Back in May, Ann Romney, wife of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wore a $990 Reed Krakoff silk shirt for a media appearance. The item of clothing set off a media firestorm, with the Romneys widely accused of being “out of touch” with average Americans.
In particular, the Washington Post wrote that the $990 blouse “will not help her husband change those perceptions, no matter how many Laundromat photo ops are on the campaign’s itinerary.”
Fast forward to last Friday, when First Lady Michelle Obama attended an Olympics reception for heads of state at Buckingham Palace, donning a J. Mendel cap sleeve jacket from the 2013 Resort collection.
The price-tag? $6,800.
This time, the Washington Post simply described the intricacies of the jacket and noted that Mrs. Obama has previously been criticized for “not dressing up enough for Queen Elizabeth II, so she stepped up her game.” No snide remarks, no outrage over the cost, no suggestion she was “out of touch.”
“The media’s overabundant love affair with the Obamas has become increasingly blatant as this election draws nearer. Scrutinizing Mrs. Romney for a fashion choice that cost considerably less than that of the First Lady is yet another example of the media being purely sanctimonious,” former political publicist Angie Meyer told FoxNews.com. “The media continues to relish their roles as liberal bullies, and have relentlessly bullied the Romneys from the beginning. It is pure hypocrisy at its finest.”
Glenn Selig of The Publicity Agency concurred.
“The media will not stay quiet on the issue because wealth remains a big issue with the Romneys. It is not his fault that he's wealthy, but the media is portraying it as a liability,” Selig said.
Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for Media Research Center in Washington DC, said it’s “just the latest example of a consistent media theme that somehow Romney is too wealthy and out of touch because he's a millionaire. Except of course that Obama is also a millionaire. “
Some also highlighted the apparent hypocrisy on Twitter. “And you thought the Romneys were out of touch?” tweeted one, while another wondered who had to pay for the almost $7,000 dress, and another balked that the “jacket would put a lot of food on the table of one of the 25M unemployed people in USA.”
Not everyone’s nose was out of joint, however. Media commentator Jenn Hoffman told FoxNews.com that “Americans need to face the fact that with our current system, politicians need to have money. That is how they get into the office in the first place. If you are near the White House, you have access to serious cash and much of that cash is spent on honing your image.”
Mark Joseph, producer of “Wild Card: The Promise & Peril of Sarah Palin,” added that “Mrs. Romney's wardrobe expenses are certainly fair game, but so are Mrs. Obama's, and political reporters have got to do a better job of being even-handed."