Pop culture blackout: Melania Trump missing from magazine covers, TV appearances

Pop culture blackout: Melania Trump missing from magazine covers, TV appearances. By Christian Toto.

Few first ladies have been more prepared for their close-ups than Melania Trump.

Yet the former model has not graced the cover of Vogue, Glamour or Cosmopolitan during her husband’s first 20 months in office. Neither has she yukked it up with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel or other late-night TV hosts. …

The modern first lady routinely graces the media landscape in creative ways. Michelle Obama, for example, appeared on the popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment on CBS’s “The Late Late Show” with host James Corden. The Atlantic noted Mrs. Obama’s appearance and described her banter with Mr. Corden as “lively and watchable, but definitely driven by an agenda.”

Mrs. Obama appeared on the covers of Vogue (three times), Time, Glamour, Essence, InStyle, Redbook, Cooking Light and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others, during her eight years in the White House.

Mrs. Trump appeared on the covers of British GQ and Vogue before her move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. …

Media interest in the first lady’s whereabouts remains sky-high, she said. Witness the imbroglio surrounding Mrs. Trump’s extended public absence this year after kidney surgery. …

Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at the Independent Women’s Forum, said Mrs. Trump’s pop culture blackout smacks of the media’s anti-Trump posture.

“There’s absolutely no defense of this,” said Ms. Gunlock. “It’s snobbery, mean-girl behavior, whereby featuring her they would be humanizing the president. You can’t like Melania. In liking Melania, you’ve at least approved of one of his decisions.

Ms. Gunlock said a similar tactic is underway with some of President Trump’s most powerful female appointees.

“Why hasn’t [U.N. Ambassador] Nikki Haley been featured … in these puff pieces, a regular offering on the newsstands?” she said. Obama administration officials such as Samantha Power (Vanity Fair) and Susan E. Rice (Vogue) have made the magazine cut.