Fox’s Howard Kurtz Under Fire For Claiming Melania Has Been Treated Worse Than Other First Ladies

Fox’s Howard Kurtz Under Fire For Claiming Melania Has Been Treated Worse Than Other First Ladies

Following a Friday night segment on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle in which he insisted that First Lady Melania Trump has been subjected to worse treatment than any other first lady in modern history, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz has faced withering criticism over his claim. In the wake of the backlash, Kurtz has tried to clarify himself, stating that while some pundits and opponents said awful things about Michelle Obama, the mainstream media coverage Mrs. Trump has received has been worse.

Reacting to Melania’s interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity last week, Kurtz told host Laura Ingraham that the first lady is “subjected to a particularly brutal kind of treatment and mockery.” After highlighting speculative reporting about Melania’s living situation and late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmell making fun of her accent, Kurtz definitively stated that “no other modern First Lady has been treated like this.”

After the clip began to make the rounds on Twitter, a number of reporters, journalists, commentators and pundits fired back at Kurtz’s claim, reminding him of the way recent first ladies Obama and Hillary Clinton were treated during their times in the White House.

HuffPost contributor and Occupy Democrats’ host Brian Tyler Cohen put together a short video reminding Kurtz of how Fox News and right-wing media viciously mocked Michelle Obama.

And the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty put together a thread highlighting how it was the norm for other first ladies to be mocked and brutalized by the public and the press.

Kurtz, meanwhile, responded to the criticism on Sunday afternoon, tweeting out that “certain pundits & opponents said awful & racist things about Michelle O, not disputing that.” However, he insisted, the “mainstream *news* coverage of Melania is much worse, don’t conflate the two.”

That response was met with even more criticism. Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer, who worked in the Obama White House, noted that “[c]ertain opponents” included Fox News.

And ABC News chief political analyst Matthew Dowd said that “it was Fox News that attacked Michelle Obama” while calling on Kurtz to name the mainstream media outlets that are currently attacking Mrs. Trump.

“You might spend more time fixing your workplace than in pointing fingers at others,” Dowd added.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.