Elizabeth Lauten: The double-standard of The Washington Post

Ted Cruz with his daughters

I don’t have public opinions about too many things in politics these days, but Jay Caruso​’s piece over on Redstate – WaPo Depicts Cruz’s Daughters As Monkeys, Media Focuses On His Reaction – caught my attention so bear with me. If we’re going to be a society that endeavors to set national standards Americans respect and adhere to (else suffer the consequences), the media needs to do its part in helping maintain those standards rather than breaking them when it’s politically expedient.

“The interesting part of all of this is how the media saw it,” Caruso wrote at Redstate. “… the media, who as a whole favor Democrats over Republicans, never focus on the act when something like this happens – when it happens to a Republican.”

I know what he’s talking about all too well.

Caruso continued, “People may forget the name Elizabeth Lauten, but not what happened to her. She was the communications director for Rep. Steve Fincher of Tennessee. One day on her private (or so she thought) Facebook page, she made some comments about President Obama’s daughters. The comments were relatively tame but the media reacted with a fury as though Lauten posted an ad in the middle of Times Square calling them out.”

Needless to say, I would have thought The Washington Post of all places would try and be the standard-bearer in the “kids are off limits” arena having vilified me incessantly, writing nearly two dozen stories in less than a week, for my thoughtless Facebook post last year. Alas, I’m reminded we’re all humans and we all make bad choices sometimes.

Do I think Washington Post political cartoonist Ann Telnaes is evil? No.

Callous in her cartoon? Sure.

Should it cost her her job? No.

Should this be a learning lesson for her, the paper, and the nation reminding us yet again that kids should not be made targets in politics? Absolutely.

I learned a great deal myself last year when my Facebook post turned my world on its head. What I experienced the week after that day I’d never wish on anyone. It was a level of hopelessness I still have a hard time describing. But in it all there was a divine humility: It took falling to the lowest of lows for me to stop and make my relationship with God a priority again. And that then served as a catalyst for an inexplicable change deep within me.

I believe it was part of my destiny to live through something so unimaginably embarrassing and emotionally awful to teach me deep painful lessons and set me on a new trajectory.

And it did.

So instead of calling and emailing me all day for comments on The Washington Post’s blatant double-standard, know this: Right now, I’m simply reminded that we can ALL do better. We have to. After all, I love this country far too much to condemn it our current status quo.

Godspeed, Ann. This too shall pass.

WaPo Ted Cruz kids tweet
The Tweet and cartoon in question by WaPo cartoonist Ann Telnaes.


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