Yes, yes, we’re all having a good laugh at Melania Trump’s expense.
First lady Melania Trump’s anti-cyberbullying campaign brochure was largely recycled from an Obama-era publication in 2014, with most of the material copied over verbatim. […]
[T]he document copies sections almost word-for-word from a FTC pamphlet published in January 2014 as part of the agency’s “Net Cetera” campaign, which began under President Barack Obama in 2009. After tweaking some language and graphics and adding an introduction from the first lady, the White House uploaded the new document, “Talking With Kids About Being Online,” to its website as the only external resource for Trump’s new Be Best website.
Aside from the rather awkward catchphrase of Melania’s new Be Best campaign to stop kids from, um, not being best, this has led some to titter about her program perhaps being another instance of the Trump family plagiarizing from other, better political voices. This is unfair; it’s almost certainly not her fault.
What likely happened, instead, is that Melania Trump worked with government functionaries in the FTC to craft her new initiative, upon which they listened politely and then churned out the bare minimum necessary to satisfy the White House. You want a pamphlet? Sure, we already have that lying around, it just needs a few updates because smartphones look different nowadays. Here ya go. Can we go now?
After BuzzFeed News inquired about the content of the booklet, Be Best’s website changed the language describing it from “a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the FTC” to “a FTC booklet, promoted by first lady Melania Trump” (emphasis added). Grisham and Wood did not immediately respond to request for comment on the change.
None of this would be a big deal—the only reason it was in the first place is because it so handily reinforced an existing stereotype of the Trump family nicking other people’s work and presenting it proudly with an “I made this” face. But then the Office of the First Lady sent out a statement reinforcing the other existing stereotype of the Trump family, the part where every slight injury to their egos are the result of a demon-led “opposition media” treating them unkindly:
After giving a strong speech that was met with a standing ovation and positive feedback, the focus from opposition media has been on an educational booklet, […]
Despite providing countless outlets with ample background, information, and on-the-record comments from the FTC, some media have chosen to take a day meant to promote kindness and positive efforts on behalf of children, to instead lob baseless accusations towards the First Lady and her new initiatives.
Oh, so there you go: All the people who pointed out that the booklet was promoted as being “by” the first lady and the FTC are “opposition media,” because a decent media wouldn’t point out these things. Yep, that’s the Trump family for you. Victims, every time.