Shelby Talcott on November 27, 2019
First Lady Melania Trump apparently won the crowd over after being booed at Tuesday’s youth opioid summit, but outlets appeared to bury the news.
Melania spoke at the B’More Your Summit in Baltimore Tuesday to help show children the dangers of opioid abuse. The speech was part of her “Be Best” campaign, and the first lady was booed as she began to speak on stage, according to reports. The Washington Post noted in its article that she appeared to win over the crowd in the end, but no other outlet reported this.
The New York Times, CNN and NBC News were among the outlets that reported on Melania being booed, each framing the story around this rather than her response or what the summit was about. ABC News even linked and quoted WaPo’s article, but avoided mentioning that the crowd appeared swayed by her speech in the end.
“But by the end of the speech, all of the adults agreed, the kids were booing less,” WaPo’s article reads. “They listened, and they even clapped,” according to one worker.
There were no protestors at the event and the boos were likely a result of President Donald Trump’s past comments this summer about Baltimore being “rat-infested,” WaPo noted. The outlet interviewed people who said that even though the first lady got some boos, it was important that she “came for the cause,” which was to help a growing epidemic in America.
Outlets, even one that read WaPo’s article, ignored this positive spin on the news that the first lady had been booed at the event. Publications failed to feature it at all, with WaPo appearing to be the only outlet that wrote about it.
The NYT highlighted other instances where the Trump’s had been booed, although it did quote one person who applauded Melania for going to the event. CNN wrote that the first lady appeared “undeterred” by the negative response and included other instances of her being booed.
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“She was again loudly booed, and also cheered, as she departed the stage at the conclusion of her speech. This is the first time the first lady has been publicly booed at a solo event, though the Trump administration has had strained relations with the city of Baltimore,” according to CNN.
NBC heavily highlighted the boos, writing that she was greeted with “a loud chorus” of them and that students “were speaking loudly throughout her remarks in a city her husband, President Donald Trump, has derided as ‘ a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.’”
“When she first took the stage, she was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos, but the boos appeared to be much louder and longer-lasting than the cheers.”
Melania issued a statement after the summit in response to some of the audience’s reactions to her presence.
“We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse,” Melania said according to the statement. Melania was later criticized for her recommendation of kratom, a plant native to Thailand and Indonesia that is known for its ability to induce dreamlike states at higher doses, while providing energy and focus when dosed in quantities less than or equal to 2 grams.
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