Melania Trump, in her first solo overnight tour to promote her “Be Best” anti-bullying initiative, touched down in Seattle, Tulsa, and Las Vegas to speak at events touting the online endeavor. It’s been both praised and reviled for being at once a fabulous idea and simultaneously being delivered by someone married to possibly the biggest bully in the nation.
That contradiction in terms was never any more clear than during one speech on her tour in which she lambasted her husband Donald’s favorite target: The Media.
Trump himself often attacks print, online, and television media as “fake news,” always when what’s being reported is unflattering to either him personally, his policies, or the personnel in his administration. Those attacks have culminated in death threats to reporters and even assaults on newsrooms by heavily-armed Trump fanatics.
Melania has sought to strike a softer tone than her husband — while also not outright condemning his behavior.
That leads critics to question how effective an anti-bullying campaign by the First Lady could possibly be — if the elephant in the room is doing and saying the worst things of all, she certainly seems to be excusing some behavior while trying to teach kids not to do the same themselves.
But her own distaste for the media echoes her husband’s in some ways, since she also is a “celebrity” of sorts, both before the two met and perhaps even moreso in the years that followed — and definitely since Trump was elected President. Her penchant for plagiarism has come under fire, as has her own “birtherism” during the Obama years and her hypocrisy in supporting Donald’s immigration policy changes after her own family entered the country using the very benefits and methods that Trump seeks to end.
In this speech, Melania tells the audience,
I challenge the press to devote as much time to the lives lost [to bullying], and the potential lives that could be saved, by dedicating the same amount of coverage that you do to idle gossip or trivial stories.”
The “gossip or trivial stories,” of course, are simply the media doing its job. But in the Trump era, telling the truth is seen as an attack.
Featured image via screen capture