Today much of the media have spent the day freaking out over a Time magazine feature on how President Donald Trump spends his time “after hours.”
A portion of the 3,803 word-long article that’s been getting so much attention from Twitter accounts with blue check marks describes Trump dining in the Blue Room of the White House.
The waiters know well Trump’s personal preferences. As he settles down, they bring him a Diet Coke, while the rest of us are served water, with the Vice President sitting at one end of the table. With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy vinaigrette for his guests. When the chicken arrives, he is the only one given an extra dish of sauce. At the dessert course, he gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else. The tastes of Pence are also tended to. Instead of the pie, he gets a fruit plate.
CNN’s coverage of the dinner was anything but calm. The network known for its snarky chyrons had this to say about ice-cream-gate.
“PRESIDENT GETS 2 SCOOPS OF ICE CREAM, EVERYONE ELSE 1,” the chyron reads.
This brings me to the obvious question: WHO CARES? Who cares if the president’s waitstaff are able to anticipate his preferences and have a Diet Coke or a second scoop of ice cream ready? That’s called good customer service! The White House waitstaff serve Trump nearly every day, so of course they know what kind of dressing he likes on his salad or what his beverage of choice is. And why are we all assuming that the other dinner guests couldn’t just ask for another scoop of ice cream if they wanted it? I have a hard time imagining the White House kitchen staff denying someone more dessert.
But that’s not how the inside-the-Beltway folk see it.
Earlier today, The Atlantic‘s David Frum tweeted a screen grab of the aforementioned portion of the article, and the thread that follows is enough to make one’s head explode.
This explains a lot. pic.twitter.com/TeexrVv4GK
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 11, 2017
Jennifer Rubin chimed in with this gem.
@davidfrum a man unable to restrain his urges
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) May 11, 2017
Really? Eating two scoops of ice cream is “a man unable to restrain his urges”? If that’s the case, cart me off to a loony bin, because I’ve polished off a pint of Ben and Jerry’s by myself more than once!
Slate’s Daniel Summers had this to say.
@davidfrum this is the most dickish thing I have ever read
— Daniel Summers (@WFKARS) May 11, 2017
— Daniel Summers (@WFKARS) May 11, 2017
Their harsh criticisms of Trump’s food preferences stand in stark contrast with the way the media praised former President Obama’s palate. Just last September, The New Yorker published this 1,590-word feature entitled “What President Obama Has Meant For Food.” And here’s a portion of a glowing, 1,213-word feature on President Obama’s personal chef, published in The New York Times in 2014.
In between, Mr. Kass manages a frantic schedule of travel, cooking and commuting, although he can be found grilling prime beef for the Obamas just outside the North Portico on many a Friday, steak night at the White House.
At the same time, he has helped to popularize a way of eating embraced by moneyed urban foodies. Just as the first lady’s fashion choices and toned biceps permeate the consciousness of the country, Mrs. Obama and Mr. Kass have taken organic gardening and the whole-wheat-ification of grilled cheese sandwiches mainstream.
So why is it that just a few months ago, it was cool when the president had specific food preferences, but today, it’s the worst thing ever? The double standard of the media’s over-the-top, pearl-clutching reaction to everything Trump does, including eating a second scoop of ice cream, is why so many Americans simply do not trust them. It also highlights just how sycophantic members of the press were towards President Obama. Everything he did, everything he ate, was THE BEST THING EVER.
Congratulations, CNN. You just played yourself.