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Being a White House kid comes with pluses and minuses

Agencies | Updated: 2017-02-07 17:13

Being a White House kid comes with pluses and minuses

Barron Trump arrives on the West Front of the US Capitol for Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, in Washington, DC, on Jan 20, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

WASHINGTON — If it's tough being a kid, try being a "first kid" — the child of an American president.

Just ask President Bill Clinton's daughter, Chelsea. Or President George W. Bush's twins, Jenna and Barbara. And now, President Donald Trump's youngest child, Barron, is finding out.

Ten-year-old Barron was the target of a poorly received joke tweeted by a "Saturday Night Live" writer on Jan. 20 as the new first family reveled in Inauguration Day events. Separately in Chicago, comedian Shannon Noll played the title character in "Barron Trump: Up Past Bedtime," which had a recent run at a theater in Hyde Park.

Both instances have revived age-old questions about the sometimes less-than-kid-glove treatment of presidential kids.

"I think the children are off-limits," said Lisa Caputo, who was White House press secretary when "Saturday Night Live" made fun of then-13-year-old Chelsea Clinton. "They didn't run for public office, they don't hold an official role.""SNL" cast member Mike Meyers sent the Clintons a letter of apology after the incident.

The teenage Chelsea Clinton also was mocked by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called her a dog.

Katie Rich, the "SNL" writer who tweeted about Barron, was suspended indefinitely. After deleting the tweet and deactivating her Twitter account, she reactivated the account, saying she wanted to "sincerely apologize" for the "insensitive" tweet and that she deeply regretted her actions.

"It was inexcusable & I'm so sorry," Rich said. Fellow comedians have risen to her defense, but Noll told the Chicago Reader that she has been the subject of a social media backlash, including death threats, as well as homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic and racist comments directed at her. The theater also has been harassed.

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