Image Credits: AP PHOTO
If you Google UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s name with the keyword “curtains,” you’ll be confronted with a few pages of extremely misleading news article results.
The narrative goes like this: while the State Department was engaging in budget cuts and lay-offs, Ambassador Haley had the nerve to install $52,000 worth of electronically-controlled curtains in her ridiculously expensive state-issued apartment.
The New York Times originally published the story with a quote from Obama-era White House official Brett Bruen, “How can you, on the one hand, tell diplomats that basic needs cannot be met and, on the other hand, spend more than $50,000 on a customized curtain system for the ambassador to the U.N.?” Obviously, this quote makes the Ambassador look superfluous, elitist and out-of-touch.
Here’s the catch, though. The curtains were installed during Haley’s tenure, but the decision to purchase the curtains was made in 2016 by the Obama Administration. The previous administration relocated the office from the Waldorf Astoria due to security reasons. They chose the new apartment and initiated the purchase of the curtains. Of course, you’d only know that if you read to the fourth paragraph of the New York Times story. More frequently, however, the story notes the cost of the apartment and the cost-cutting actions of former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
After the New York Times story broke yesterday, numerous publications also wrote stories about Haley’s “scandal” including The Hill, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair and even Vogue. All of the articles have a tiny little mention of the fact that these curtains were not even Haley’s idea. Nevertheless, they spare no punches. Vanity Fair wrote:
“To be fair, plans for the fancy new curtain system were apparently made during the Obama administration in 2016. Haley “had no say in the purchase,” her spokesperson told the Times. (It doesn’t appear that she protested, either!) Also, she’s working with a skeletal staff that would barely have time to set out drinks and appetizers while Haley is entertaining, let alone draw the blinds.”