Melania’s Shaky Trump Defense: Weekend Edition

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Melania Trump came to her husband’s defense on Thursday, gamely letting meanies inside the White House and over at The New York Times know it was improper to write and publish an anonymous op-ed describing the commander-in-chief as a self-absorbed and bonkers delinquent who might steer the ship of state into the abyss.

“To the writer of the op-ed – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions,” she said in a statement released to CNN.

“People with no names are writing our nation’s history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences,” she also noted. “If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves.”

These are fair-minded and honorable thoughts. As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Francis Wilkinson noted, “anyone who thinks they escape the moral and political taint of this administration by murmuring anonymous misgivings about Trump is a fool as well as a coward.” And writers, as the first lady highlights, should have the courage and character to stand by their words (though anonymity is a valuable necessity for reporters’ sources if used judiciously).

The problem with Melania Trump’s counterpunches is that President Donald Trump is a 72-year-old man who has spent the better part of five decades anonymously and gregariously leaking malicious and damaging rumors and information about friends, enemies, business associates and his own family members to gossip pages and reporters. So let’s take the first lady’s distaste under advisement.

Saturday New Music

Stream Low’s new album of hypnotic pop, “Double Negative.”

The Tobin Harshaw Old Music Endowment

On this day in 1998, Sunny Day Real Estate released its majestic Buckley/Zeppelin seance “How It Feels to Be Something On.” 

This is the Weekend Edition of Bloomberg Opinion Today, a roundup of the ten most popular stories Bloomberg Opinion published this week, based on web readership, with some other stuff thrown in. New subscribers to the newsletter can sign up here

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. He previously was a managing editor of Fortune.com, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.

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