Fox News, Colbert, and the Christmas 'war' on Melania Trump

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
First lady Melania Trump tours Christmas decorations at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The news givers over at Fox News prioritize the most important events of the day in a unique way. While the rest of the media leads off broadcasts with reports on the Republican tax reform legislation, shows like Hannity and The Ingraham Angle tackle the really important stuff, such as what Fox perceives as (to quote Sean Hannity on Thursday) “the far-left, hate-Trump media attack[ing] the first lady.”

It seems that this year’s Christmas decorations as overseen by Melania Trump for the White House got a snippy little review in the online version of Vanity Fair. What, you say you don’t scour the internet for Vanity Fair’s decor criticism? Fox News to the rescue! Specifically, Laura Ingraham, who made this the lead story on her Tuesday night show.

In the sort of reach only a Fox primetime host can make, Ingraham not only chided “the media” for its “war” on Melania — remember: We’re talking about one snarky little Vanity Fair post — Ingraham also managed to go on to attack former first lady Michelle Obama for things like “hosting White House parties with Hollywood glitterati [and] locking down Broadway every time she and Barack had a date night.” Ingraham also thundered against — of course! — Hillary Clinton, another former first lady, for “sounding the dog whistle that it was OK to trash conservative women.” Huh?

On Thursday night, Stephen Colbert stepped into this mess by doing one of his periodic check-ins with Melania Trump — by which I mean Laura Benanti, who has been doing her Melania impersonation for a while now. As always, Colbert and Benanti portray the first lady sympathetically, as a woman trapped in a crazy presidential administration over which she has no say. The Late Show’s true target was Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump, who continues to take swipes at Ivanka (as shown in the clip below), and so Benanti’s Melania snaps right back at her, forcefully, while surrounded by Christmas grandeur.

Do you think Ingraham or Hannity are going to look at the Colbert/Benanti sketch and realize it’s actually pro-Melania? Don’t count on it.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS. The Ingraham Angle airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on Fox News.

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