About those Melania Trump photos (II)

Suddenly we have relevance. Today’s New York Post features a large front-page photo of Melania Trump and another woman, both of them nude and in an erotic embrace. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is among the most anti-gay elected officials in the country. Someone needs to question Pence about this. Would he allow Mrs. Trump to buy a cake in Indiana?

About those Melania Trump photos

In case you haven’t heard, the New York Post today is running 20-year-old nude photos of Melania Trump. The pictures were taken during a modeling session for which she was presumably paid. There doesn’t seem to be any scandal associated with the photos. And yet, last night, I saw a number of people denounce the Post‘s decision to publish them as “sexist.”

Is it? I wouldn’t have published the photos. You’ll notice that I’m not linking to them. Yet when various media outlets published a mostly nude photo of Scott Brown during his mercifully brief career as a national political figure, I don’t recall anyone denouncing that as sexist.

File this under “no big deal.” Especially after Donald Trump viciously attacked the Khans, the Constitution-waving Gold Star parents who spoke out against Trump’s hatred of Muslims at last week’s Democratic National Convention. That, folks, is a big deal.

Update: Here’s a worthwhile distinction. Not sure why I didn’t think of it myself.

Plagiarism and the political speech

I am not making any excuses for Melania Trump, and yes, I’m sure she was lying when she said she wrote her speech pretty much by herself.

But let me reflect briefly on what an odd construct a political speech really is. You hire a speechwriter and read his or her words. If you’re a neophyte, like Trump, you probably just read what’s put in front of you. And if your speechwriter plagiarized, you’re a plagiarist. But if your speechwriter didn’t plagiarize, you’re not a plagiarist, even though you are passing off his words as your own—the very definition of plagiarism.