Frank Giaccio, an 11-year-old kid from Falls Church, Virginia, wrote a note to President Trump saying he admired his business sense and had a business of his own: He mows lawns, $8 a pop. But it would be his “honor to mow the White House Lawn” as a volunteer.
And he got the gig!
So now there are pictures of him all over the Internet, mowing the Rose Garden lawn on September 15. And while he’s doing it, out comes the president to shake his hand. Giaccio tells the president he wants to be a Navy Seal someday and it’s a giant feel-good story.
Except on Twitter.
There, Steven Greenhouse, former New York Times labor reporter and author of the book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, tweeted that the administration was “Not sending a great signal on child labor, minimum wage & occupational safety” by having a “10-year-old volunteer mow its lawn.”
As you might imagine, critics were somewhat dumbfounded (to put it mildly) that Greenhouse was treating this one-off photo op as if it were a policy statement. The words “Debbie Downer” appeared in at least one response. So did some other names. Thankfully, other people reminded Greenhouse that it is good for kids to mow lawns. Plenty of them spent their own childhoods mowing lawns.
Next year Trump will be seen walking across the Potomac River in Washington, walking on top of the water. But the media headlines will be “Trump can’t swim!”.