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July 19, 2016

Melania's speech rickrolled us: Is there a mole in the Trump campaign?

On Reddit, user Amaranthine cites a tweet from Soniasaraiya that points to a signal that one of Melania’s speechwriters may be a mole working against the Trump campaign: Was Melania rickrolled?

Rickrolling is a prank in which misleading text links to a video of Rick Astley singing his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” For example, if I wrote “Here’s an incredible secret video of Hillary whispering to Bill that she lied about Benghazi,” and you click on the link, you’ve been rickrolled.” The video has been viewed over 224 million times, but no one knows how many times on purpose. (Interestingly, Rick Astley seems to have plagiarized the song from this awkward amateur version.)

Last night Melania said (transcript here):

He will never, ever, give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever, let you down.

Here is the opening of the chorus of Never Gonna Give You Up:

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down

This not such a unique, unexpected turn of phrase that it could only have been plagiarized. On the other hand: 224,238,266 views! This is the opposite of obscure.

So, if you were the speechwriter who not only put plagiarized text into Melania Trump’s introduce-yourself-to-America speech, but you took that text from Michelle Obama’s introduce-yourself-to-America speech eight years earlier, you might well want to flag that Melania’s speech rickrolled us and her: Melania’s words, uttered sincerely, turn out to “link” to an annoyingly lightweight pop song.

 


 

Just for fun, here’s an autotuned version of Melania singing her lyrics, created by redditor cbuntz:

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