The Daily(ish) Review

The Daily Review: I don't really care, do you?

I'm behind on The Daily Review. My phone lit up with thousands of people calling to express concern.

I read that Trump signed an executive order stopping the practice of separating families who are detained as the result of crossing the border illegally. I haven't read the details about the executive order and don't know if it makes any provisions for families that have already been separated. It sounds like a positive development, though, one that ran counter to the claim that it was all or nothing - open borders or families separated.

I hopped on Twitter today for a few minutes and saw that First Lady Melania Trump visited Texas and some of the detention facilities. That too sounded like a positive development, but the Trumps never make anything straight-forward. At some point during her trip Melania Trump was wearing a jacket that read, "I really don't care, do U?" Cue the inevitable round of analysis. Secret message, trolling, oblivious? I know I got sucked in a little. She knows every step she takes is documented. There's no way that she just grabbed whatever jacket was hanging in the closet. President Trump explained that the message was meant to criticize the media. I guess we'll never know with certainty, but I'd like to think that many of us would have liked to see her keep the focus on the trip without adding the side-show spectacle that she had to have foreseen.

I was looking for an article on another topic on The Guardian website when I spotted a column by Arwa Mahdawi titled "The great Melania Trump mystery. Does she really care?" I figured I'd give it a read and use it for The Daily Review. Here goes...

"For about two hours on Thursday, the optics were just the way the White House wanted them. Melania Trump made an unannounced trip to McAllen, Texas to get a first-hand look at the border crisis and the media was filled with pictures of the first lady looking caring and concerned, while she asked officials how she could help reunite children with their families."

- I think this paragraph works fine, but I think I would have written the second sentence a little differently. I would have put a comma after crisis and deleted the comma after concerned. See that, that's why they pay me the big bucks.

"The debate about whether Melania’s jacket was inadvertent or intentional, is about far more than a one-off wardrobe decision, however."

- I'd delete the comma after intentional.

"At the beginning of the Trump presidency, it was hoped that Ivanka Trump would play that role, but there seems to have been a shift in attitude towards Ivanka in the mainstream media lately. She’s now largely seen as “complicit” rather than a positive influence."

- I would have recommended against using complicit with or without quotes. I think the term got associated with Ivanka Trump through a Saturday Night Live skit. Regardless of the origin, the quotes are confusing if you haven't followed some of the debates or discussions about labeling her such.

"The White House has been careful to stress that Melania’s new-found voice is entirely hers. On Thursday, before jacket-gate, the first lady’s spokeswoman stressed to the press that the trip to Texas “was 100% [Melania’s] idea.”"

- First Lady or first lady in that sentence? I'd capitalize it to indicate that it's a title. It seems like she'd need to be named Eve for lowercase first lady.** It could be a UK/US English thing. (Sorry for that terrible joke.)

"Fox News contributor Guy Benson said on Thursday that Melania’s trip to a Texas detention center was the “first competent, non-stupid thing” that administration has done when it came to managing the PR around the zero tolerance border policy."

- I'd put a the before administration.

"Benson also said that an appearance by Melania earlier on could have helped the president. It’s very clear that conservatives are very much of the mind that Melania, who is three time more popular than her husband amongst Democrats, can be a useful tool for the president."

- very clear, very much. I very much think that in general it's a very good idea to avoid using very too frequently.

- I'd change three time to three times.

So does Melania really care? It’s certainly possible but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Verdict: It's an opinion piece that sort of expresses an opinion by the end of the article. That's fine, but after reading the title, I was hoping that the piece would come down a little stronger one way or another on the great mystery.

I don't know how or why she chose to wear that jacket, but I could buy the argument that she wore it to convey her belief that regardless of her actions the media and the public would question her motivation and sincerity. Whatever the rationale, it was a terrible time to score points with overly clever messages.

** That Eve joke was so bad I had to apologize again. But I'm not deleting it.

Anyone know how to turn off auto-correct in Squarespace? I find it causes more errors for me than it prevents.