller or Omarosa's feelings. Why would they? They're worried that the President might influence someone to change a public policy or influence other change on the Federal level that goes against what they wanted from the last election.
And what's what this is really about: Democrats and liberals are hoping you're too stupid to know the difference between the former head of the FBI and a little kid in middle school.