I don't know Asma Al-Assad. I bet you don't either. But I bet you've been hearing about her from CNN and in Vogue, who dubbed her a "Rose in the Desert." I recently listened to a CNN article that tiptoed around Mrs. Assad, asking if she's "comfortable" with her husband's actions, and saying that she is in a "tough position" because she's now stuck between supporting her husband and what she likely believes to be "right."
So, why the kid gloves? I think it's easy: she's pretty, Western-educated, and talked the talk for quite a while. It's easy to go easy on the pretty lady, because we can so readily think, "oh, she must be a victim of the husband's choices!" Never mind that we have no idea what's actually going on there, we want so badly for her to be a good, nice mom who is just stuck in a shitty situation.
What's frustrating here isn't that she's bad (I have no idea, nor does mostly anyone on Earth), but that the media has been so ready to take on an apologetic tone for her. The first lady of an extremely undemocratic and free regime. But it's okay, she's pretty and a mommy, right?