Trump complains that female CBS journalists aren’t more like a 1950s housewife: 'It wasn’t Donna Reed'

Trump complains that female CBS journalists aren’t more like a 1950s housewife: 'It wasn’t Donna Reed'
Cast photo from the television program The Donna Reed Show. Standing-Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen. Seated-Carl Betz and Donna Reed.

CBS News is among the many mainstream media outlets that President Donald Trump has been lashing out at it, including White House correspondents Paula Reid and Weijia Jiang. In an interview with the New York Post this week, Trump implied that Reid and Jiang needed to be more like the 1950s/early 1960s housewife that Donna Reed portrayed on the black-and-white sitcom “The Donna Reed Show” — and Paula Reid agreed that in fact, she isn’t comparable to Donna Reed’s character.


Trump, in the interview, said of Reid and Jiang, “It wasn’t Donna Reed, I can tell you that.” The president also told the New York Post, “Paula Reid, she’s sitting there, and I say, ‘How angry.’ I mean, what’s the purpose? They’re not even tough questions, but you see the attitude of these people. It’s like incredible.”

On “The Donna Reed Show,” which aired on ABC from 1958-1966, Reed played housewife Donna Stone. On Twitter, Paula Reid asserted, “President Trump tells @nypost I am nothing like 50's American archetypal mom Donna Reed. Fact-check: True.” And Jiang, responding to Reid’s tweet, posted, “I can confirm @PaulaReidCBS’ reporting here. But I wouldn’t describe us as ‘irritating.’”

On Twitter, the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker posted, “Trump complains about tough questions from two standout women correspondents, @PaulaReidCBS & @weijia, and suggests they should act more like ‘50s housewives.” And Jiang responded, “The president told me to be ‘nice and easy’ three out of the last four times I asked him a question.”

Twitter user @Sistercelluloid noted that in real life, Donna Reed was very active in liberal politics, posting, “Fun fact: Donna Reed was an outspoken progressive, an anti-war and anti-nukes activist, and a Eugene McCarthy supporter. The idea of Trump holding her up as an example of submissive womanhood would make her gag. #TCMParty.”

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