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What The Media Intentionally Downplayed In The Ivanka Plane Harassment Incident

By Savananh Smith, The Goldwater · 12-24-2016
Photo credit: The Goldwater

Ivanka Trump, who would officially be First Daughter in less than a month, and is poised to play an even more crucial role than the incoming First Lady, despite all her fame and fortune built through hard work, can be as ordinary as the rest of hard-working Americans. Proof of that was her decision, along with husband Jared Kushner and their young children, to go on a commercial flight out of New York for their family Christmas celebrations in Hawaii. The Trump family was even traveling on regular commercial flight, not business class. Everything was going well and smoothly without incident and without any fanfare or diva attitude from the future First Daughter who truly kept it low-profile and even nonchalant.

Not until a fellow passenger of the JetBlue flight went out of control and made an ugly, truly uncalled for scene and harassed Ivanka. The passenger did not stop with verbally berating Ivanka but also did the ultimate rude and vile act of all – and jeered at ivanka’s very young kids.

The passenger later identified as Dan Goldstein reportedly started screaming and berating Ivanka as soon as he recognized her. “Your father is ruining the country! Why is she on our flight? She should be riding private!”

Ivanka graciously chose not to respond to the provocation and remained calm and composed. Instead, her maternal protective instincts took over as she tried to distract her kids by offering them crayons.

The crew removed the passenger causing trouble but before he could deplane, the passenger screamed anew and asked: “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?”

While Goldstein was starting trouble and harassing Ivanka and her family, his husband was tweeting about the matter as if Goldstein was doing a heroic thing, or else “ bragging” about what is supposedly a shameful act of threatening fellow passengers who were just minding their own business.

Goldstein and his husband were later accommodated to another flight.

The uncalled for incident opens a lot of questions, many of which the mainstream media are generally leaving unasked. For one, is it a sin for Ivanka to fly commercial? Does she not have an option to do just like what every other American does? For sure she can afford to fly private, but can’t she exercise the option to be with her fellow Americans on a regular flight? And if she does so, is it too much to expect that she be accorded the respect due to any passenger?

Freedoms of speech and expression are top American values that are Constitutionally-protected but with such come a measure of responsibility and a whole lot of basic good manners, if not common sense. With all the terror acts that have happened in the past involving flights and planes, did Goldstein ever stopped during his ugly tirade and out of control behavior to think that his action can be uncalled for in such a venue, where many other passengers in other incidents were asked to deplane for much less offenses than what his open harassment entailed? And did it not occur to him that his political beliefs can have other venues and means of expression? Could he have not talked to Ivanka quietly or written a note instead? Or was it his real intention to make a spectacle?

But the biggest consideration that left Goldstein’s mind and good sense is – did it not even bother him that Ivanka was traveling with completely innocent, defenseless three young kids including a baby? Being a parent himself, did he not appreciate the fact that on that flight before she is the President-elect’s daughter, she is first a mother to her kids? Did it not bother Goldstein that those kids could have been harassed and worse- traumatized because of his aggressive behavior?

Some are asking - had the same thing happened to President Obama’s children, the media and Democrats would be up in arms protesting discrimination, racism, etc., and other sins normally thrown at Trump supporters. They say that not only would Goldstein be deplaned but probably banned for good with the airline- had he done it with Obama’s family.

Some also pointed out that the mainstream media instead of showing more sympathy to Ivanka as a woman and mother harassed on a flight chose to downplay and desensitize the incident in their reporting, just because it is Ivanka, daughter of Donald Trump. The media like the airline merely treated the offending violent passenger with kid gloves.

It is in such incidents where Americans, beyond the rhetoric, can truly see for themselves who has class and decency; and who- representing his fellow entitled Democrats-is truly spreading hate and violence with the way they behaved in the ugly but otherwise completely avoidable incident.

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