Monday, February 18, 2008

Obama Also Plagiarized Robin Williams & Some Random Teenager, Too

So, here I am... googling "Obama plagiarizes," and I find this (published on Jan. 10th) in NY Mag:

Much has been made of Barack Obama's speech-making capabilities in the last couple of weeks, and Hillary Clinton has even been accused by some people of cribbing some of his phrases. But is it is possible that Obama himself borrowed one of his signature lines, from a most unlikely source? "I tuned out the NH debate the other night to watch Man of the Year, in which Robin Williams plays a comedian who gets 'elected' President," one reader commented on John Heilmann's piece about Obama in last week's New York. One of Williams's speeches in the film, he noticed, was strikingly similar to one Obama gave in an ad in Iowa: "We are not a nation of red states or of blue states; we are the United States of America." So we got a copy of both speeches, played them one after the other, and, well, what do you know? Now, we're not accusing anyone of plagiarism: Like "I'm a uniter, not a divider" before it, it's a pretty facile construction, one that could have easily just, you know, seeped in. But on the off chance that Obama's aides are turning to Hollywood for inspiration, we highly recommend studying Martin Sheen in The West Wing. Or Michael Douglas in The American President. Now that's a man who would sweep the primaries.

And here's the video:

Wait! There's more! On Jan. 11th, NY Mag reported that the Obama campaign has been ripping off a teenager's idea...

Yesterday we pondered whether Barack Obama's speechwriters lifted a line from a Robin Williams movie. Is that what he meant when he talked about "harnessing ingenuity"?, we wondered. Now Scarsdale teenager Stefan Doyno is accusing the senator of appropriating one of his lines. "Change Rocks," a phrase the Obama campaign is using as the title for a series of fund-raising concerts, also happens to be the name of Doyno's fledgling company, which sells rings with removable stones. "If the concert clothing has 'Change Rocks' on it and I'm doing clothing with 'Change Rocks' on it, then that's infringement," Doyno told the AP. Accordingly, his lawyer has sent a letter to Obama's office. But, this country being the wonderful land of opportunity that it is, they're not asking the candidate to cease and desist. Rather, they're proposing a partnership. Quoth the letter: "Mr. Doyno would be more than willing to grant Mr. Obama a license on quite favorable terms to use the Change Rocks trademark in connection with products other than jewelry. Mr. Doyno is far more interested in exploring possible synergies … than he is in preventing Mr. Obama from using the mark in connection with his campaign." Now that's an audacious hope!

Stay tuned for more adventures, creative Hopifying.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19-- and and


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