Could plagiarism and a rick-roll in one speech be an accident?

The message coming out of the first night of the GOP convention can be summed up in one word: PLAGIARISM. Melania Trump’s speech was initially well-received by pundits. But the plaudits were short-lived as it became clear that her speech plagiarized a speech given by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic Convention.

Trump’s speech will be parsed and analyzed ad infinitum for the next day or so. I’m sure the Trump campaign will have some response (UPDATE: Here it is).

Mrs. Trump is responsible for the words she delivered, but I would simply note that this speech was likely put together by a speech-writer. And that leads to a question. Can this possibly have been an accident?

Could a speech-writer lift an entire paragraph from another speech on accident? Could it be an accident that the plagiarized portion is a section about honesty and character? Also, the speech had a Rick-Roll embedded in it (see below, HT: Josh Philpot). Could that possibly have been an accident?

The way in which this speech went wrong is too cute by half. It looks like intentional sabotage. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would wonder if a #NeverTrump mole had infiltrated the speech writers. But I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I’ll just admit that I don’t know what happened here.


  • Doug W

    FINALLY! Somebody else gets it. Tuesday we will learn that someone on the inside – a speech writer – decided to have some fun and plagiarize and slip in the rickroll at the same time. Either the prankster is a Cruz supporter, who also did a rickroll prank aimed at Trump on April Fools Day, or someone who was annoyed when hearing Melania say she wrote the speech herself. Pretty incredible.

  • Gordon Defreses

    “He will never, ever give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever let you down.” Said his third wife.

  • Christiane Smith

    ” (Trump campaign has a mole.)”

    And if his wife actually DID research and construct her own speech . . . .
    but no, I do think she had at least had assistants helping her with research and someone was either very purposefully cruel to Melania in setting her up for this, OR very, very careless.

    I actually feel sorry for Melania. She has been used here, I think.

    But the ‘wrath of the Donald’ will not fall on her, I hope. He is so unpredictable.

  • Ian Shaw

    I caught that on the radio this morning. Rest assured, the speech writer will no doubt be fired.

    I caught about 5 minutes of Giuliani speaking with the crowd going nuts. All I could think about was that quote from Episode III- “So this is how Liberty dies, with thunderous applause.”

  • Chuck Anderson

    Or is it intentional for another reason altogether?

    Give the media beast something to talk about, otherwise today’s discussions about Melania include…
    1) she’s a former lingerie model
    2) she’s his third wife
    3) she disagrees with him on many issues

    The plagiarism will be forgotten by 10pm tonight. Media beast will have something new to report within 24 hours. This thing can be dismissed quickly by firing some staffer (who will end up getting paid big money under the table).

    Trump’s main objective is not to win the White House – his sole desire is to promote and protect the Trump brand.

  • Lauren Law

    I find it impossible to believe that someone owns the words “My parents taught me values”…”work hard to get what you want”…”respect and honor people”. EVERYBODY in America can say those words without plagiarising Michelle Obama…and if it’s plagiarism, then Michelle should also be accused because many have said it before her day. This is a silly media sensation because they can find no other fault with last night’s wonderful convention…finally bringing a little dignity back to politics. The speeches were uplifting. They speakers clearly made a point for the need to have a safe America…and for the fact that Hillary cannot give us that. The whole thing is nothing but media fodder…and it’s totally distracted from the much more serious substance of the evening. I watched almost all of the convention. I was not a Trump supporter…till now! Finally a non-politician to give us a chance at getting back on track. People of faith…people of color…people of dignity and morality…people with blue blood…there are a lot of Americans who are seeing what others refuse to see…a way out of the mess Obama has caused. Never Hillary!

    • Ian Shaw

      There are also a lot of “People of faith…” that do see Trump for who he is and won’t be getting anywhere near that dumpster fire on election day.

  • Ike Lentz

    The plagiarism is just a symptom of bigger problem at the root of Donald Trump’s campaign: He’s simply not good at leading. A convention serves as a peak into how a candidate will manage the white house and run the country. The RNC this year is a mess by any standard, and it’s a microcosm of how sloppy and incoherent Trump’s managerial skills would be as a president.

  • Scott Shaver

    Mediocre attempt at best of diverting the issues Denny, but not good enough.

    In the words of a good friend: “Neither Michelle Obama nor Melania Trump wrote their speeches (including the 16 words in question). They were written by “professional” speech writers. I’m afraid this is the best thinking many in our world and among our religious leadership have to offer. The inflamed critics did not hear about a legal immigrant who came to this country and the values she brought with her. They did not hear her thankfulness for her new country (in a language for which there is no English translation/equivalent in her native slavic tongue). This after leaving the oppression of a communist country.

    No, they manufactured a an accusation of plagiarism…very sad if not totally ridiculous.

    Sell it to the academics in the dwindling sphere they seem to occupy.

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