First lady Melania Trump brushed off criticism of her latest White House Christmas decorations and invited everyone to check them out in person during an appearance at Liberty University on Wednesday. “It’s the 21st century and everybody has different tastes, I think they look fantastic,” the first lady said at a town hall discussion on America’s opioid crisis. “I hope everybody will come over and visit it,” she said as the crowd erupted in applause. “In real life, they look even more beautiful. You’re all very welcome to visit the White House.”
A variety of mainstream media outlets bashed Melania’s holiday décor when they were revealed on Monday. Many watchdogs came to her defense, noting that negative feedback was simply an example of hypocrisy from reporters who aren’t fans of her husband, President Trump.
“The war on Christmas has evolved into more of the media’s war on Trump,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News.
Melania told the Liberty University crowd that the media likes to focus on “unimportant stuff” such as holiday decorations, but her goal is to shine a light on important issues that she can impact as first lady — such as the opioid crisis and preparing children to become successful adults.
The politically polarizing decorations include more than 20,000 feet of lights, 14,000 ornaments, 12,000 bows, wreaths made from pencils, an enormous gingerbread house, 40 topiary trees and a lot of red, which the first lady’s office called “a symbol of valor and bravery.” The Washington Post continued to mock the decorations two days after they were unveiled with an opinion piece referring to Melania’s “nightmare forest” that dusted off many of the derogatory comparisons made by Twitter trolls earlier in the week.
“Last year the trees were a hideous, ghastly white. It was always winter and never Christmas,” columnist Alexandra Petri wrote. “This year everything is red. It is perfectly natural that the trees are red. The trees are red (the Internet says) as a handmaid’s cloak. Do not think of blood. Keep walking.” Not all members of the media have expressed disdain for Melania’s Christmas decoration and TheWrap’s Jon Levine took to Twitter to defend her style. “I think the White House Christmas displays look amazing and that history will look far more kindly on Melania Trump’s style choices than her many critics today,” Levine wrote.