Speechwriter in Trump's Camp Offers Mea Culpa
For the past two days, the country has been abuzz with the latest scandal to rock to the Trump campaign. Apparently, the speech that Melania Trump delivered during the first day of the Republican National Convention was eerily similar to that of first lady Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at that year's Democrat National Convention. At least two passages were lifted from the original speech.
After this revelation, the internet basically ripped The First Lady hopeful to shreds. They were countless of social media memes poking fun at the entire debacle. Even TV actor Jesse Williams of Grey Anatomy success showed his sillier side by letting off a series of tweets featuring popular quotes with the hashtag, #FamousMelaniaTrumpQoutes. Yeah, fun times.
And while I'm not making any objection to the country assuring Melania that we're laughing at you and not with you, as a writer, I couldn't help but wonder what would possess Melania's speech writer to do something like plagiarize such a memorable and poignant speech delivered by the FLOTUS. In a time when writing gigs are being outsourced overseas and are being offered on sites like Fiverr.com and Upwork.com for nearly pennies, it's not a good time to show your incompetence as a writer.
The speech writer, identified as Meredith McIver, a family friend, has issued an explanation and apology for the guff. NYtimes.com posted on their site the full letter written by Meredith. In a nutshell, she said that Melania Trump dictated passages "inspired" by Michelle Obama's speech to her over the phone. She went on to include said passages without doing her due diligence by watching the original speech to make sure she wasn't plagiarizing.
She later went on to say that she offered her resignation but the Trumps rejected that offer. Whether Meredith is taking the fall for Melania or the series of events that happened are in fact true, this is a lesson to all writers that it doesn't pay to plagiarize. Your reputation is a stake and with programs like Copyscape, and a simple google search, your bad deed can be easily discovered. Here's to writing down the bones ( this line is "inspired" by writer Natalie Goldberg).