Photo Credit: AP
Hell has finally frozen over as our fractious political parties have figured out something to agree upon: don’t mess with another man’s kids.
An unwritten rule in Washington has long held that journalists and political opponents alike do not report negative news about the children of our elected officials.
Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), broke that rule all over Facebook last week…and this morning we learned that she paid for her mistake with her job.
The scene: Sasha and Malia stood by their father’s side at the presidential spoof turkey pardoning and treated the event like many their age surely would: with boredom. What happened next inspired a double take from many observers.
Some would argue Malia and Sasha Obama were behaving like typical teenagers during their father’s annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House. They appeared unamused by President Obama’s corny jokes and at one point Malia declined to pet the Thanksgiving turkey by simply saying, “Nah.” But one conservative wasn’t pleased with the Obama girls’ attitude.
Yes, the girls were clearly unimpressed with a fake “tradition” that many don’t hesitate to call “dumb.” But attributing their behavior to the old “being a teenager” adage is very different than writing a rant like this one:
A harangue of “what the whats” screamed across D.C. Realizing she had stepped over an invisible line, Lauten replaced her post with this message:
“When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager. After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were. Please know, those judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I’d like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.”
This morning Lauten told several news organizations that she would be resigning her position after making her Facebook page private. She has yet to offer an official statement at the moment, but we will post it when it arrives.
We think all will agree that wagging a digital finger at the President’s daughters is probably not the best way to communicate your disapproval of that President — especially when you represent an elected official and all of your public messaging efforts will inevitably be tied back to your boss.
Now here’s the scene that inspired the incident: