Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Plagiarism Runs in the Trump Family

First Melania.

Now Donald Jr.

"For the second night in a row, a speech given by a member of Donald Trump's family is raising eyebrows for lines previously used elsewhere."

"Donald Trump Jr. in his headline address at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland delivered a near-exact repetition of a small part of an American Conservative article written by F.H. Buckley, titled "Trump vs. the New Class."

"The latest distraction comes as the Trump campaign is still struggling to explain amore striking incidence of possible plagiarism, in Melania Trump's speech on Monday, which appeared to lift a whole section from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech."

"Beyond complicating what Republicans had hoped would be a relatively seamless celebration of GOP unity and the effort by Trump's family to humanize him, the scrutiny over the genesis of the Trump family speeches raise new questions about the Trump campaign's organization and readiness for the general election fight."

"Speechwriters for past campaigns and presidents expressed alarm at the Trump campaign's apparent lack of basic standards and safeguards for detecting plagiarism."

None of this is surprising. Trump's whole business model is largely plagiarism, or taking things he didn't create or think of and slapping a Trump logo on.

He has a long history of plagiarism including the course materials at Trump U.

The actual name of his campaign, Making America Great Again, is a ripoff of Reagan.

He claims falsely to have written the Art of the Deal.

Chris Cillizza points to a problem: Trump seems not to know what plagiarism is.

"That's an amazing explanation from Manafort for plagiarism. Yes, there were similar words. (Correction: They were the same words.) But that doesn't matter because the "feelings of those words and the commonality of those words do no create a situation which we feel we have to agree with you."

"Um, what? I think the argument Manafort is making is that because Melania Trump believed what she said and because her words came from the heart, it's not plagiarism. That, of course, makes no sense. If I use a soliloquy from "MacBeth" without attribution, it doesn't make any difference that I really meant those words that Shakespeare wrote. Look, I believe in every word of "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." But that doesn't mean I came up with it. Plagiarism is using someone else's words as your own without acknowledging it. Period. Intent or "feeling" is not part of it."

"That we are now three days into the mystery of how and why Michelle Obama's words wound up in Melania's speech speaks to the giant gamble the Trump campaign seems committed to taking: Blame this plagiarism on Hillary Clinton and the media with some vague explanation of how and why and simply bulldoze on through to Thursday night when Trump delivers his acceptance speech."

"It's a strategy that will absolutely work for the delegates here in Cleveland and the Trump supporters who have been with him through thick and thin. But for a still shaky Republican establishment and the swing and undecided voters Trump badly need to beat Clinton, it's hard to see how litigating — for three days! -- an obvious case of plagiarism makes sense."

This was my point yesterday: Trump's modus operandi of never apologizing will bite him in the you know where this time as the plagiarism thing will have legs if someone is not fired.

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