By now you’ve probably read about Donald Trump’s wife Melania and the speech she gave at the National Republican Convention last night. Her plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech was first noticed by journalist Jarrett Hill whose tweet blew up the internet:
CORRECTION: Melania stole a whole graph from Michelle's speech. #GOPConvention
WATCH: https://t.co/8BCOwXAHSy pic.twitter.com/zudpDznGng
— Jarrett Hill (@JarrettHill) July 19, 2016
The Trump campaign is denying it’s plagiarism but nobody with two brain cells to knock together can deny that it was, in fact, just that. Here, watch for yourself:
Any rational campaign would have quickly blamed it on a “low level staffer”, fired them, and moved on. But not the Trump campaign. In their typical narcissistic, bullying fashion, they blamed Hillary Clinton because of course they did (even though she hasn’t said a word about it):
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” top aide Paul Manafort said Tuesday on CNN. “These are common words and values — that she cares about her family, things like that. She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night; she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
He added on CBS that the words in question “are not unique.”
Rather than specify whether a Trump staffer was responsible for the similar text, Manafort pinned the blame on the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how [Clinton] seeks to demean her and take her down,” Manafort said on CNN. “It’s not going to work.”
Manafort said that in writing Melania’s speech, “There was a process, certainly, of collaboration. Certainly, there’s no feeling on her part that she did it. What she did was use words that are common words.”
Manafort later told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”
Someone here is lying because Ms. Trump told TODAY’s Matt Lauer that she wrote the speech herself “with as little help as possible”. And perhaps she did. But whether she had a “team of writers” or wrote the speech herself, there is no way that speech wasn’t vetted first, proving that Trump’s staff is as incompetent as we all believe them to be.
While Republicans scramble to defend Melania Trump’s prime time gaffe, it’s hard to imagine the sort of frothy lather they would have worked themselves into had the situation been reversed and it was Michelle Obama who had done the plagiarizing.
White privilege is plagiarizing from a black woman and everyone goes that's so awful that your speechwriters set you up like that
— Sanjay Srivastava (@hardsci) July 19, 2016
But that’s not the biggest hypocrisy in this story. The fact that the most xenophobic, bigoted, anti-immigrant presidential candidate in recent years is married to an immigrant is pretty big but that’s not the biggest hypocrisy, either. Neither is the fact that Ms. Trump talked about honesty and integrity at the very moment she was uttering words stolen from someone else.
No, the biggest hypocrisy is that the Trumps, according to Ms. Trump, share the exact same values as the Obamas do. Nearly word for word, as it turns out. And that word, she’ll have us believe, is her “bond”.
So, the day after her husband told the press that Barack Obama’s body language shows that he doesn’t respect law enforcement officials, his wife tried to convince the country that she and her husband have the same values as the president and his wife. That we should work hard, dream big, and, most importantly, treat each other with respect.
The fact is that the Trump campaign is built on a bedrock “value” of disrespecting anyone he doesn’t agree with. People of color. People from other countries. People with disabilities. Women. Gays and lesbians. President Obama and Secretary Clinton. His primary opponents. Protesters. Literally anyone who is not white, male, and wealthy has been disrespected by Donald Trump and even some who ARE white, male, and wealthy.
THAT is the biggest hypocrisy here. And Melania Trump exposed it for the entire world to see.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney’s niece Ronna Romney McDaniel, the self-described “Chairman” of the Michigan Republican Party, is blaming “the liberal media” in a fundraising email this afternoon:
What an exciting way to open Convention! It was so incredible to hear from one of the great Republicans leading Michigan’s Comeback, Attorney General Bill Schuette. Also, how awesome was that entrance by Donald Trump to introduce his elegant wife, Melania? However, if you’ve seen anything from the liberal media this morning, I hope you’re as disgusted as I am. Melania’s speech was about how proud she is to be an American. Her speech was about education, and her love of this amazing country. Instead of talking about the powerful words and moments from yesterday, there’s non-stop coverage about how similar Melania’s speech was to a speech Michelle Obama delivered in 2008.
This is liberal media bias at its worst. Blah, blah, blah, send us all your money.
Her definition of “similar” must be different than the one I’ve always thought it had. Her version sounds much closer to “identical” if we’re talking about the same part of the speech that the “liberal media” that has given Donald Trump $2 billion worth of free media coverage is talking about.