Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

One of the most tiresome features of today’s political climate is the non-ending stream of mindlessly dishonest hit pieces on Donald Trump, his family, and anyone in his administration. Unlike in former times where this kind of stuff was relegated to hyper-partisan writers at partisan media outlets, today it passes for journalism. Take this story from Newsweek, IVANKA TRUMP PLAGIARIZES ONE OF HER OWN SPEECHES IN INDIA.

This intrigued me because plagiarizing yourself is one of the few things that is actually impossible to do:

From the story:

While Trump did say a few lines crafted specifically for the event she was attending—”In this ‘City of Pearls,’ the greatest treasure is you!” she said, citing Hyderabad’s monicker to an applauding audience—it appeared the breadth of her talking points were recycled from a previous speech she gave during a foreign trip earlier this month.

Of course, Trump is far from the first person to pull from their old speeches—government officials, especially those campaigning, routinely use their old talking points in updated talks with voters across the country. Even comedians reuse the same punchlines, however inauthentic it may be.

Still, Trump’s recycling of her old speech could be more significant than simply her not having anything else to say about women’s empowerment. The repetitive lines could show where the first daughter’s focus lies in the White House, and what accomplishments she hopes to align with her newfound political brand.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the concept of “stump speech.”

We can argue whether Ivanka should have given a stump speech, but to call it plagiarism is an exercise in slander because Newsweek knows that recycling your own material without attribution is not an issue to anyone who is not trying to manufacture an issue.