A common theme used in the many precursors to this blog (Politics After Dark, Politics on the Air, The Binghamton Vanguard, etc.) was having a “Vanguard eye for the news.” This was the method by which one could find subtle commentary and opinion laced throughout supposedly-objective “news” stories on TV and in print.
Nowadays we find such journalists are hardly so subtle.
Take, for example, my local newspaper (that would be The Washington Post) last Sunday, under the banner “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” a supposed “news” story about “Ivanka Inc.,” clever code name for the Ivanka Trump line of fashion and accessories. The four-page story (yes, four giant newspaper-sized pages) details the Ivanka brand, mostly in terms of see how terrible this is? The clothes and other merch are made and/or assembled in foreign countries, where, yes, workers make less than they do here. Shocking news in 2017, I know. I think by now we’ve learned that most of our stuff is made abroad, by people whose only other unfortunate choice is to toil in the local fields for half what they make in American-owned factories. I digress, but once again… damn glad I live here. (Thanks, potato famine!)
I know very little about fashion, but do know a thing or two about money and prices. One thing that does jump out at me is the relative affordability of Ivanka-brand merch. Yes, her dad puts a lot of fake gold and glitz and bumps up prices on many of the things he sells, but Ivanka’s brands seem relatively affordable among “high-end” merch. Consider women’s dresses, highlighted in the “news” article. Say the world output of dresses falls into three categories” 1.) $12 Walmart “dresses”; 2.) $42 Ivanka pleasant-looking attire; and 3.) $500 and up ridiculousness. All three are made in so-called sweatshops. Which ones should we ridicule? Personally I like options.
As a final note I bring attention to the companion piece to the above “news” article, profiling women who dare to wear the Ivanka brand. According to the Post it’s semi-employed “assistants” of one kind or another who do horrendous things like go to church and probably home school their children. And in case you didn’t have time to actually read the article (or maybe you who are interested in this just can’t read), the four-column-wide picture features a (distant) woman modeling an Ivanka dress. Really the picture is of her pickup truck, mobile home, and giant American flag, the three yuckiest things your average Washington Post photographer could ever find.
Well, after Trump voters of course.