Atlantic Writer: Emigrant Melania 'Has Not Lived the Story of America'

In a rather bold display of liberal media bias on CNN Tonight, Peter Beinart a contributor to The Atlantic declared that Melania Trump’s American experience was somehow invalid compared to Michelle Obama’s. “She has not lived the story of America,” he slammed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, “She does not understand the story of America.” Not only did he try to tear down Melania Trump he attacked the Republicans and glorified Michelle Obama.

During a discussion about the merits of comparing Melania to the first lady Beinart took the opportunity to praise Michelle. “There's also a fundamental difference. Michelle Obama is a deep reader of American history,” he fawned. “She told the story of America in very profound ways with that line, “being the mother of two African-American girls in a house built by slaves,”” he continued.

From there Beinart went on an anti-Melania and anti-Republican tirade, saying, “Let's be honest with ourselves, Melania Trump cannot tell the story of America in the way of Michelle Obama.” That is when he completely wrote for her experience of being an immigrant and coming to America for a better opportunity, “She has not lived the story of America. She does not understand the story of America.

After besmirching Melania’s past, Beinart turned his sights on to the GOP. “And that's a profound difference more generally between these two parties,” he chided, “When the Democrats talk about the story of America, they talk about slavery. They talk about the brutality of American history.

He also attacked the GOP for promoting a fantasy of America, “Republicans tell the story as basically, “We were Beaver Cleaver. Everything was terrific and now things have gone downhill.”” Beinart conveniently forgot how conservatives focus on America’s founding and how individual liberty is a value.

The only push back Beinart received for his ridiculous comments was from CNN Tonight Host Don Lemon, who barely corrected him at all. “That's a little bit of generalizing,” Lemon said passively. Lemon rationalized the attacks saying, “And I understand your point. But I mean, Melania Trump is an immigrant to this country. I mean, she married wealthy.”

For a party whose convention has a heavy emphasis on the “humanization” of illegal immigration, and often reminds everyone America was biult by immigrants, they are sure quick to write off the American experience of a legal one. 

Partial transcript below:

CNN
CNN Tonight
July 26, 2016
1:09:16 PM Eastern

DON LEMON: This is a home run for her [Michelle Obama], for Hillary Clinton, for women, for people of color. It hit on everything.

KEVIN MADDEN: That is the thing, though. Because Bakari said that earlier and I disagree with that. I don't think voters compare Melania Trump with Michelle Obama. I think that they see them as two distinctly different individuals and they're not going to compare one against the other.

MARK PRESTON: And I also don't think it's fair, by the way, for us to get after Melania. The fact of the matter is, she didn't write the speech even though she said she did. I just think that let's let Michelle Obama stands on her own pedestal and for what she did.

BAKARI SELLERS: Michelle Obama does stand on her own pedestal. But I also think to say they're not compared is just untrue and we're not actually talking about what happens in the real world in discourse. The fact of the matter is, what we have right now is a first lady of the United States. What Melania is trying to do is be a first lady of the United States. I think that's a very fair comparison. So we can go back and roll the tape from Monday— last Monday when we were having a different discussion. And we can roll the tape from this Monday.

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PRESTON: So you're talking apples and oranges, Bakari. That’s what you’re doing comparing apples and oranges.

SELLERS: How is that apples and oranges though, Mark?

PRESTON: Because you have a first lady and somebody who is trying to be first lady.

ANGELA RYE: You have to compare them to a standard that exists. You have someone who can be presidential or not presidential. And someone who can be a first lady or not be a first lady.

PRESTON: Kevin, I’m trying to help you out. How about some for me?

[Laughter]

PETER BEINART: There's also a fundamental difference. Michelle Obama is a deep reader of American history. She told the story of America in very profound ways with that line, “being the mother of two African-American girls in a house built by slaves.” Let's be honest with ourselves, Melania Trump cannot tell the story of America in the way of Michelle Obama.

She has not lived the story of America. She does not understand the story of America. And that's a profound difference more generally between these two parties. When the Democrats talk about the story of America, they talk about slavery. They talk about the brutality of American history. Republicans tell the story as basically, “We were Beaver Cleaver. Everything was terrific and now things have gone downhill.” That's a very big difference between these two parties.

LEMON: That's a little bit of generalizing. And I understand your point. But I mean, Melania Trump is an immigrant to this country. I mean, she married wealthy.

BEINART: But did she say anything in her speech that was really profound about what America is?

MADDEN: But again Peter, the thing I would disagree with you is; I don't think voters look at those two comparatively this and say one is better than the other.

BEINART: That may be true. That May be true.

MADDEN: I think both of them gave very good speeches. I think both of them served as very able surrogates for the folks that they were looking to promote. But I do think that a lot of what Michelle Obama did today, as it relates to the base of the issue debates that we're having, I think she did better.

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