A Los Angeles Times columnist has issued an apology after his recent op-ed gave an insensitive description of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, referring to her appearance as a “slightly chunky soccer mom” while comparing her to First Lady Melania Trump and Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump.
In a piece about the press secretary, David Horsey points out that Sanders is a surprising but fitting person for the role and attempts to draw context by comparing her to other former conservative mouthpieces. He says that she “does not look like the kind of woman” President Trump would put into such a high-profile role, assuming the president would prefer “sleek beauties with long legs and stiletto heels” who could double as “arm candy.”
“Much like Roger Ailes when he was stocking the Fox News lineup with blond Barbie dolls in short, tight skirts, the president has generally exhibited a preference for sleek beauties with long legs and stiletto heels to represent his interests and act as his arm candy,” Horsey wrote. “Trump’s daughter Ivanka and wife Melania are the apotheosis of this type. By comparison, Sanders looks more like a slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snacks for the kids’ games.”
He then continued with a backhanded compliment, saying, “Yet, even if Trump privately wishes he had a supermodel for a press secretary, he is lucky to have Sanders.”
Twitter users quickly came to Sanders defense, pointing out how sexist and inappropriate his comments were.
“Why the hell didn’t an editor cut this lede abt Sanders being a ‘lightly chunky soccer mom’?” one person wrote. “Mean. Unnecessary.”
Shortly after the backlash, the Times removed all physical reference to the press secretary from Horsey’s piece. The columnist later issued an apology to Sanders and to readers:
I want to apologize to Times readers — and to Sarah Huckabee Sanders — for a description that was insensitive and failed to meet the standards of our newspaper. It also failed to meet the expectations I have for myself. It surely won’t be my last mistake, but this particular error will be scrupulously avoided in my future commentaries. I’ve removed the offending description.