So what if she’s a lying liar when she’s her lying liar.
Omarosa Manigault Newman, the reality show villain who campaigned for Donald Trump and followed him into the White House, is an amoral, dishonest, mercenary grifter. This makes her just like most people in Trump’s orbit. What separates her from them is that she might be capable of a sliver of shame.
What separates Goldberg’s willingness to invite Omarosa to her sleepover party is that the target of her vitriol is Trump.
Naturally, Manigault Newman’s new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” is self-serving, a way to avenge her 2017 firing and make money telling us what we already know about this wretched administration. Nevertheless, she had other options for cashing in. She has revealed that she was offered a $15,000-a-month position on the Trump re-election campaign in exchange for keeping her mouth shut. She could have had a career in right-wing media; an African-American celebrity willing to say that the Republican Party isn’t racist will always find patrons.
Perhaps Omarosa could have played her cards differently and kept quiet, but it’s not as if she’s a schemer who would be inclined to figure out where she could get the biggest bang for her buck and establish herself as an independent personality, apart from Trump, so that she couldn’t be fired for a fifth time. It’s not as if she is a woman scorned.
The point isn’t whether Omarosa’s stories about Trump are true or false. The point isn’t whether Trump deserves better. He doesn’t. The point is that Goldberg and her ilk are more than willing to take this “amoral, dishonest, mercenary grifter” into their tent as long as she spews against Darth Cheeto. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, even when the enemy is an “amoral, dishonest, mercenary grifter.”
The problem Goldberg not only admits, but does so using as many adjectives as she can muster, is that lying liars are, well, liars. They aren’t just liars when they lie for the other team, but they’re liars. And yet, if you squint, blink a few times and hold your nose, you can deny reality and pretend they’re not exactly what you just said they are.
Instead, she chose to speak out against the man who made her a star, and repent for her complicity in electing him. She may be a manipulative narcissist, but she’s behaving more honorably than any other former Trump appointee.
Did she choose to “repent for her complicity”? That’s what Goldberg wants to believe, because if she closes her eyes and clicks her heels three times, she can magically impute virtue into this “amoral, dishonest, mercenary grifter.” Who doesn’t love the repentant liar? Do we not believe in redemption? And even Omarosa, the “manipulative narcissist,” gets a second chance, as long as she tells the story Goldberg wants to hear.
But this puts Goldberg in an awkward position, since snakes have a bad habit of biting the hand of those who feed them, so she needs to create some plausible deniability for when Omarosa tells stories at the sleepover party that make her cringe.
Of course, just because Manigault Newman is telling the truth about some things doesn’t prove that she’s telling the truth about everything, including the alleged existence of outtakes from “The Apprentice” in which Trump uses racial slurs. “Unhinged” has lots of evidence-free gossip, including speculation that Trump was sleeping with Paula White, the pretty blond prosperity-gospel preacher who gave the invocation at his inauguration.
When Omarosa tells the stories she like, she’s “telling the truth.” Should she not like her stories? Well…
In the end, you don’t have to trust her sincerity to see “Unhinged” as a serious indictment of Trump. Either she is telling the truth when she calls Trump “a racist, a bigot, and a misogynist” in serious mental decline, or the Trump campaign’s former director of African-American outreach, a woman frequently called upon to testify to Trump’s lack of racism, is a lying con artist. No matter how little credibility Manigault Newman has, the man who gave her a top-ranking job in his administration has less.
No matter how much of a “lying con artist” Omarosa may be, Goldberg can always take comfort that Trump is worse. And really, isn’t that enough of a reason to invite Omarosa to the sleepover?