Gossip about the rich and famous is not a uniquely American pastime. In fact, I'd argue certain other countries (I'm looking at you, England) are perhaps more openly invested in public commentary about their various celebrities. And no president has come into office offering a greater temptation for tabloid coverage than Donald J. Trump. Not only is he a decades-long household name by way of reality TV star status, but Trump himself has a long reputation for actively seeking media coverage. Still, is that sufficient reason for us to drag whether or not Melania and Donald sleep in the same bed into the spotlight?
Let's stipulate that every married couple is entitled to a degree of privacy. That extends to the new POTUS and FLOTUS. It's not the business of any American what the first couple discusses at dinner, for example. And it should go without saying that the details of the Trumps' love life ought to be off-limits for anyone wanting to steer clear of ethical badlands. Judging the inner workings of any relationship other than one's own is dicey territory at best, and a good bit worse than that when making calls based solely on the media rumor mill.
Here's a dependable way to assess whether or not Donald and Melania's love life is fair game for analysis: How would you feel if the same speculation applied to Barack and Michelle Obama? Turning the treatment around onto the other party usually delivers a solid gut check. It's probably fair to say that many of those who gleefully indulge the media whispers of ice-cold relations between Donald and Melania would cry foul if the same had been claimed of the Obamas. And the same, by the way, goes for those who support the Trumps but gossiped about the Obamas' private life when Barack was in office.
Additionally, and at this moment in particular, taking up valuable press space with irrelevant "deep dives" into the intricacies of the Donald/Melania love story is irresponsible. It's been roughly eight weeks of a presidency marked by one Russian-related scandal after the other. There's good reason to be urgently concerned about the direction of America's foreign policy, particularly as it relates to hanging up on allies and provoking a nuclear-armed North Korea. Ivanka Trump is about to take up her own White House office, having no official title, but with a top security clearance in hand. Nonviolent immigrants have already been deported.
All that being said, there are exceptions. For instance, a hypothetical: If a FLOTUS refuses to be seen publicly with the president, that might be cause for legitimate concern. If a president's spouse is regularly wining and dining with questionable characters from home or abroad, there would be reason to look into that. In other words, the first lady — any first lady — is an adult who chose to marry and stay with this one person. More, they are in a position to have access to the most powerful and influential people in the world, and are indeed one of those persons themselves. As such, their whereabouts and actions are fair game for public commentary — but only to a certain extent.
And that does not extend to the bedroom of a married couple. And it would behoove all of us to remember that of the many, many reasons to pay attention to President Trump, his marriage — or love life — is not one of them.