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Looks Like Melania Trump Not Only Plagiarized Michelle Obama But Also Rickrolled the RNC

There are so many reasons why the Republican National Convention has made for uncomfortable viewing, to say the least, but the recent analysis of Melania Trump’s speech has given us several more reasons to feel baffled. First off: it bears a striking similarity to portions of a speech delivered by Michelle Obama. Specifically, it was the speech Obama gave in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention, back when she was a first lady hopeful, just as Melania Trump is now.

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There’s a lot about this story that is flat-out bonkers. First of all, apparently no one on Trump’s campaign staff is getting fired over this, according to CNN‘s report. That’s ridiculous, because the similarities to Michelle Obama’s speech are undeniable, and clearly indicate that some sort of mix-up must have happened behind the scenes. Like, seriously? No one‘s getting fired for this one?

The story gets even wackier when you start to analyze the rest of Melania Trump’s speech, which includes two sentences that sound remarkably like a rickroll:

So … is there some Trump intern out there who is openly trolling the campaign? Is this all part of some sort of new Shia LaBeouf performance art piece? What the heck is up with this??

There are some reasonable explanations for how plagiarism could have happened in this situation, although it’s still completely unacceptable—not to mention disgustingly ironic—to see the theft of a black woman’s speech given the extent of the racist sentiments on display so far at the RNC. But let’s just lay out a hypothetical possibility here: maybe, maybe, some intern or staffer on Trump’s team was Googling the speeches of previous first lady hopefuls, and maybe some sentences got copied and pasted somewhere with the intent to rewrite them in different words, and but then maybe no one actually bothered to rewrite them in all the hustle and bustle of preparation for the event. I mean, I can’t say this for certain, because I don’t know, but from my vantage point, Trump’s campaign doesn’t seem very well-organized.

But none of that explains the rickroll. That … well, that’s just silly. And maybe it’s just a weird coincidence. Or maybe there’s a Trump staffer out there who’s trying to sabotage the campaign from the inside. If that’s the case, by the way, that seems like a pretty tough job, since the campaign is already pretty ridiculous even without rickrolls, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything anyone could do to stop this train.

As I said this morning when I was covering Stephen Colbert’s takedowns of the RNC, it’s hard for me to find humor in any of this—even when hilarious comedians like Colbert are involved—because these are real people and this is a real campaign that is actually happening and Donald Trump is set to become the actual nominee, and, according to accounts by those who’ve worked closest with Trump, it’s not an act, and he really believes all of this stuff, really, really.

SO, yeah. The rickroll stuff is funny. But I also think the reason why we’re glomming onto this particular internet meme is because dealing with reality is just … well, it hasn’t been going very well, okay? And it’s actually easier to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Trump campaign staffers are openly messing with us. That seems like an easier pill to swallow than the truth.

(via LA Times, image via Wikipedia Commons)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (