Slovenian Media Mocks Melania Trump's RNC Speech
Despite being something of a national heroine in her home country, the potential first lady received a harsh reception on social media following allegations she plagarized a speech by Michelle Obama.
Melania Trump is widely seen as something of a national heroine in Slovenia, the country of her birth.
Born Melanija Knavs in 1970 in the central Slovenian town of Sevnica, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has come a long way from a childhood as the daughter of a card-carrying Communist who grew up in Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia.
Helped on her rise to fame — and now potentially the White House as a first lady — Melania is probably the world's most famous Slovenian.
That fame did not save her from being ridiculed Tuesday on local social media after news broke that her Republican National Convention speech may have borrowed heavily from a speech current first lady Michelle Obama gave at the Democratic convention in 2008.
Slovenian news and media site siol.net ran a series of tweets from commentators on Melania's speech that ranged from bemused to decidedly unkind.
"Before you send the angry mob after Melania, try to remember that in Slovenia plagiarism is not only encouraged, but the national pastime!" one user (@lukemones) wrote.
Another joked: "Please understand, plagiarism is not a crime in Slovenia. Indeed, coming up with a new idea is what's illegal. #IStandWithMelania" (@NotErsanIlyasov)
One user ironically suggested Melania was attempting to show Obama some respect: "In Slovenia plagiarism is the highest form of flattery, so Melania was really just showing respect to the First Lady..." (@coxasaurus)
Others were less forgiving, offering pointed barbs about Melania's insistence that she was the author of the speech.
"@costareports says people close to Trump insist SHE wrote the speech. I ask gently: possible she doesn't know that plagiarism is wrong?" (@marcaminder)
Siol.net emphasized that in Slovenia — which is a member of the European Union — plagiarism was illegal, though the site noted that "among our political class or close to it, there have in recent years been several cases of plagiarism … and their actions were never excessively condemned."
It wasn't all negative. A news story on Slovene arts and entertainment portal 24ur.com about the convention speech attracted many comments — mostly positive — though many offering support for Melania did not have kind words for her presidential hopeful husband.
"Bravo Melania. I hope that her husband (psycho) becomes president of the United States. Melania will do more for Slovenia that all Slovene politicians so far, even if nothing is done," wrote one commenter.