Why Malia Obama’s Spring Break Trip To Mexico Should Have Been News
Yesterday the White House admitted that they had requested news articles about Malia Obama, daughter of President Barack Obama, taking a spring break trip to Mexico be taken down. Their excuse was the safety and privacy of the First Family, and their opinion that the trip wasn’t “vital” news.
But it was news, as Claudia Rosett points out.
How are tax dollars are expended is news. Mexico can be a dangerous place to visit. Malia Obama has with her a contingent of 25 Secret Service agents. These men and women are risking their lives so that a member of the First Family can have a spring break vacation.
Is this appropriate? That’s debatable. When the Secret Service risks their lives to protect the President when he visits places like Afghanistan that’s justifiable, because such visits are part of the President’s job. But how about the risk and the cost of protecting members of the First Family on vacations?
I’m not sure I see much of a problem with it. I think the political optics stink, but in terms of the nation’s fiscal problems, we’ve got bigger fish to fry. But it is a subject of valid public debate. Which is why the news of the trip shouldn’t have been squashed.
We can’t have these debates if we don’t know these things are happening. And we should have these debates. Because this is a democracy, not a dictatorship where the government decides what the public should and should not know.
Shame on the Obama administration for squashing these stories, and even more shame for the media outlets that complied.Tags: 1st amendment, Barack Obama, free press, malia obama, Media