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For Once, I Agree With Melania Trump: Rosie O’Donnell Is A Bully

Rosie O’Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell by David Shankbone

Boundary-crossing political discourse brought by no one else but Rosie O’Donnell has once again brought the question of post election hypocrisy. Child advocates and the corporate media are turning a blind eye to a public attack launched against a 10 year old Barron Trump. So I am asking, is there such a thing as  “selective morality”?

Ideological infestation in a post election America is so strong that we are forgetting what’s right and what’s wrong. Public attack of Rosie O’Donnell on a ten year old child, Barron Trump is just plain wrong and it violates not only a basic moral compass but as well as the rights of children.

In her signature bully pulpit tweeting style Rosie O’Donnell posted on her social media that Barron Trump may have autism. She did that without any evidence and out of pure speculation, all posited under the umbrella of she will later spell out: “good intentions.”

Still, this is not a moment to unwrap Rosie’s motivation and spiral out in yet another meaningless explosion on Twitter. Even if Rosie O’Donnell was right about Barron having autism, it was not her place to make a 10 year old child an object of public attention in connection to autism without his parents’ consent. Barron Trump is a minor. If Rosie O’Donnell wanted to bring attention to autism, if she wanted to advocate  for awareness campaign, then she could find a better way to do it.

Simply put, this was not Rosie’s story to tell.

Rosie O’Donnell should not be putting a minor child under the magnifying glass

I remember talking to Arianna Huffington for The Original, magazine established by Novak Djokovic Foundation on her’s daugher problems with addiction.  Arianna told me that she did not talk about it publicly before her daugher was  ready to come forward with her story first, as simply, that was not Arianna’s story to tell. She also said that should her daughter have decided not to talk about it, Arianna would respect her decision and would not talk about it either.

What makes the case of Barron Trump even more sensitive is that we are talking about a minor child who, with or without autism, still has to make sense of the fact that his father is the President-elect of the United States.

We are having television debates on how to relate to each other in political talks over holiday season, media is lecturing the families on what is a proper political conversation over the dinner table, but then when you have a grown up celebrity publicly attack a 10 year old child, no one is making it an issue? Out of sudden, this is something that we will just click on, like or hashtag and move on to the next trending story? I do not think so.

The fact that Rosie O’Donnell, and some of the media commentators are putting a 10 year old child under the magnifying glass and analyze Barron Trump’s reaction on the election night after midnight is a clear boundary-crossing of political discourse this nation should be having.

If we all agree that the children of terrorists even should be off limits and not be subject to public attacks or any sort of bullying and discrimination, then let’s start showing some consistency and objectivity as to what we deem right, wrong  and acceptable.  

Celebrities have their public platforms and with them come a great responsibility. Did Rosie think about the image she is portraying of a 10 year old child to the public without the consent of his parents?

Rosie, really, how would you feel if Donald J. Trump  or anyone else for that matter has made this announcement about your child having autism before you even decided to talk about it, before you even knowing it was actually true?

We can all agree that autism should not be taboo, but the way a 10 year old Barron Trump has been singled out is distasteful and disturbing. Yet, no one is raising the issue, no child protection agencies are voicing against these kinds of public attacks.

Let’s be clear: voting preferences should not determine our stand about protecting children even if their father is President-elect Donald J. Trump. I don’care whose son Barron is, wrong is wrong irrespective of an ideological side of the political spectrum. We can only imagine what would’ve happened if Donald J. Trump said something like that about Rosie’s daughter, or Obama’s daughters.

Sasha and Malia Obama were 7 and 10 years old at the time their father became an American president. How we would have reacted  then if someone attacked them in this way on social media the way Rosie O’Donnell has attacked Barron Trump?

If we are so outspoken about political correctness and basic human decency , then the same rule should apply to all children. This is America, country of equal rights for everyone, and I am appalled that we do not have children’s advocates making a public stand when it comes to the child of Hillary’s political opponent. Where are now all these public preachers of the right behavior, why don’t they play their message on loop in every single case where a boundary of political discourse is violated?

In fact, Hillary, who has been advocate for children should be the first one to make a public statement and establish some groundbreaking rules for this post election cycle so ideologically infested that is making us forget who we are and what we would otherwise publically condemn.

Attacking and publicly exposing a minor child who cannot defend himself, has to be condemned and Rosie O’Donnell should think next time how is she using her public platform.




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  • Not to rehash old things but Rosie also was the one who first attacked Trump all those years ago, mocking him and his family. She ridiculed his appearance, his hair. We all know that men are sensitive about their hair and about losing it. So why was it okay for her to mock his hair and not okay for him to call her a pig? Why is just one sexist?

    This was an well written article that helped me feel the terrible unfairness of an adult celebrity using her fame and celebrity influence to attack a child for revenge

About the author

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent.

Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at Yale University, Lead Instructor in International Affairs and Security and Politics Law and Economics programs at Yale Global Scholars, Head Writing Fellow at the Yale Graduate Writing Center, Fellow of the “Research and Travel Award in Grand Strategy” from International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University, Fellow of the Roger Hertog Global Strategy Initiative in Religious Violence at Columbia University, a Doctoral candidate in Political Conflict and Peace Building Processes at Complutense University in Madrid, Fellow of the OSI Global Supplementary Grant Program, and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the Juan March Institute. She holds an M.Sc. in European Politics from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in American Politics, and a B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Belgrade. She speaks English, Serbian, Croatian, and Spanish.

Pavlovic has interviewed exclusively pivotal figures including Arianna Huffington, Sir Richard Branson, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, Karlie Kloss, filmmaker and founder of the Webby awards Tiffany Shlain, film director Lars von Trier, actors Adam Brody, Monica Bellucci, fashion designers Adolfo Dominguez, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes; the world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic; novelist Martin Amis, as well as big names in the governmental arena such as the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic, the leading members of the first democratic Serbian government and Milorad Dodik, President of the Serbian entity of BIH. Moreover, Ms. Pavlovic has exclusively covered the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Madrid Fashion Week, The Madrid Open, and a range of other international benefit and political events.


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