In yet another flagrant violation of the White House ethics code by the Trump family, a website that receives government funds has published an article promoting Ivanka Trump’s new book.
The article, titled “In New Book, Ivanka Trump Gets Serious About Women at Work,” promotes Ivanka’s recently published book Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success. The piece, featured in Voice of America, claims that Ivanka’s book “offers earnest advice for women on advancing in the workplace, balancing family and professional life and seeking personal fulfillment.”
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) May 2, 2017
While the book’s proceeds are supposedly being donated the charity, this does nothing to soothe fears that the article serves to promote Ivanka’s commercial interests.
To address these concerns, it appears that Ivanka has canceled her planned book tour and any media appearances related to it, supposedly “out of an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of using my official role to promote the book.”
This still doesn’t take away from the fact that she is using taxpayer funds to advertise a private business interest.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened either. In February Kellyanne Conway found herself in hot water after advertising Ivanka’s clothing brand on live TV in the wake of the Nordstrom department store withdrawing Ivanka’s products.
Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded multimedia organization and the official external broadcasting institution of the United States. It provides TV and radio programs, as well as internet articles for publication to audiences outside the U.S. Its content, is in English, French, Persian and other languages.
The VOA charter was signed by President Gerald Ford in 1976, and requires VOA to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news” and “be accurate, objective and comprehensive.” By publishing this article, VOA has violated its own charter.
In a funny twist, Ivanka’s book has been receiving some pretty awful reviews online. The New York Times review stands out as particularly hilarious. Here’s a choice quote:
This is the sort of feminism that drives some women bananas, having less to do with structural change than individual fulfillment and accessorizing properly; perhaps it can even be achieved by wearing her fine jewelry or apparel, which she repeatedly mentions throughout the book (as well as her family’s tremendous hotels). There’s certainly a market for it. There’s also family precedent for it. Her father nearly annihilated his millions, and went on to write many successful business books. Why not Ivanka?
Imagine if one of President Obama’s daughters enjoyed the same privileges? The conservatives would foam at the mouth as they criticize and complain, it would be the main story on Fox News for weeks while countless thinkpieces would be written about the disregard for ethics in the Obama administration.
And yet when it’s one of their own they remain silent. So much for Republican principles.