Teen Reporter From Bethesda Gets Melania Trump, Easter Bunny To Open Up
Young reporter heads to White House Easter Egg Roll on TIME for Kids assignment
Kade Friedlander of Bethesda interviews first lady Melania Trump at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
Via Tracey Friedlander
A Bethesda teen on a D.C. reporting assignment this week came face-to-face with a group of national power brokers: the first lady, Sean Spicer and the Easter bunny.
Fourteen-year-old Kade Friedlander encountered the eclectic gathering during the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday on assignment for TIME for Kids, a news publication related to TIME magazine.
His editors had prepared him in advance to speak with Spicer, President Donald Trump’s embattled press secretary. What Kade wasn’t anticipating were the interviews with Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway and first lady Melania Trump.
“It was unbelievable,” Kade said. “You felt like they were people who, if you met them on the street, you could hold a conversation with them.”
Kade Friedlander, 14, of Bethesda met White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) and Kellyanne Conway during a reporting assignment for TIME for Kids this week. Credit: Tracey Friedlander.
Kade, an eighth-grader at the Sheridan School in Washington, D.C., has been reporting for TIME for Kids since last year, when the publication chose him and 11 other young journalists from a pool of about 300 applicants.
So far, he’s written a couple of profiles and a book review for the magazine. But the publication reached out to him last week to offer him a live assignment writing about Trump’s first Easter Egg Roll.
Kade did his background research on Spicer and carefully crafted questions about the annual spring tradition and about Trump’s first 100 days in office. After arriving at the White House around 6:20 a.m., a staffer casually informed him he’d also be meeting the first lady.
“I was like … Wait. Backtrack a little bit,” Kade said.
Fortunately, he had his cell phone at the ready for some last-minute internet research on Melania Trump, he said.
His mother, Tracey Friedlander, said her son was at first glued to his written questions, but she watched as he relaxed and started engaging some of the country’s most prominent political figures.
He chatted with Spicer about the history of the Easter Egg Roll and questioned Melania Trump about her cyberbullying initiatives and what she thought of being first lady. At one point, he walked up to Conway so that he could introduce himself and strike up an impromptu conversation, Friedlander said.
He even got up the nerve to ask the Easter bunny if he’d come through security or opted to “just hop the fence.”
“It was nice to really see him rise to the occasion. He went from being a little nervous in that press room to being extraordinarily comfortable,” Kade’s mother said.
Kade also got the chance to rub elbows with other reporters, including Adam Shapiro of Fox Business Network, and the teen said he’s now considering journalism as a possible career path.
Kade said his TIME for Kids piece on the event is set for online publication Wednesday.
Kade Friedlander also interviewed the Easter bunny for the article. Credit: Tracey Friedlander.