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First Lady Melania Trump

Photo by The White House

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Pundits have been using the word "empathy" a lot in connection with the speech that First Lady Melania Trump delivered on the second night of this year's Republican National Convention — stressing that she tried to show "empathy" in an effort to soften President Donald Trump's image. But according to a new book by former Melania Trump adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, empathy is one of the things that she lacks.

Wolkoff's book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, is due out this Tuesday, September 1, and Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox describes it as "an illuminating story of the dissolution of a female friendship, with drama both high and low, slights overt and subtle, and visceral pain." Fox notes that she previously reported on tensions between Wolkoff and the first lady in a Vanity Fair article published in February 2019.

The book, according to Fox, is full of anecdotes that show Melania Trump's lack of concern for others.

"In these passages," Fox explains, "she sounds far more like her husband than anyone has given her credit for. Other choices chronicled by Wolkoff carry a distinctive Trumpian flair…. If Melania had her sights set on wearing Karl Lagerfeld, she wore Karl Lagerfeld. If she wanted to wear stilettos to visit a hurricane-ravaged town, she wore stilettos. If she wanted to be referred to on a Christmas card as 'First Lady-Elect' — even though no other first-lady-to-be had used the term because, as Wolkoff reminded her, it is not an elected position — she did it anyway. 'Melania,' she writes, 'Did. Not. Care.'"

The book also describes Melania Trump as feeling very competitive with the president's daughter, White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump.

Fox notes, "Wolkoff writes that Ivanka and her staff wrote to her and Melania about co-hosting several events that were traditionally hosted by just the first lady. 'Are you kidding me?,' Melania asked Wolkoff about Ivanka's request to collaborate for International Women's Day. 'Seriously? I'm not co-hosting.' For the annual luncheon held for the governors' spouses that Ivanka wanted in on, Melania said, 'We need to let her know that I know this is a first lady event done every year…OMG. They just want to take credit for it."

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jason Miller

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

If there's anything that right-wing chat platforms promising uncensored "free speech" like Gab and Parler have proven, it's that such predicates ensure the platforms will quickly be inundated with the worst people in the world—bigots spewing death threats, hatemongers, disinformation artists, conspiracy theorists, vile misogynists, and terrorists of all stripes. The kind of clients that will doom such networks to permanent deplatforming.

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