Melania Trump Copied Michelle Obama's Homework. Trump Camp Says You Didn't See What You Just Saw

We can hardly wait for the scene where she learns shit from Shinola.

Melania Trump was very proud of the convention speech she says she wrote all herself. Unfortunately, apparently she never took first-year composition from Yr Doktor Zoom, or she'd have learned that plagiarism is not a good thing. Turns out a good chunk of her inspirational speech came straight from Michelle Obama's speech to the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver. Or maybe it's just a total coincidence that she was raised exactly like Michelle Obama was? Here's a side-by side comparison from a helpful twitterer:

The New York Times also has a texty comparison, with the lifted passages helpfully boldfaced, although in Melania's case they were more baldfaced, but why are we even bothering, did you just watch that video? Jesus!

Now, we should note an important difference here: Melania definitely added the part about her son all by herself, especially the bit about the importance of slathering him with caviar.

Oh, but there was more, too. In 2008, Michelle Obama talked about her family:

“And I come here as a daughter — raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue-collar city worker and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.”

And in 2016, Melania Trump talked about her family, too!

“I was born in Slovenia, a small, beautiful and then-Communist country in Central Europe. My sister, Ines, who is an incredible woman and a friend, and I were raised by my wonderful parents. My elegant and hard-working mother, Amalija, introduced me to fashion and beauty. My father, Viktor, instilled in me a passion for business and travel. Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflects to this day on me and for my love of family and America."

Credit where it's due: At least Melania remembered not to say she grew up on the south side of Slovenia.

The reactions from the Trump campaign have been, like the story of a first-year comp student confronted with a copy of their paper and a printout of a Wikipedia article, evolving. The very first not-quite denial from the campaign came at 2 a.m. from senior communications adviser Jason Miller (also a Trump speechwriter and definitely not John Miller because John Miller is Donald Trump), who explained -- without quite addressing the plagiarism -- that Melania Trump's speech contained "fragments” of other speeches that “reflected her own thinking,” which sort of undermines Ms. Trump's earlier insistence that she'd written her speech herself. It's almost as if these Trumps are physically incapable of working without ghostwriters, or of acknowledging they use ghostwriters, either.

By Tuesday morning, campaign manager Paul Manafort was insisting that the claim of plagiarism was "just really absurd." And what a beaut of an explanation it was!

"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."

How true this is. These are all simply common English words, and it is purely coincidental that Melania Trump's happened to end up in exactly the same order as Michelle Obama's. Besides, it's not like Melania claimed her dad was a Welsh coal miner or anything, because she knows there are no coal mines on the south side of Chicago. Besides, Manafort added, it was all Hillary Clinton's fault, somehow, for making journalists notice the similarities. No, really:

"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."

Damn, that Hillary Clinton is a subtle thug, using her mind control rays to make people notice word-for-word copying. Damn her!

Trump surrogate Chris Christie took to NBC's "Today Show" Tuesday morning with an even more creative explanation: You can't call it plagiarism if it's only a little bit of plagiarism. Yeah, that's the ticket! (Lovitz 1986). Asked by Matt Lauer if, as a prosecutor, he could make a case that the speech was plagiarized, Christie explained, "Not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama's speech."

"And they expressed some common thoughts," Christie added dismissively. "Almost word for word," said Lauer. Nicely played, Matt. And good job, Gov. Christie! Guess who's getting a Beggin' Strip! Is it you? Is it you? We should probably point out that, 1) except in copyright lawsuits, you wouldn't "prosecute" a plagiarism case, and B) You'd still get a lower or failing grade for plagiarizing any part of a college paper, depending on how lenient your radical liberal teaching assistant is. (Professors don't teach freshman comp, don't be silly.)

The most creative defense of the plagiarism came from the joyful alt-right trolls on 4chan's /pol/ board, which argued that OBVIOUSLY this was the Trump campaign playing brilliant nth-dimensional chess, sprinkling Melania's speech with lies from THE ENEMY to get media attention for the speech, and to subtly manipulate the Sheeple to accept the idea of Melania Trump as First Lady:

Brilliant! The Trump campaign

specifically chose Michelle Obama to plagiarize so they will be shown side by side in the media

people start subconsciously considering them BOTH first ladies

There could be something to that! We are comparing them right in this very article, and we are thinking of Melania Trump as a possible first lady! Of course, her being married to the nominee does that pretty well without any plagiarism, and our thoughts about the prospects of a first lady who cheerfully plagiarizes are not exactly, "Wow! That's neat! What can I do to help elect this plagiarist's husband?"

[NYT/ Guardian / LAT / Today on Twitter via The Week]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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