It’s an oft-repeated point: as the nuclear family and religious instruction wane in prominence in mainstream America, people’s needs for a higher purpose inevitably attaches itself to some other, often political, force. It’s why everywhere you look, from Cosmopolitan to Teen Vogue, publications that used to have a primary focus on niche topics like fashion and clothing trends are now unable to “stay in their lane” and are overrun with overt leftism, the new uniting social cause upon which many millennials attach their wayward search for meaning.
Vanity Fair, too far down the road of half-fashion-half-politics to turn back now, released a gushing piece on Tuesday entitled “Remember When Michelle Obama’s Sneakers Counted as a Political Controversy?” The article was in reference to a fairly benign 2009 mishap by the former First Lady where she wore $540 shoes to an event on poverty, a political faux-pas the media treated with kid gloves when compared to the public excoriation MSNBC contributor Joan Walsh gave First Family member Ivanka Trump for wearing a dress Walsh didn’t like.
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Much of the piece was verbal genuflecting before Michelle Obama’s “status as a style icon,” but it then yearned for the days of an upright administration, “back when the political world was so desperate for controversy that the First Lady’s shoes could become a target.”
Some of the political world was “desperate for controversy” to be sure, but huge swaths of that world- namely every artifice of non-conservative media- wasn’t the least bit curious about the Obama administration’s varied misgivings, to the point of either refusing to cover outright scandals or actively rewriting history in their wake.
"What would we give," the piece's author began, "to trade a Michelle Obama shoe controversy for the ones we have now, from possible collusion with Russia or to the president talking about yacht parties to a group of 35,000 Boy Scouts."
Despite being frequently touted as “scandal-free”, the Obama administration was awash with scandals that were remarkably belittled by the mainstream American press, from Fast and Furious, the politicization of the IRS all the way to Benghazi.