This Is Why Melania Trump Is So Angry At This Food Network Host

It's not often that Americans hear from First Lady Melania Trump, but a June 2020 tweet about her son Barron Trump from Food Network host John Henson irked Melania so badly that she actually chided him through her spokesperson. It was a rare response from the first lady, who generally keeps a low profile unless she's accompanying her husband on particularly important domestic or foreign trips, or advocating for "Be Best," her anti-bullying initiative. 

In fact, the most Americans get to hear from Melania is when she's defending her 14-year-old son Barron, who is often the punch line of President Donald Trump's detractors. For example, per The Daily Mail, in December 2019, law professor Pamela Karlan joked about Barron during the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings, saying, "The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he can't make him a baron."

That remark rubbed Melania the wrong way, and she responded on social media, saying, "A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." That seems a little much for an innocuous word-play joke, but what is Melania mad about this time? Keep reading to find out.

Melania Trump is protective of her son Barron

On Father's Day, June 21, 2020, Food Network host and stand up comedian John Henson wrote in a now-deleted tweet, "I hope Barron gets to spend today with whoever his dad is." It was a joke, but it wasn't exactly in the best taste, and Melania Trump responded in kind via her chief of staff and spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham.

In a statement to The Hill, Grisham said, "Sadly we continue to see inappropriate and insensitive comments about the President's son [Barron Trump]. As with every other administration, a minor child should be off-limits and allowed to grow up with no judgment or hate from strangers and the media."

On social media, there were some calls for Henson to be fired from the Food Network. He's deleted the tweet, but no formal statement has come from the network at the time of writing. Henson did attempt to clarify his joke with a detractor on social media who said they weren't even going to bother "dissecting" the original joke.

Henson wrote, "With respect, I think you dissecting it is the issue. The joke was aimed at Trump and the mere mention of Barron's name doesn't mean it's at his expense. Although I respect your right to take issue with it." While no minor (or anyone, really) should ever be bullied online by adults, Melania can sometimes be one-sided when it comes to protecting Barron while letting others take heat from her husband. 

Melania Trump defended her husband's bullying of a teenager

Although Melania Trump avidly defends her 14-year-old son Barron from any jokes or comments, she is less quick to defend others who are bullied in public. Her initiative as first lady is advocating for victims of bullying, which often comes under scrutiny, given the fact that her husband, President Donald Trump, often sends off tweets that can be seen as taunting and just generally derogatory, depending on who is he talking about, per Forbes

For example, the day after she was named Time's Person of the Year, Trump tweeted about Greta Thunberg, a 17-year-old climate change activist with Asperger's syndrome, per CNNHe tweeted, "Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" He also sarcastically tweeted about Thunberg after she spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, according to CNN. He wrote, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

Melania defended his going after Thunberg via her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, per USA Today. She said, "It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy." While that distinction is true, it does seem like a bit of a double standard.

No one should make fun of a president's kids

Of course, Melania Trump has every right to defend her son from mean jokes by comedians, public figures, or even just average people online. It's no secret that the public can be brutal — whether they're talking about Barron Trump, or before that, Malia and Sasha Obama and a young Chelsea Clinton, who were often the butt of of jokes about their appearance or behavior at public outings with the first family.

In fact, Chelsea has defended Barron on Twitter on more than one occasion. In August 2017, she wrote, "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves." In response to another post asking people to leave Barron alone, Melania thanked Chelsea, tweeting back, "Thank you @ChelseaClinton – so important to support all of our children in being themselves! #StopChildhoodBullying."

It's not fair, and no matter where one stands on the political spectrum, making fun of a teenaged kid is always going to be the lowest blow. There's really no need to mention Barron if you're trying to take a dig at the president, his wife, or his administration.