Last spring, First Lady Melania Trump launched “Be Best,” a public awareness campaign seeking to combat cyberbullying and drug use. However, this campaign has been a fraud from the start. After all, it’s awfully hard to call out cyberbullying when your husband is one of the most infamous trolls on the Internet.
Incredibly, Donald Trump himself tacitly admitted that “Be Best” was a fraud. According to The New York Times–excuse me, The Failing New York Times–Trump urged his wife to pick another campaign because he rightly feared it would turn the hot lights on his own Twitter habits. Trump’s concern was understandable. Remember, this is a man who finds it acceptable to plaster a private cell phone number on social media, has no qualms about calling women “dog” and “horseface,” and who retweets hateful, degrading and violent memes about his foes.
But if we needed even more confirmation that this campaign is a fraud, it came on Wednesday. Among the people who came to the White House to celebrate the one-year anniversary of “Be Best” was a man who was fired for–you guessed it–trolling. Namely, Eric Bolling.
Bolling was on hand to speak about his family’s personal experience with the opioid scourge. His son, Eric Chase Bolling, died in September 2017 after overdosing on Xanax laced with fentanyl. For all intents and purposes, Eric Chase was taking the equivalent of a lethal weapon. While it isn’t true that merely touching fentanyl can kill you, it is still several times more potent than heroin and morphine.
Since then, Bolling has frequently spoken out about the need to combat the opioid crisis. Most recently, he spoke at the one-year celebration of “Be Best.” Watch here.
Bolling said that Melania had encouraged him to use the grief he felt from his son’s death to help others. That’s good and well, but could Melania have found someone with less baggage?
For those who don’t know, Bolling came under fire earlier in 2017 amid reports that he sent lewd pictures and made grossly degrading comments to female colleagues at Fox News. As if it had a choice, Fox News suspended him indefinitely pending investigation. The move happened so abruptly that Fox News was forced to replace an already-taped edition of Bolling’s Saturday morning show, “Cashin’ In,” with an extended news block.
Bolling never returned to the air; he and Fox agreed to “part ways” a month later. It’s pretty telling that Bolling, who had been one of the network’s stars for a decade, wasn’t allowed a chance to say goodbye on the air. He eventually found his way to Mark Levin’s CRTV, which has since merged with Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.
Granted, Bolling was speaking about opioids. But given “Be Best” also focuses on cyberbulling, you would think Melania would have found someone who wasn’t drummed out of his job for harassing women.
Back in April, when Melania and Bolling headlined an appearance in Las Vegas to address the opioid scourge, Martin Longman of Washington Monthly said, in an understatement, that it was “wildly inappropriate” to have Melania appear with someone whose harassment was egregious enough “to render him unemployable at Fox News.” That assessment is even more bang-on with Bolling’s appearance at the White House.
It seems hard to believe that Melania couldn’t have invited other people who have been affected by opioids, and yet have less checkered pasts. Why not invite some of the victims of American Pain, the South Florida “pain clinic” that was, for a time, the biggest pill mill in the country?
By definition, when a First Lady tries to run an anti-cyberbullying campaign while her husband has few qualms about engaging in trolling and cyberbullying, that campaign is a fraud. The fact that Melania saw fit to give the spotlight to a man fired for sexual harassment as part of that campaign is yet more proof that Be Best is BS.
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