You’d think that a new mom intent on breastfeeding her newborn while balancing a White House reporting job in a locale that doesn’t easily allow her to do so might elicit sympathy.
But you’d be wrong.
This morning, Yahoo News published a first-person account by Rachel Rose Hartman, explaining the difficulties of pumping in the course of her day at the White House. She takes readers on a journey through the ordeal of having to use an unclean, unisex bathroom to pump for breast milk.
She writes about all that, amidst an Obama administration that claims to care about such a thing: “Under President Barack Obama’s new health care law, employers with more than 50 workers are required to provide a private lactation space other than a restroom for nursing mothers up to one year after giving birth,” writes Hartman.
A low but fitting blow: “Perhaps you’ll recall that these restrooms recently shot to fame as the chosen place for Al Roker to dispose of his dirty underwear?” writes Hartman.
Ultimately White House Correspondent Association President Ed Henry, Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News, and WHCA’s Christi Parsons, addressed the matter and in coordination with the White House, came to her rescue. The eventual solution: radio booths provided by — not the White House or any order by President Obama — but the Christian Broadcasting Network and CBC/Radio-Canada. In the interim, American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan allowed her to use her booth.
What comes next is pretty shocking: readers unleashed a torrent of insults and complaints about why this was even a story, why she doesn’t just stay home with her kids and more.
A sampling of comments, nearly all of which were negative:
Grumpy: “And this is filed under ‘Politics’? Why is it even a story?”
We Are So Screwed: “Rachel Rose Hartman – Congratulations. You did the same thing millions of women do every day across the country. Do you want a fricken medal?”
TomK: “Why is this news? the ‘press’ reporting on itself, really, must be a slow ‘news’ day.”
Dkdyfan: “Running cover for the president is a full time job isn’t it Rachel.”
BPatMan: “Exactly how is this newsworthy?”
Champ1: “What a stupid article. Why do we need to share and/or support every bodily function people have throughout their life. Can nothing be discrete and private or must everything have it’s own ‘National Day of’ or blank ‘Month’?”
Daniel: “Are the US taxpayers supposed to install a special room in the White House just so she can bring her baby to work?”
AAK: “Why is this reportable news? She has breasts; she feeds as do millions of other women. The baby nurses as do millions of others. She works as do millions of other women. Females of all animal species have the same capabilities. A true non-story!”
Magnum51: “I ran over a squirrel in the street the other day. Where’s my article???!!!!!”
Cindy Morgan: “WHO CARES?”
David: “Stay home and raise your kids.”
Peter: Hey Hartman, the hallway or closet was private enough for your idol Bill and Monica, so quitcherbitching!
Truth: “Gross. Stay at home and do your family a favor.”