Trump Derangement Syndrome is a hell of a drug. Unless you factor in gross incompetence, nothing else can explain Newsweek’s latest assertion that first daughter Ivanka Trump plagiarized a speech while on a trip to India. The person she is accused of plagiarizing? Ivanka Trump. Yes, really.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) November 30, 2017
Newsweek’s Chris Riotta painted a picture of how the city of Hyderabad, India, had gone to great lengths to spruce itself up for the visit by Ms. Trump and the rest of the attendees at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Riotta added that attendees were expecting to hear something new from Ms. Trump at the summit. He assumes they were disappointed.
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.
— Department of State (@StateDept) November 28, 2017
Several lines the 36-year-old delivered Tuesday had been directly pulled from her poorly attended November 2 speech in Tokyo, where she attended the World Assembly for Women alongside Japanese President Shinzo Abe.
STOP THE PRESSES! A politician recycled a speech! That’s PLAGIARISM.
No, it’s not. “Plagiarize” has a very specific definition. Here’s how Merriam Webster defines it.
Definition of plagiarize
: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source
What Ms. Trump did is just a politician being a politician. Riotta has clearly never been a reporter following around a candidate. It is also possible that Riotta doesn’t really cover foreign affairs, especially diplomacy, where the first job is to be extremely careful and use approved language so as to not offend.
On the campaign trail, politicians routinely give what are called stump speeches. If you’ve ever been to multiple events by the same candidate, you quickly learn that the time to head to the bar to top off your drink is when the candidate starts speaking. You aren’t going to hear anything new. The standard stump speech, whether by a candidate for president or for city planning board, is almost the same. Every. Single. Time. Riotta should know that.
According to Newsweek’s bio for Riotta, he has been assigned to cover the Trump family. The proximity seems to be causing a chronic case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.