Career & Jobs

Ivanka Trump, White House Blasted For ‘Tone Deaf’ Campaign Telling The Unemployed To Find Jobs


The White House launched an advertising campaign Tuesday encouraging unemployed Americans to find new jobs, a move that was resoundingly slammed by social media users, who called out nepotism in the Trump Administration and cruelty toward everyday people who are impacted by the ongoing severity of the coronavirus pandemic.


“Making Ivanka Trump the face of a campaign urging self-reliance is simply surreal,” tweeted Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

“[Trump] was elected, but Ivanka & Jared [Kushner] were appointed by royal, nepotistic decree,” wrote economist David Rothschild on Twitter, a sentiment echoed by Brookings Governance fellow Norm Eisen.

The campaign is a “horrible, cruel message for Americans who just lost their jobs due to the nation’s failed pandemic response,” according to New York University social science professor Eric Klinenberg.

“If you would only look (& daddy employed you your whole life) you too could #findsomethingnew like going from slave labor employing crook to WH staff crook,” Ohio House candidate Shannon Freshour tweeted, referencing abuse reportedly suffered by manufacturers of the First Daughter’s now-shuttered fashion label.

Grace and Frankie star Ethan Embry issued a profanity-laden tweet saying that he’s been an actor for 30 years, but neither he—nor his musician brother—can work as Hollywood remains shut down.

“Honestly, I’m speechless, and sad,” National Murrow award winner and filmmaker Chip Franklin tweeted, adding, “Trump . . . now tells desperate families, you’re on your own.”

Chief critic

Ivanka Trump. She clapped back at Hill TV host Krystal Ball, who said the ad campaign “fits perfectly” with the Trump Administration’s “belief that the real problem is people don’t want to work, not that there’s a raging pandemic.” Trump coolly replied, “I suggest that you visit”

Big number

20 million. That’s at least how many Americans have claimed unemployment, according to Labor Department data released Thursday, compared to the previous week.

News peg

The crown jewel of the “Find Something New” campaign is a 30-second television spot featuring career-changers. It was developed with the Ad Council and the campaign website lists Apple, IBM, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Visa among its supporting partners. 

Key background

The “Find Something New” push comes just days before enhanced unemployment benefits, which grant up to $600 per worker per week in additional funds, are set to expire unless the government acts. And the Trump Administration’s response to the pandemic has been roundly panned, as infection rates across the Sun Belt soared to record highs and some states scaled back their reopenings in response. Recent reports suggest that Trump, facing dimmer reelection prospects in November, is focusing on reinvigorating the economy to strengthen his platform. Some economic recovery has taken place over the past month, with jobless claims leveling off and a larger-than-expected 18% jump in retail sales for May 2020. New coronavirus spikes across the country, however, threaten that progress and further recovery, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. 


Multiple social media users pointed out that the “Find Something New” campaign launched on the anniversary of Bastille Day, a turning point in the French Revolution that led to the dissolution of the country’s monarchy. Those same users also likened Ivanka Trump’s involvement with the campaign to Marie Antoinette’s infamous “Let them eat cake” remark—and the storming of the Bastille was a pivotal event that led to her eventual beheading.

Further reading

White House campaign to help jobless ‘find something new’ (Associated Press)

Jared Kushner Keeps Proving Nepotism Is A Bad Way to Handle Pandemics (Vanity Fair)

Jobless Claims Are Starting To Level Off, Even As Some States Shut Down Again (Forbes)

Ivanka Inc. (Washington Post)

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