Americans were treated to another delightful little peek at the cherished civility of our national press corps this week, when news broke that a longtime White House aide married the vice president’s press secretary.
Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman wed Sunday in Washington. The president attended, and by all accounts it was a wonderful party for the happy couple. We might think young love in the midst of so much political warfare is a cause for celebration among a press corps that pines for a return to norms of civility daily.
The New York Times broke the story with a largely straight-forward wedding announcement that made passing reference to the groom’s hawkish immigration politics. The author must have forgotten an even-handed approach toward an administration official is a dereliction of duty in modern journalism, and their colleagues were having none of it.
“Stephen Miller’s New York Times wedding announcement sparks backlash,” The Guardian’s Luke O’Neil reported above an appeal that readers donate to preserve the “civility… the Guardian holds dear.”
“The truth is that U.S. immigration policy is no laughing matter,” he continued on the news story about a wedding.
Veteran Huffington Post reporter Christopher Mathias called it “a massive abdication of journalistic duty to publish a normalizing announcement of his wedding in @nytimesvows, and to publish said announcement with no mention that he’s a white nationalist.”
“God help us,” CNN’s Ana Navarro wrote of the celebration. “It’s going to procreate.” #StephenMillerWedding was even trending on Twitter. The results reflect poorly on his critics — Navarro and Mathias’s tweets pale in comparison.
Politico’s wedding write-up from Rishika Dugyala included all the classic musts — the venue, an old picture of the pair, the president’s attendance — plus a little more: Democratic attacks calling Stephen a white nationalist, left-wing talking points about a “Muslim ban,” and mention of the “‘zero-tolerance’ family separation policy” that’s the historic norm at the border.
But the groom wasn’t the only villain here, because as a Trump administration spokeswoman, the bride has defended its policies in public. Katie, our intrepid reporter writes, “was also previously the spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, where she defended the administration’s family separations policy and made some controversial comments about immigrants.”
Not to be outdone, Hayley Miller of The Huffington Post wrote up Stephen’s deranged and estranged uncle, who sought to hurt his nephew by giving political press statements about donating to a refugee organization. “Glosser, an outspoken critic of Miller’s anti-immigrant agenda, wrote on his Facebook post that he planned to donate to HIAS, a Jewish American nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees.”
“Outspoken critic” must be journalist for retired doctor estranged from his own sister, Stephen’s mom. It was, reporter Hayley says, “the perfect ‘wedding gift’ to honor the newlyweds.”
Tom Porter of Business Insider and John Bowden of The Hill ran with HuffPo’s big scoop because that’s our media, folks. “Class shade,” Hareetz opinion editor Esther Solomon tweeted, lauding the familial gadfly.
Good jokes. Lots of back-slaps. All in agreement.
It’s all a far cry from the Huffington Post wedding headlines of yore, like “President Obama Was One Dapper Groomsman At His Aide’s Wedding,” but this is a new age and the media is standing for civility in American politics.
Of course none of that is true. It’s all just a veneer to hiss and lash at conservatives in Washington. Fortunately for the public, they’re barely trying to hide it anymore.