Editorials

Editorial: Sorry, Malia Obama

By
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The college application and selection process is stressful for most students who go through it, but one can only imagine how much the stress multiplies when the whole nation is watching. That is what Malia Obama is experiencing right now. News outlets as prominent as the New York Times are covering her touring process, and students at elite colleges across the country cross their fingers and chat over dining hall food about how cool it would be to go to the same school as President Obama’s daughter.

As most Brown students know by now, the weekend before last was Brown’s turn on the tour. Students who left campus for the long weekend can read about her stay on Buzzfeed or the Daily Dot, two of several news sources that have picked up coverage of her visit from students’ social media. The Daily Dot accurately summarized the experience when it entitled its article “Brown University had no chill when Malia Obama came to visit.”

Both articles feature several tweets from Brown students excited about Malia’s visit. Some of the tweets include photographs of her that were clearly taken when she was not looking. Many of them mention her presence at a party, where she was seen taking shots and playing beer pong.

The motivation to take these pictures was obvious: being at a party with the president’s daughter was an exciting, unexpected moment that many of us wanted to share with our friends.

We often do not think about our tweets and Snapchats reaching anyone besides our friends and followers, and certainly not news outlets with wide circulation like Buzzfeed. Many Brown students were surprised and embarrassed to see themselves cited in the articles, as other Brown students posted them on Facebook with disappointed captions that criticized their peers for not simply leaving the 17-year-old alone on her college visit.

Social media has become such an ingrained part of our daily routine that we sometimes forget the wider effects it can have. What we choose to post on social media is not just visible to our friends; it is public to the world if we do not protect our accounts.

It is a shame that Malia was unable to visit Brown and enjoy herself at a party without several news headlines coming out about it the next day. While it is understandable that so many students were excited about her visit, it is likely that few of us would enjoy having strangers take pictures of us while we were unaware and post them on the Internet.

Malia did not choose to grow up in the White House, and it is unfair that everything she does at just 17 years old is subject to such harsh scrutiny. While the chances of her selecting Brown have probably decreased since the publication of those articles, if she does ever come back to Brown, hopefully next time we will “have more chill.”

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Manuel Contreras ’16 and Meghan Holloway ’16, and its members, Emma Axelrod ’18, Noah Fitzgerel ’17 and Aranshi Kumar ’17. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

  • PippinBlundershire

    Cry me a river ye limey git, deres’ kids starvin in dis world yes dere is.

  • Porsche Weaver

    Where are the pics of the young Obama, actually playing beer pong and taking shots? The only pic is , little Obama looking on. So, unless you have a picture of her taking shots and playing Beer Pong, than this article failed again. Trying to apologize while trying to throw her under the bus again, really? Just apologize. Why bother writing an article on Obama’s visit to a college, how is that benefiting students? The publicity is great, but let’s also take a dig at the President and First Lady, by attacking their parenting skills. SMH

    • Krazilia Love

      Exactly!

    • Web Watcher

      It is clearly being heralded by this editorial board as a part of the college application and selection process, plus being approved for minors.

      It is also to be noted that certain parents (and certain college officials) are quite silent about this. I wonder why?

      • bsbfankaren

        Underage drinking? Of course they’re being silent!

  • Krazilia Love

    So you decided to double down on the claims of her drinking, although you have no actual proof? It is hard to take this apology as being remotely sincere.

    • Mengles

      I agree. I thought it was disgusting for the Brown newspaper to say this. THERE IS NOT ONE PHOTO of her drinking alcohol, liars.

      • Web Watcher

        but it is heralded by this editorial board as a part of the college application and selection process, and approved for minors.

  • Oscar_Middleton

    “We often do not think about our tweets and Snapchats reaching anyone besides our friends and followers, and certainly not news outlets with wide circulation like Buzzfeed. Many Brown students were surprised and embarrassed to see themselves cited in the articles, as other Brown students posted them on Facebook with disappointed captions that criticized their peers for not simply leaving the 17-year-old alone on her college visit.”

    What kind of idiots do you have at this school who were “surprised and embarrassed” when the photos went viral? How do some of the smartest kids in our country not realize that the President’s daughter will be national news? Are you this stupid? Or do you think we’re stupid enough to believe it?

    • vFunct

      The President’s daughter doesn’t have to be national news, except Republicans want it that way.

      This whole episode just shows the lack of class that Republicans have. They are pure scum, trying to attack a teenager. Attacking teenagers just makes you look weaker and weaker.

      Republicans do not like it when we liberals are in power. But we are, and they are crying and flailing around miserably.

      We get it Republicans: you are poor, and are discarded by our great liberal society that we liberals rule over.

      You will just have to accept your defeat. We liberals are merciful towards those that surrender.

      • Levelhead

        So the college tweeters are republicans now??? Your an idiot!! Continue to drink your koolaid!!

        • Brent Busch

          you’re*

          • Marehoop

            Lol

      • anya

        this has to be a joke

      • Joe A Gonzalez

        the Republican conspiracy to constantly show liberals doing stupid things (Brown Uni’s apology) never ends

      • Oscar_Middleton

        You’re new to debate and critical thinking, aren’t you? (However, neither are strengths of your run-of-the-mill Democrats.) The children of President’s have been news for more than a century (and likely longer). And in the age of social media, everyone is fair game and the more famous you are, the more likely it is you’ll make the news.

        “We get it Republicans: you are poor, and are discarded by our great liberal society that we liberals rule over.”

        I see facts aren’t to your liking either. How many states have Republican governors vs. Democrats? How many state legislatures are controlled by Republicans? Ohhh – and who controls both chambers of Congress?

        No fear kid – I’m sure the liberals will always have someone for you to blame about your lot in life. Meanwhile, you’ll look to conservatives to pay for your shortcomings.

      • Oscar_Middleton

        You’re new to debate and critical thinking, aren’t you? (However, neither are strengths of your run-of-the-mill Democrats.) The children of Presidents have been news for more than a century (and likely longer). And in the age of social media, everyone is fair game and the more famous you are, the more likely it is you’ll make the news.

        “We get it Republicans: you are poor, and are discarded by our great liberal society that we liberals rule over.”

        I see facts aren’t to your liking either. How many states have Republican governors vs. Democrats? How many state legislatures are controlled by Republicans? Ohhh – and who controls both chambers of Congress?

        No fear kid – I’m sure the liberals will always have someone for you to blame about your lot in life. Meanwhile, you’ll look to conservatives to pay for your shortcomings. Everyone is a liberal as long as he isn’t paying for the giveaways… but once it comes to writing a check, those liberals turn into conservatives really fast.

    • Lisa2011

      Really! Talk about disingenuous.

  • jeanie6

    LOL….sorry, she should have known better.

    • Brad Sharp

      Thou shalt not tell the truth among democrat/socialist/atheists.

      • usorthem3

        Truth like your saint Reagan illegally sold weapons to IRAN that got Americans killed or when he hid in CA for three days after 300 people died in the Beirut attack? Or maybe the people that died in the 13 embassy attacks during your buddy BUSH’s reign of lies to start a war so he and Cheney could make BILLIONS in profits off of the death of 5,000 soldiers. That truth? Typical moron conservative puke who thinks Fox news is real journalism.

        • Web Watcher

          that’s right. gotta be both ways, no hypocrisy. don’t let the truth be known no matter what the political persuasion may be.

    • bsbfankaren

      Have you seen the only photo released? She did nothing wrong.

  • joe harold

    could there be a more narcissistic family than the Obama family? Why does everyone feel the need to kiss their A&& all the time? So the little Betty had some beers in College like every other kid does in College=Shocking? No! Look, her dad was a total high on in highchool & College, so let’s cut the Cr ap about this non-saintly family hey?

    • bsbfankaren

      Yes there could. Each and every family that enters the White house is at least on equal footing when it comes to narcissism. Get over it!

  • Robbins Mitchell

    “Gee we sure are sorry for actually showing and telling the truth about Obama’s daughter…when we know the politically correct thing to do is to lie about him and his family as much as possible and to NEVER print ANYTHING that might prove to be embarrassing to him or his family or to any other Democrat for that matter”

    …..does that about get it,boys?

    • bsbfankaren

      Actually no, since there is no proof the young lady participated in any illegal drinking activities, to double down on the assertion in this post while trying to express embarrassment is utter BS. As a parent, I would think twice about allowing my daughter to tour the school let alone attend.

    • Brad Sharp

      I’m pretty sure the White House will blame this on an anti-Muslim video. After all, Americans are simply stupid–they’ll swallow the story.

  • Arpit Mehta

    Gotta love the intellectual dishonesty here, guys. Are you actually suggesting that college students who actively use hashtags on a regular basis to try and get their posts more likes and shares didn’t realize their posts would go viral? When they were featuring the President’s daughter? Looks like a good-ole case of Brown-nosing.

    • Web Watcher

      “I didn’t know it would go viral,” stated class president and scholarship recipient student at Brown. “How were we to know that?”

  • bsbfankaren

    To date I’ve seen no evidence at all that Miss Obama was taking shots or playing beer pong, only that she stood adjacent to a beer pong table and that a few students made claims. While I think this editorial is nice, it is also deeply flawed in it’s continued assertions without verifiable proof. I am hopeful parents nationwide take a good hard look at the behavior that has been ascribed to a 17 year old without her consent and take the time to think long and hard about how a young woman’s reputation can be ruined in the span of a few tweets and one editorial. Great job!

    • Web Watcher

      how about anything about a minor being at an approved event of the stressful college application and selection process?

      • bsbfankaren

        Exactly! This “apology” is missing more than a few points.

  • Sally Smith

    The newspaper editorial board is apologizing for saying that Malia Obama was drinking alcohol.

    Are they apologizing for reporting false information, or are they apologizing for telling the truth?

  • Glenn Hanchey

    Rumors have it that some Secret Service were thinking about ditching Malia Obama at Brown University without any security….

  • Brad Sharp

    Horse manure. Apologize for what? Her poor upbringing resulted in this conduct, pure and simple. What other conclusion can there be?

    • usorthem3

      Josh Duggar comes to mind when speaking of how parents are responsible for their children’s behavior. Or maybe Huckabee who taught his son that hanging, torturing and gutting dogs is good christian character traits.

      • Web Watcher

        good you stayed on topic. a good leftist tactic.

        • usorthem3

          My comment was on topic with the claims that parents are responsible (or in the conservative mind, only applies to Democrats) for their children’s actions, like Josh Duggar being taught molesting his own sister’s is good chirstian behavior. Deflecting and lying, good christian tactic.

          • Web Watcher

            Now that you have explained it, I understand exactly what you are saying. And you are so right there must not be double standards. Yes, hypocritical professing christian parents, yet they say and do nothing about their underage daughter at the unchaperoned approved “college application and selection process” beer pong event. and just more of a typical leftist cannot even be original.

      • gatrics perine

        I’m with you usorthem; and since he’s “on topic” Web Watcher I’ll join him on the topic with these two words: Bush twins! They were in the news almost EVERY WEEKEND for their underage drinking shenanigans!

        • Web Watcher

          guess what, they aren’t in the news “almost EVERY WEEKEND” any more. now the spotlight is on someone else yet you don’t have the same criticism. I know it is a difficult thing to do, but it’s time to jump out of your bush’s fault leftist ranting groove and get on with reality. there are groups to help you with this.

  • Marty Stevens

    Malia, this is why you should attend Wesleyan. Better school and much more chill.

    • matt10023

      Have you read the Cleary report on Wesleyan? Not exactly a good place to be, unless you’re into rape and drug overdoses.

  • John Avignone

    Wow, nice concern trolling. Another example of why the slang for “embarrassing” in the Ivy League is “Brown.” I am SO glad I chose Northwestern! For one thing, they have a real journalism school, where this kind of despicable, cowardly yellow journalism wouldn’t be seen as fit to line the bottom of a bird cage. On the bright side, these “editors” have a promising future ahead of them at Breitbart, Newsmax and WorldNutDaily.

  • Lisa2011

    Brown University can kiss Malia goodbye as a prospective student with this circus stunt! Whether you like or hate her dad, there’s no reason to try to embarrass Malia. She’s just a kid.

  • SuSu

    Well we now know a few students who will have issues being hired for jobs that involve top secret or sensitive information after college. The American media forgets nothing.

  • Azaelia Bearson

    Respectfully, I have a hard time believing that none of those students considered that a public post about the president’s daughter would go viral. And if it was public, clearly it wasn’t just meant for friends. It’s very easy to friends protect things.

    If for anyone this truly was unintentional, I suggest you learn how to make things private. Or filter them. And don’t add just anyone if you’re going to post something like that, because if they truly were just meant for friends to see, you don’t have very good friends.

  • Clarence Finklemeist

    you elete liberal morons in charge are so scared of big bad obama defunding your “oppress whitey” club or your “whites are bad people and let’s give America to the Mexicans” club. Screw you!

  • Valley Girl

    I really doubt she was doing shots and playing beer pong. Though young, she’s been in the public eye long enough to know how to behave. I’m sure someone thought they were being funny by suggesting it.

    All of these pics and all of the “witnesses,” but no pic of her actually playing? No pic of her taking a shot?

    This “apology” means nothing if it’s still attempting to spread rumours. As it is, it’s an apology for being too excited not being “chill.” Not for spreading rumours, as it should be.

  • Web Watcher

    The college application and selection process now includes beer pong, and approved for underage applicants?

    And all social media participants truly believe that everything that happens at brown remains at brown.

    Yup. And there is a bridge for sale in NYC.

    These ( )s will make either good politicians or NYT writers. “Repeat a lie enough times and you will come to believe it yourself.”

  • Joe A Gonzalez

    how did they manage to take the photo’s? I thought everyone was supposed to bow before the anointed family.

  • Piotr Gdansk

    It’s just a photo of her at a party. BFD… Move on to real news The Brown (Stain) Daily Herald….

  • Piotr Gdansk

    Malia, stay away from the Ivy league — full of $hitheads…

  • Piotr Gdansk

    Malia, go to a real school with real sports programs — Lacrosse and Field Hockey don’t count sorry…

  • nonshopper

    Thanks for being an example of elitist brown-nosers who think it’s ok to protect certain people from their own choices. This must be why you are “Brown University!” Let her do what any normal kid would do and leave politics out of it. Who even cares about this? Wrong on so many levels.

  • matt10023

    I’m fairly confident that Malia was coached on what not to do on her tour. She’s the celebrity daughter of a current president.

    We’d hardly feel sorry for a non-celebrity teen who was similarly photographed and the photo shared among people who know her.

    Brown cares because they want her at the school, and this incident may reduce those chances. But seriously, when has Brown otherwise cared about people’s rights to be un-photographed near a pong game in the past?

    Malia is trading on her celebrity status to get into a top school. With privilege comes responsibility.

  • Indy

    Come to the College of W&M, Malia! (Where the odds are good, but the goods are odd)