Eric Bolling and Melania Trump
Credit: The White House

Eric Bolling’s son died at 19 from an apparent opioid overdose, which is something that is far too common in our country right now. I certainly understand that he wants to honor his son by highlighting the opioid crisis, and there are few ways to do that with more publicity than to make an appearance with the First Lady of the United States.

Having said that, I simply do not understand why the administration thinks it’s a good idea for them to make an appearance with Eric Bolling. As a reminder, he was fired on September 8, 2017 because he had “allegedly sent unsolicited lewd text messages and lewd photos to three female colleagues at Fox News or Fox Business Network.” In addition to that, he was reported to have made “wildly inappropriate” comments to female co-workers.

Bolling’s bad behavior doesn’t erase his humanity or mean that he should be shunned for the rest of time, especially when he’s trying to do something good and selfless. But it really seems inappropriate for the First Lady to go out to Las Vegas to make a special appearance with a man whose sexual harassment was severe enough to render him unemployable at Fox News.

This is another example of the incestuous relationship between Fox News and the Trump administration that Jane Mayer detailed so ably in The New Yorker this week.

I also don’t care for the president characterizing Melania’s appearance with Bolling as “a show,” nor do I understand why they’re giving free admission to only the first 1,500 attendees. If they want to raise money for a charity, then they can perhaps sell tickets, but otherwise they shouldn’t be charging admission to people who want to see the First Lady discuss the opioid crisis.

I’m glad that they’re bringing attention to the problem, but this is a really classless and clueless way to do it.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at