ChrisMaverick dotcom

on Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal…

mealnia-michelleI mean, last night was just amazing… Anything could have been the big story. There was a failed coup as the RNC opened. There was the real failed coup in Turkey. There was Racist McSenator…. Hell, there was the Taylor Swift scandal.

Part of me feels like Trump totally said “What do you mean Taylor has a scandal bigger than us? This can’t happen. We have the biggest scandals… We have the best scandals… Honey, you’re gonna go out there and this is what you’re going to say…”


42 comments for “on Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal…

  1. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm


  2. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    The combo of Colbert and the plagiarized speech really worked for me. I imagine we’ll have some embarrassing has-been rock star moments coming next, but really, who knows?

  3. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    So, I spent thirty seconds with Google News to try to figure out what the Taylor Swift scandal is. Is the idea that she said she didn’t give permission to be in a Kanye West song, but she kind of did? Only maybe not exactly every phrase? And, if so, does that mean we officially hold Taylor Swift to higher standards of truthfulness than the people actually literally running for President of the United States?

    1. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Short form: Yes.

      Longer form:

      Kanye is a douchebag and an asshole. Like, intentionally… he even wrote a song about it himself.

      That said, his most recent album has a lyric that says “I still think that Taylor and I might have sex. I made that bitch famous.” Clearly an asshole thing to say. That’s why he said it.

      Album comes out. Taylor fans go ballistic. Taylor then goes ballistic too. Says she’s mortified that he would say such a thing. Kanye comes out and says “she gave me permission?!?! What the hell?!?” (He actually doesn’t need permission to express that in a song, but whatever). Taylor says she never did. Kanye says “yes, you did. I called you and asked.” Taylor says that never happened. She would never have given permission for that. Taylor’s fans renew their vitriol against West. Taylor’s representatives start talking about how they’re pursuing legal action. Kanye sticks to the “but I asked permission. I thought we were friends” narrative. Taylor’s reps keep saying that he’s delusional and evil. Kim backs Kanye up. Of course she does, she’s his wife. It goes back and forth a few times with everyone assuming Kanye is lying because of past history. Kim says “hey, wait… I have the whole thing on tape” and posts it to snapchat.

      So now it is clear that Taylor lied. She did give him permission. So now Taylor has changed her story and is saying that she gave permission to say they might have sex but not to call her a bitch (she is ignoring that she originally claimed that they never spoke about it at all) and she’s blaming Kim for slandering her character.

  4. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Also, Michael, don’t delude yourself… Taylor Swift is far more powerful than the president of the United States.

  5. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Part of me thinks this another of Trump’s tests of the limits of his voters’ loyalty (re: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”).

    1. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      So did she “write” it or did she have a team of writers? And is there a transcript of the speech that we could put through to what other passages were “borrowed”? Because as a teacher I know that if she took from one, she might have taken from more. Students rationalize that taking lines here and there is not “really” plagiarism because they then have to put them together.

    2. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      And why did the turn it in link pop up? I didn’t add that.

    3. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      because you mentioned a site that ended in dotcom and Facebook auto links it.

      And actually, one of my first thoughts was to pump it through safe assign. I should hunt down a copy and do that.

    4. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks for the tip – these damn computer programs – counting the days til Skynet . . .

    5. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      So I don’t have a turnitin account. SafeAssign gives me only a 1% match (on the line: “The sacrifices made by our veterans are reminders to us of this.” so completely innocuous). But all that means is that Michelle’s speech is not in the DB and no student at a SA university has ever quoted it.

      Nicole, the full transcript is here: if you want to pump it into turnitin.

    6. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Dmitri: worse in which sense? It is 100% worse from an ethical standpoint if it was her. Yes, I realize she isn’t TECHNICALLY running for anything, but from a perception standpoint, the first lady is an extension of the president, so she was essentially auditioning for the role last night. And if your first step out of the gate is to plagiarize a speech that was literally about honesty and integrity, that’s bad to start with.

      It’s even worse because not only has Donald been the Obamas’ biggest critic for the last 8 years, it was the LAST speech by a winning first lady candidate, so naturally someone was going to check. If she’d ripped an old Nancy Reagan speech or Mamie Eisenhower or something, probably no one would notice.

      If it’s a speech writer on the other hand, you can pass the buck: “we are mortified. We trusted this person and they were clearly a Clinton shill who infiltrated the campaign with the express purpose of embarrassing Mrs. Trump.”

      Even a CNN talking head last night said “this is the easiest thing to fix in the world. All you have to do is fire the 26-year old” and the other’s said “What 26 year old?” and he said “it doesn’t matter. it’s a presidential campaign. There’s clearly a 26 year old there. You walk out you find the first one you see and you say look dude, you’re about to take one for the team.” Honestly, you probably wouldn’t even have to actually fire one. You could just say you did. Trump’s campaign isn’t about transparency, so there’d be no way to check.

      Of course, I’m not surprised that he went with the denial path. That’s pretty much his MO and it’s worked for him so far. And it’s not that bad. At the end of the day, Melania is a trophy wife who really doesn’t speak much and the first debate will be weeks away. This will totally blow over before Hillary gets to do anything with it. And if she were to bring it back up that late in the campaign she becomes “the bitch who is attacking another woman”

    7. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Oh dear god – a debate! I hadn’t even thought about that. The ultimate in mansplaining. Trump can’t shut up for 15 seconds, let alone long enough to let someone else answer a question. It will be a vomit inducing spectacle.

      How the hell is the RNC not stopping this? Even Cruz would serve them better at this point.

    8. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Nicole: How do you stop it? The train has left the door. There’s nothing to do. I mean, the NeverTrump faction did TRY yesterday around 4, but they were shut down. At the end of the day, he WON. He won fair and square. There’s literally nothing they can do without saying “yes, we know. But he’s an asshole so we are disenfranchising our voters.” Which means that not only do you lose his supporters you lose anyone who says “well, yes, but if they can do that to him, they can do it to anyone” and you basically destroy the party forever.

      Did you pump the speech through turnitin? I’m kinda curious what it finds.

    9. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      So, Step 1: DENY DENY DENY
      Step 2: act befuddled that anyone would jump to the plagiarism conclusion
      Step 3: throw out step 1 and 2, and blame Hillary.

    10. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      well, blame Hillary AND the media. His supporters love that.

      “Manafort said attacks on Trump’s speech are due to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, being “threatened” by Trump.
      “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work,” he said. “

    11. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Dmitri: They’re in a weird place. She bragged about how she wrote the speech herself like 12 hours earlier on the Today Show. I mean, clearly she didn’t. She barely speaks english. But that probably doesn’t matter.

      For any other candidate, I’d totally follow the “fire the 26 yo” strategy. Sacrificial lamb and move on. For Trump, this (denial) is probably the right call. He’s proven he has the capacity to weather much bigger gaffes and move on before the next one hits.

      As for what happened behind the scene. I honestly don’t know. I mean, if she did write it, then maybe she’s just stupid. And you know, it’s not like anyone ever thought she was a brain surgeon, so who cares? But I think it’s more likely a speech writer did it. And that’s way more concerning. Because how dumb is that guy? It’s almost better if he/she is a clinton mole. But how do you get a mole in at that level? And Trump has already said no one is getting fired.

      In fact, as bizarre as it seems, the only thing that makes sense is what I joked about and Stephanie said in a comment above. If it was an intentional “gaffe” like the “I could shoot people on the corner” speech, just to test his power then it all kind of makes sense… I mean, I have trouble believing that’s what it was… but that’s the one that makes the most sense somehow.

    12. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      (sorry, kinda interrupting the flow of this thread)

    13. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Dawn: Nah, you’re good!

    14. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      wow, I hadn’t thought about the “shoot a man on the street” theory, just to prove he won’t lose voters due to a gaff like this. But, I already knew that– his supporters are so dupped and in so deep, they’re not gonna ditch him…. the only thing I could think of, is if he said he no longer wants to build a wall. Which is why you say blatant denial is always his best answer, because his supporters want a strong, loud, stubborn-even-in-the-face-of-facts bully as a leader. They would support him if he swore up and down the sky was yellow.

    15. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      While that may be true, it certainly isn’t the best political narrative. They can’t claim incompetence. The right move here is denial and then slide into playing the victim… the way Dawn is describing.

      Like Michael says below, this is certainly not ACTUALLY a big deal. He’s not going to lose any votes over this. No one who really cares was going to vote for him anyway. So if you spin it right, then you can turn this into “why is the evil media attacking this poor mother?”

    16. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      BIG part of the trump supporter phenomenon is victimhood. They aren’t being heard, the media is against them, the immigrants are coming for them, they’re being pushed out, or their opinions shoved into dark corners by the SJWs….

      The more we lament this, the more we feed the trolls.

    17. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Personally my favorite part of that article was that CNN actually Rickrolled their readers.

      The rest of that scandal is just what I now consider normal daily Trump.

    18. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm


    19. avatar
      July 20, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Chris Maverick that brought to mind a side note: is it just me or is NO ONE discussing the undecided voters? Aren’t they always the 3rd choice? Where’d they go? Are they hiding? Totally non existent this time around? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm

    20. avatar
      July 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      they are discussing them a bit. Because of the weirdness of the campaign (Particularly in Trump’s case and In Bernie Sanders’s case before he dropped out) they’ve taken a back seat to non-traditional voters who they each brought into their camps.

      But now that primary season is ending and the general election is beginning, I expect that we’ll be hearing more about them.

  6. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I just can’t even get remotely worked up about the plagiarism thing, like, at all. It’s not particularly uncommon amongst politicians, and anyway, anodyne political bromides of the sort stolen all sound the same anyway. Why not use the same literal words? This ranks like 10,721st on my list of reasons not to vote for Trump.

    1. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Oh sure…. I don’t think this is going to change anyone’s mind in any way shape or form. Like not even one. I just don’t believe that there’s a single voter who was like “I’m totally on the fence here…. but I want to see what see what his trophy wife says. Is she honest? Because first lady integrity is the biggest problem facing our nation.”

      Hell, the alternative is to make Bill the first man and we already know he has lied under oath.

      It’s more just interesting because it’s the thing in the news cycle today.

      Also (selfishly), as my friend Kelly said on her own page (and Nicole and I hinted at above) this is going to make a really good plagiarism teaching case for us next year.

  7. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    One possible motive: give the left a (dumb) reason to attack his wife to make spouses fair game.

    1. avatar
      July 19, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      I don’t get the sense that Trump thinks he needs justification to attack anyone.

  8. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    The fact that the speech also literally Rick Rolled us indicates to me that the plagiarism was probably intentional on the part of some speechwriter; there’s a fox in the hen house there.

  9. avatar
    July 19, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    And don’t forget the terrible towel made an appearance at the RNC.

  10. avatar
    July 20, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Definitely deliberate. No doubt!

  11. avatar
    July 20, 2016 at 9:30 am

    She’s no more a plagiarist than Michelle or Barack Obama… It’s pathetic there’s this much attention devoted to it.
    Totally on purpose though because the media is a joke

  12. avatar
    July 20, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Actually Barack wins out of the three of them for plagiarism.
    Mrs Trump is accused of plagiarising Mrs Obama’s speech and Mrs Obama’s is accused of plagiarising parts of that speech from several other people.

    It’s like the two dumb girls who copied some one else’s home work arguing over who cheated

    1. avatar
      July 20, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Not exactly. That’s not the same thing…

      No one credible is accusing Michelle of plagiarism. The accounts that say that are all purely reactionary in response to this one and about her using common turns of phrase that Saul Alinsky happened to use as well (the world as it is… the world as it should be). It’s not the same thing. It’s just not. Not legally and not ethically. It’s more like using talking points which all members of both the DNC and the RNC tend to do all the time. She would not be dinged for plagiarism in any university in this country.

      Barack’s is different. Sort of. It is not as bad as Melania’s in that he did paraphrase the idea of Deval Patrick’s speech, but not the exact words, or at least not as many of them as Melania did. In truth is is probably because he couldn’t remember them. He was off script when he did it (as opposed to Melania being a prepared speech). The campaign’s defense was that he wasn’t plagiarizing as much as poorly footnoting. Also, Patrick (a friend of his) later gave him permission. Most importantly, Barack admitted to it when called on it. These details are very much in his favor ethically and lighten the blow, making it less egregious than Melania’s case. However, the two things that makes it worse is that Barack was a lawyer and really should have known better AND he was running for president, whereas Melania is just married to someone who is. In any case, As his college instructor, I totally would have flagged him on plagiarism for that and I think most other teachers would as well. But the way he did it and his honesty about it would have likely made his punishment less severe than hers.

  13. avatar
    July 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Turnitin finds a teachable moment:

    The issue is not whether or not the plagiarism is serious. It is mainly the embarrassment of having this distraction be the main story all over the media during the convention, driving out all other potentially favorable news.

  14. avatar
    July 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I also love that John Fetterman (the rather kick ass young mayor of Braddock) was on Larry Wilmore discussing this subject.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.