Melania Trump Never Said ‘Fuck Christmas.’ Stop Claiming She Did.

As usual, the actual quote is both weirder and more complex than the easily retweetable misquote spreading like wildfire.

I have some distressing news.

Melania Trump never said, “Fuck Christmas.”

Melania Trump said, “Who gives a fuck about fucking Christmas stuff and decoration? But I need to do it, right?”

In point of fact, Melania Trump’s complaint—that all that is expected of her is the kind of Good Wife routine that every First Lady has resisted since Betty Ford—is exactly the kind of thing that Hillary Clinton has addressed. Remember Clinton’s famous quote, seemingly knocking stay-at-home wives and mothers during the 1992 Democratic primary? “I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies, and had teas.”

But you probably don’t know the rest of it: “I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies, and had teas. The work that I have done as a professional, a public advocate, has been aimed . . . to assure that women can make the choices, whether it’s full-time career, full-time motherhood, or some combination.”

Wife of a politician is a constricted role, and Melania’s point was that while she was expected to decorate the White House for the holidays, that same expectation was then used as a cudgel against her, with choruses of, “But what about the children separated from their parents?” greeting her grudging efforts.

And then she brings up Obama on the tape, and you lose interest pretty quickly in what she has to say about the liberal media being unfair. But to be clear: The liberal media is being unfair in a lot of ways, because Melania Trump never said “Fuck Christmas.” And we have to stop flattening stories into misquoted pull quotes and crafting shareable, clickable narratives out of half truths.

Work harder—the jokes are already low-hanging sugar plums, ripe for the plucking.

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