The Plagiarists Double Down
The Trump Campaign responds to plagiarism allegations
This is for those with eyes that see and ears that hear. The rest of you can go back to watching Faux Nooz — who have decided, Ailes-wise, to double down on defending plagiarism and spouting the usual tropes about “liberal media.”
Melania Trump’s speech plagiarizes parts of Michelle Obama’s
Gregory Krieg / CNN(CNN) At least one passage in Melania Trump’s speech Monday night at the Republican National Convention plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
(CNN) Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has no plans to fire anybody on the campaign or to take any disciplinary action against anyone for the Melania Trump speech plagiarism controversy, CNN learned Tuesday. As campaign chairman Paul Manafort indicated at his morning news conference, the campaign’s posture is to simply move on from this without addressing it any further.
Manafort denied allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling the accusation “just really absurd.”
Ah, facts, those stubborn things. Someone at the MSNBC table was chiding Lawrence O’Donnell with the implicit false equivalency that the Democrats were going to be as fast and loose with facts as the GOPs were being, and wasn’t that going to be tough. O’Donnell, tellingly, replied that there really weren’t many facts to check that day, since nearly all the speeches were long on rhetoric and spartan on facts.
This is actually a problem, no matter that Donald and his thuggish new campaign manager, Manafort, are perfectly comfortable lying with a straight face.
I’ve been plagiarized — to the tune of over a thousand bucks — and I can testify to the perfidiousness and vileness of the crime. In my case, it was someone waltzing into an editor’s office, claiming that they had written over half of a long, deadline emergency assignment that had me churning out 72 pages in 48 hours. But it was plagiarism, nonetheless, and it astonished me how little attention, sympathy or even high moral dudgeon was displayed over the theft of a writer’s work. But that’s prologue: you will note how few “journalists” seem particularly bothered by the moral crime of plagiarism, as though it were merely another legal nicety, like the slaughter of yet another Black man for having had the temerity to have a tail light burn out.
First official Trump campaign response to plagiarism charges
So I realize the “real world” implications of plagiarism — which are, sadly, mostly in practice none. But I also realize that there is nothing whatsoever “funny” or ideological about the theft of a writer’s writing, and that conversation has been entirely lacking in the coverage this morning. Alas.
MSNBC and CNN and CBS are all properly appalled, but, because it was the morning, jokingly dismissive at the same time. Because they don’t even take their own profession seriously, I suppose. But I do. And the imputation of plagiarism is irrefutable.
So, it fascinates to watch as the Faux Forces distort footage and repeat transparent fabulism that somehow, these were “common words” and that the speech consisted of “common themes” and that the Hillary Clinton Campaign was behind this, because Hillary always “destroys” any woman who opposes her — an absurd slander that passes without a blink in the fact-free zone of GOP Rhetoric.
This is a problem. It was a problem all day, and a problem all evening: the “factual” basis of the Smear-O-Thon™ directed at Hillary Clinton consisted almost entirely of slander buttressed by straight up lies. Example: the Mother whose son died at Benghazi obscenely claiming that Ms. Clinton all but held the knife that slit her son’s throat, when A. He didn’t die of a slit throat and B. SEVEN Congressional Committees all but pledged to find ANY culpability on Ms. Clinton’s part all came a cropper.
But hey! When you’ve got some pissed off old mother who can’t accept that her dead son’s profession was inherently dangerous decides to slander a decent public servant by claiming that she all but murdered her dead child, that trumps (pun intended) facts, evidence and truth. After all, it’s REPUBLICANS we’re talking about. A party who have striven mightily to make the name of their party synonymous with “mendacity” and who have — if last night was any indication — succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
As Lawrence O’Donnell might be paraphrased to have noted, the job of a fact checker is entirely easy in a fact-free zone.
I will not bore you by belaboring the slanders, including Rudy Giuliani’s stem-winder of a screech, er SPEECH, that was shouted from false beginning to mendacious end.
But I WILL tell you the conclusion: after many years of estrangement, the differences between the GOP and the truth have become, seemingly, irreconcilable.
Who will get custody of Oliver North has yet to be determined, but the divorce court really OUGHT to award him to Faux and Fiends.
He would be uncomfortable being around truth for any length of time, as would, evidently, any Republican with enough mojo to warrant an invite to the Mendacious Quadrennial Orgy of Lies that we formerly knew as the Republican National Convention. In 1968 it was “Spiro WHO?” Today it’s “Facts? We don’t got to show you no steenkin’ facts!”
And that is the pity. Last night, more than one journalist made the observation that the best thing the Trump campaign could do was to take responsibility and make it go away — like Reagan did with Iran-Contra. “Responsibility” means its opposite, of course, in Topsy-TurvyLand, but that’s to be expected.
Instead, like Nixon (whose 1968 RNC speech, reportedly, is being pored over by newly minted “Law and Order” candidate Trump) the cover up is the killer, and a full-court coverup was launched this morning when Trump’s new “campaign manager” decided to go ThugLife and claim it was all Hillary’s fault.
(Again, a fact-free accusation, since the person who first noticed the plagiarized speech has zero to do with the Clinton campaign, and Andrea Mitchell reports that NONE of her contacts were aware of the accusation nor tipped her on it before it became common knowledge — a pretty sure-fire proof that the campaign had zero to do with outing the plagiarism.)
Why? What idiotic mentality takes an unforced error and, smarting from its first run through the news cycle, decides to make SURE it dominates the NEXT news cycle as well? Over what? A minor error that could be easily acknowledged, apologized for and dismissed?
The plagiarized Michelle Obama speech
This is really what the problem comes down to: the “Trump Campaign” doesn’t know how to work or play with others.
Given the choice between bunker mentality & coverup and ‘fessing up & moving on, they chose the option with the least upside and the greatest downside.
Thank ghod it wasn’t say, a confrontation with North Korea in the Yellow Sea or with Russia in the Baltic. We’d all be looking for our friendly neighborhood fallout shelter.
If anything were indicative of a “not ready for prime time” campaign and candidate it was this crime. And yes, plagiarism is a crime. Not merely a gaffe.
Take it from a victim.
And, speaking of which:
Donald Trump decided to steal Queen’s “We Are the Champions” to hype Donald’s megalomaniacal entrance. This is evidently not the first time he’s stolen Queen music, nor the first time he’s been caught stealing music for his rallies. That track record of theft of intellectual property makes it rather difficult to make the case that they couldn’t possibly have stolen a nice chunk of a Michelle Obama speech.
But they intend to make said case anyway.
The hypnotized will go along, as they always do. We expect that of the hypnotized. But those whom the Trump campaign really NEEDS to convince just had another nail pounded into the coffin of Trumpian credibility, and, perhaps, the obvious next question:
If he will lie and cover up about something this trivial, what will he lie and cover up about if he were in the White House?
We already HAD one Rovian “inside the bubble” disaster with Bush.
Because, dear readers, those most affected by the reflexive mendacity of a siege mentality clique are those in the claque itself, who believe their own lies and act on them AS IF they were true. With disastrous results.
The President of the United States of America MUST have a very solid “reality” principle.
Else we invade the wrong nations and destroy our own lives and economies.
Just ask one of the four thousand plus mothers that might have been put on the stage who could, with JUSTICE, claim that the last Republican Administration murdered their sons, in an authentic charge that would beggar the sick, twisted grief of a mother in denial, whom the Trumpists decided to drag into prime time national TV, just to try to score points in an election.
I could go on, but the obscenity is plain enough.
And, even though I ought to be inured to lying and plagiarism, I must admit that this has made me nauseous.
The Party of McCarthy will be in Cleveland most of the rest of the week. Remember to tip your bartender and your waitress.