07-19-2016, 12:03 PM
References to common expressions often go unattributed. (For example, if Obama says "the buck stops here," he needn't say that this was a phrase that Harry Truman was fond of, or if he says "the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice," he needn't preface this with "Dr. King said" because it is plain as day that that's the reference, just as one wouldn't need to cite Nike if one says "just do it.") That is different than cribbing filler text and benign anecdotes. One thing that clearly separates plagiarism from sloppy writing is intent. If one intends to reference a speaker so that the audience is aware of the original authorship, then that's likely sloppy writing; if one intends to pass off the speaker's ideas as one's own, that's plagiarism. So the question becomes did Obama plan to make himself look like Alinsky, or to reference Alinsky? Alinsky's work is well known, so I suspect the latter. On the other hand, I suspect it is not the case that Melania intended the audience to understand she was channeling Michelle Obama.
Beyond that, it appears that the person being accused of loose attribution is not Michelle, who is attributing it to the person she claims said it, but rather Barack, who may or may not have adequately attributed in the purported conversation.
In short, what Michelle did is not the same thing Melania did. Quit using that cesspool Breitbart if you want coherent arguments.