What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? Melania Trump getting festive with dystopian Christmas decorations, Ariana Grande making front page news, and a little girl getting laughed at for being named ‘Abcde.’ Here’s everything you need to know.
Melania Trump decorates the White House with blood red trees
THE STORY: Earlier this week, the White House unveiled its 2018 holiday decorations. First Lady Melania Trump, who reportedly spent months working on this year’s display, opted to line the East Colonnade of the White House with blood-red Christmas trees.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Melania Trump’s design aesthetic—whether she’s wearing a tone deaf Zara jacket or posing for her official White House portrait—is almost always met with derision and bewilderment. Usually, she deserves it. But, as much as I appreciate the jokes and memes the ‘hallway of tampons’ has spawned, I have to side with FLOTUS on this one. On Wednesday, November 28th, Melania Trump spoke at Liberty University and took the opportunity to address the trees, chalking up the controversy to a difference in taste. “We are in the 21st century and everybody has a different taste,” she said. “I think they look fantastic. I hope everybody will come over and visit it. In real life, they look even more beautiful. And you are all very welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house.”
Hey, when Starbucks turned their holiday cups solid red, I did defend them. Is this really that different? In a different space and under different circumstances, a solid red Christmas tree might actually look cool and contemporary.
THE STORY: Oliver Darcy, the senior media reporter at CNN, took a screen shot of BuzzFeed News’ homepage showcasing Ariana Grande’s new “thank u, next” video in the lead story spot. “BuzzFeed does a lot of great journalism,” Darcy captioned the image, “so how is this the lead story on BuzzFeed NEWS dot com?”
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: A few things: 1) Readers are allowed to have varied interests. It’s possible for someone to care about an Ariana Grande music video and an investigation into an ex-Dallas police officer. 2) The video broke the YouTube record for most views in 24 hours. This Buzzfeed writer clearly isn’t the only person who cares about this. 3) In the world of digital media, clicks are cash. The strong investigative journalism Buzzfeed News does is funded and fuelled by their roots as an entertainment site. The listacle fluff they write shouldn’t discount the journalism they do, and the journalism they do shouldn’t discount an Ariana Grande news story getting the prime slot.
Southwest gate agent mocks little girl named ‘Abcde’
THE STORY: A mother claims that Southwest Airlines employees mocked her five-year-old daughter, named Abcde, as the duo boarded a flight in Orange County, California. Apparently (and understandably) the gate agent laughed at the name — which is pronounced ‘Ab-city’ — and posted a picture of her boarding pass online. “The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees. So I turned around and said, ‘Hey, if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop,’” Traci Redford, the mother of Abcde, told ABC News.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Does Ms. Traci Redford realize how much worse she’s made this unfortunate situation? Instead of just a few airline employees (and their Facebook friends) joking about her poor daughter’s name, the whole Internet has turned her into a punchline. I hope Abcde has thick skin, she’s going to need it.