Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Plagiarization BS

Very disappointed by the Hillary Clinton campaign that they made a big fuss saying that Barack Obama plagiarized the speech by Governor Patrick above. Think that it was effective in giving Obama a slightly bad day of press, but don't think they gain much by doing it. Above all they appeared desperate.

When it comes to speeches or writing, very little is purely original, and this line in particular is not either. It would have been better had Obama attributed the response to Patrick, something he had done before, but plagiarism?!?! The Clinton campaign plays into the Obama line of ‘old school politics when they push this.

It was a combination of quotes, not an original work, and while the video does not look good for Obama, think the desperation and dirtiness of the Clinton campaign is more the story, than any kind of plagiarism.

I am reminded of a quote by fictional speechwriter Sam Seaborn (played by Rob Lowe) of, you guessed it, THE WEST WING. In a great episode titled '20 Hours in America' talking about a part of a speech he wrote ‘in the car on the way over' Seaborn sarcastically said, "Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright."

See the words of a truly great writer, Mr. Aaron Sorkin. In the following clip which Seaborn references in the above quote. As a side note, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) uses the phrase "Into the Fire" at two points of the speech. Sorkin was never accused of stealing this line from Bruce Springsteen who wrote a song post 9/11 in the his album "The Rising" labeled, "Into the Fire". Guess ‘The Boss’ is more mature than the Clinton campaign

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