For some time on Twitter, news about the 19-year-old trended higher than the horrifying attacks in Egypt and is still the top trending Google search. The former first daughter’s social activities at Harvard went viral yet again after fringe and partisan publications like the Daily Caller published a leaked Snapchat video of her blowing smoke rings. The video surfaced after publications such as TMZ and the Telegraph scrutinized the 19-year-old for kissing a boy and smoking at a tailgate for the Harvard-Yale game on Monday.
Who is the man who has caught Malia Obama's eye? pic.twitter.com/2uiWz3EfA6— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 23, 2017
As the press continues to become more and more interested in exposing Obama’s private life, supporters of the teenager have expressed distaste for the sensational probing of her personal choices.
After all, kissing a boy at a tailgate is an incredibly regular pastime for a lot of college students. And since 36.5 million people smoke in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama’s decision to have a cigarette is not all that novel either.
While the former president’s daughter should obviously expect interest from the press, the coverage of her enjoying typical rites of passage come off as intrusive and inappropriate. Especially now that she’s a private citizen. (Disclosure: The Daily Dot can also be implicated in this practice, having covered her backstage, possibly inebriated dancing this summer at a music festival.)
The Telegraph’s reporting, for example, investigated who her “mystery kisser” was at the tailgate and then did a deep dive into his family’s past. Readers now know more about the teenage rugby player and his esteemed parents, cousins, and grandparents than most do about their own family history.
Users on Twitter agree and also find it appalling that Obama’s weekend activities draw as much interest online as serious issues.
Swear if Malia Obama just looks in the general direction of a dude who's her age it'll get blown up by the media. Let the lady live— Erling Haaland (probably) scored today (@Maize_and_Roose) November 24, 2017
As a mother of two college students I’m appalled that Malia Obama being scrutinized for normal behavior and rites of passage. #NoJudging— Mary Brogdon Wessel (@MissieBrogs) November 24, 2017
As long as Malia Obama blowing smoke rings is just as newsworthy as people being killed in Egypt we are destined to fail as a society .— Tim (@Tim_Loves_Music) November 24, 2017
To be quite honest, Obama’s smoking habits and potential boyfriends are the least of this country’s problems and the press should start to treat it that way.