May 2, 2017

"French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarising defeated rival François Fillon in a speech she delivered on Monday."

BBC reports:
Several sections of her speech [on Monday] in Villepinte, north of Paris, appear to repeat almost word-for-word comments Mr Fillon made in an address on 15 April...

Mr Fillon's speech: "Then there is the Rhine frontier, the most open, the most dangerous, also the most promising - a Germanic world we have been so often in conflict with and with which we will yet co-operate in so many ways" Ms Le Pen's speech: "Then there is the Rhine frontier, the most open, also the most promising - a Germanic world we will yet co-operate with in so many ways, as long as we regain the relationship of allies and not of subjects"

• Both speeches refer to "waiting lists for the Alliance Française in Shanghai, Tokyo, or Mexico, for the French secondary school in Rabat or Rome"

• Both speeches quote World War One PM Georges Clemenceau, saying: "Once a soldier of God, and now a soldier of Liberty, France will always be the soldier of the ideal"

Mr Fillon's speech: "France, as I have said, is a history, it is a geography, but it is also a set of values ​​and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is finally a singular voice addressed to all the peoples of the universe" Ms Le Pen's speech: "France is also a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. And then it is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe"
I wonder if there is some earlier source that both cribbed from. You'd think she'd be more careful. I thought of this — absurd?! — argument in her favor: She purposely plagiarized because it would (and did) cause her antagonists to repeat words that have a meaning that influences people to vote for her.

Hmm. Let's say her speechwriters just screwed up. What do you think of using my absurd theory as rhetoric to cover up what was only embarrassing mistake? Now, caught, she could say: Of course, I used Fillon's words. He is absolutely right, but you cannot vote for Fillon now. You can only vote for me or Macron. I honor what Fillon said. I could not think of more perfect words. And now my opponents — who are also Fillon's opponents, believe me — are criticizing me for using those words, but listen to those words! They are the correct words! France is a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe....

39 comments:

tcrosse said...

France is a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe....

Brava ! This is just the sort of vainglorious tosh the French would eat with a spoon.

Ken B said...

This is a parochial concern from a certain class. People do not care, not should they.

AllenS said...

Fourscore and seven years ago, this might have been a big deal, but not now.

Big Mike said...

I suspect that in the end it will turn out that you were right the first time, Professor -- both cribbed from an earlier source. That or she hired, and should fire, one of Fillon's old speechwriters.

Alex said...

France is starting to smell like 1789 if ya know what I mean.

William said...

the plagiarist didn't have much taste. The problem is that there probably aren't many French speeches worth stealing. Amy Schmer doesn't steal jokes from German comedy clubs.......Joe Biden. Now there's a man with real taste. His plagiarized speech was both moving and original.

Inga said...

Le Pen and Melania, they should've hired another person to do a plagiarism check on their speeches.

rhhardin said...

Without plagiarism there would be no good ideas.

CJinPA said...

Let's say her speechwriters just screwed up.

They did. I'm supposed to be writing a political speech at this moment. I am not inspired. But I will only borrow from previous speeches I wrote. There are only so many ways you can do a Chamber of Commerce speech

What do you think of using my absurd theory as rhetoric to cover up what was only embarrassing mistake?

Clever, but a tough sell since it probably did not go down that way. Better would be to actually, deliberately use the words of an opposing politician, wait for backlash, and do the reveal. Bill Clinton did a 1995 SOTU speech that included a passage on immigration that Trump could adopt word for word.

BILL CLINTON: "We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it. Illegal aliens are creating big problems for us, and we're going to put a lot more border patrol people to support us, and we're not going to have people able to work by coming in illegally, and we're going to cut off their welfare benefits, and we're going to deport people in record numbers."

Bob Boyd said...

France is a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe....

...and Fillon, for all his eloquence, is now a has-been. I paid him homage in the hope that our nation does not follow him into the dustbin of history.

Jupiter said...

Inga, I still want some answers about that hat. Are you saying that's what you look like down below? Or is that what your cat looks like? You have a pink cat? You have a convex vulva? In either case, where's the hair? Do you shave your pussy, of whichever sort? And when you go to handle that thing, how do you grab it? How would you feel about someone else grabbing it?

Come on, we're all adults here. Inga has a pussy hat, because Inga prefers that people encountering her for the first time should immediately begin to think about her external genitalia. In Inga's mind, her sex, which she calls her "gender" and imagines to be "socially constructed", is the single most important thing about her. Society has constructed an identity for Inga, and she has no other.

Or maybe she just shaves her cat. I dunno. That's why I want some answers.

Michael K said...

"Joe Biden. Now there's a man with real taste. His plagiarized speech was both moving and original."

But it did not get Neil Kinnock elected.

Kinnock led the Labour Party to a surprise fourth consecutive defeat in the 1992 general election, despite the party being ahead in most opinion polls, after which he resigned as leader and from the House of Commons.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The better bet may be for Le Pen to go with a big lie and say something like "Fillon stole those words from me." Then have an aide suggest the words came out of one of her earlier stump speeches and tell the press they'll produce the text but are a little busy right now. Later she can say that all she meant is that he stole her thinking.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger Inga said...
Le Pen and Melania, they should've hired another person to do a plagiarism check on their speeches."

Biden too.

DKWalser said...

Perhaps Le Pen said those things in prior speeches and Fillon copied her? I'm not saying it did happen, but it would be awfully funny if she were able to produce a video of her giving a speech from 2015 that used that language and claim that Fillon was the plagiarist, not her.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"In Inga's mind, her sex, which she calls her "gender" and imagines to be "socially constructed", is the single most important thing about her. Society has constructed an identity for Inga, and she has no other."

What else do rad feminists have going for them?

You have to flaunt what's between your legs when you don't have anything between your ears.

traditionalguy said...

She is doing a Trump style populist campaign. Before she courageously spoke up, probably illegally, very few even knew the European Union allowed France to have its own borders and elect its own political leaders.

Fernandinande said...

When are the French going to realize that the First Amendment covers plagiarism and stop running around like kings with their heads cut off?

Chuck said...

Almost a year ago (July 20, 2016), Althouse posted on the Melania Trump plagiarism mini-scandal:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2016/07/how-michelle-obamas-words-got-into.html

That might be one way for Le Pen to play it. Blame the speechwriter, let everybody call for a resignation (with the offending speechwriter offering her resignation), and the candidate magnanimously declines the offer and says 'everybody makes an occasional mistake,' in a humanizing way.

Oh, and in the reader comments for that Althouse post, my comment was the second one in the queue. Wherein I noted that the initial reaction from TrumpWorld was to say that it wasn't plagiarism at all, and that previously, the word had been that the magnificently talented Melania wrote her own speech herself.

I suppose there are a million different ways to play this, some of them clever and all but one more or less dishonest. I'm such a simple guy; I'd simply like a true story.

Nonapod said...

Personally, if I were relying on speech writers I would run anything they submitted through plagiarism detection software. There's a bunch of free web based ones, but I don't know how comprehensive and up to date they are in terms of public speeches and the like.

Drago said...

So, to summarize: Le Pen is crazy and bad because she says such different things from all the other "mainstream" French politicians. But Le Pen is also crazy and bad because she says such similar/identical things as all the other "mainstream" French politicians.

Drago said...

It's always interesting when "lifelong republican" Chuck posts from HillaryWorld about what he believes is occurring in his make-believe "TrumpWorld".

Rae said...

Use the "Infinite Monkeys with Infinite Typewriters" defense. "My speechwriters just happened to hit upon the same combination of words through cruel chance."

Michael McClain said...

Joe Biden declined to comment.

Drago said...

Michael McClain: "Joe Biden declined to comment"

But only because somebody else declined first...

Daniel Jackson said...

In France, where this sort of thing happens regularly, not much will happen. The Gauche will tsk-tsk and her supporters will think, now Fillon is supporting her since she has incorporated his ideas in her platform.

Right now, both Le Pen and Macron are moving to the Left--Macron wants to gain on the Left with the anti Le Pen vote and Le Pen wants a piece of the Center.

At the root of this election is the Base; the average peasant who is truly disgusted with Les Gross Tetes, the establishment, the bureaucrats, the taxes, and the drying up of jobs. The Base does not care for platforms or the niceties of citation. Like the 19th century factory workers who threw their wooden shoes into the cogs of machines, they want to register their discontent. If Madame Le Pen blows off the elites, steals a few lines from a discarded opponent, and thumbs her nose at journalists, all to the better.

I am sure she did this on purpose and for precisely the reaction it received. Besides, she delivered the words with more passion that Macron. That is what The Base wants: a grand spectacle (which translates "big theater").

In the same way, she blew off the annual ceremony of the deportees during WWII. While Macron was seen on the telie visiting the Holocaust Museum in Paris, Le Pen refused to "commercialize" on the day, thus keeping faith with her base and refusal to accept the French Supreme Court's verdict that it was The French who were complicit in the deportation of the Jews as well as the gypsies and others. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/feb/17/france-admits-deporting-jews

The French, at least the gross tetes, are not interested in a true story; but, any story that will make their constituents remember the Glorious Revolution of 1968, take to the streets, and blame Israel for the chaos. Anything and everything for the grand manifestation.

Le Pen plays the same game but throwing niceties in journalists' faces, absolving responsibility for Nazi collaboration, and blaming the Semites of all stripes for what ails French Culture.

She will probably gain in the polls. Toujours, elle pense si ce n'est pas cette fois, la prochaine fois qu'elle va gagner à coup sûr

exiledonmainstreet said...

"France is a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe...."

I would imagine that most French pols express much the same sentiment. If there is one thing all French agree with, it's that they invented civilization.

Mattman26 said...

Thank you for the laugh, Allen S.

One theory: Someone "inside" Le Pen world did this to sabotage her.

Another: In Trumpesque fashion, anything that gets her attention is a good thing, and so she intentionally did this to saturate the news cycle.

And one more: Politicians everywhere are just weird fucking people, and that's that.

Mitch H. said...

I think you're right, Professor. She did it, wanting to be 'caught' sounding like Fillon. It makes her a) more clubbable b) sound like a traditional Gaullist and c) invites the Fillon voters to hold their noses and vote Front National. The cost? Some anal-retentives will witter about plagiarism and the like. But those sort of weak-bottomed sob-sisters were always going to cower from the prospect of a FN win. Lost before the cast, so ignore any consequences in that corner.

That being said, meh. Almost all French politicians are train-wrecks by my standards. They're an impossible polity, I think the entire nation must stay aloft through rigorous practice of comprehensive hypocrisy. They embrace the worst sorts of ideals and politics, practice abominable corruption, and seem to display nothing but contempt for the higher virtues. And yet, they never quite collapse into the expected decadence. They don't practice the abominations they preach. They talk like a prostitute, but live like a suburban housewife.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ok, .i got suckered Jupiter and checked Inga's almost nonexistent profile. Is that supposed to be her pussy hat? If so, she has bigger problems than being a hard left loon.

wildswan said...

There is a book called the Heavenly Holy Bible which is a sort of sci-fi version of the Bible with various additions suggested by history since Biblical times and by assuming that the planets are inhabited. The missionaries to Neptune say: "We are poor instruments to make God's holy truth to be yet more and more known and practiced to all the people of the universe ... the Lord of heavens and Neptune bless Your Majesty ... as his heavenly hand has enriched your Highness with many singular and extraordinary graces [so the reign will continue to be blessed because the Emperor authorized the translation of the Bible into Neptunian] This address on Neptune is based on the Address to King James written by the translators of the Authorized Version, the "King James Bible", when they presented their work to the King. And the passages in the Heavenly Holy Bible include most of the Address to King James. But that Address did not include the phrase "the people of the universe".

So the Heavenly Holy Bible plagiarized the Address to King James. And Fillon's speech writers plagiarized the Heavenly Holy Bible. And Le Pen plagiarized Fillon. The takeaway for me is: I wonder if Fillon's speech writers are entirely sincere in what they write for him ... plagiarizing sci-fi and English Protestantism in order to glorify France's achievements in literature seems... how you say, stupide, n'est pas? Unless it's deliberately contemptuous.

Google search: heavenly Holy Bible an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/dedication

antiphone said...

I wonder if there is some earlier source that both cribbed from. -Althouse

Sure, this happens all the time, like with Hillary Clinton's quip:

"America is great because we are good at paraphrasing."

But as we now know, this line was never actually used by Tocqueville.

Long story short, the likely explanation is that Le Pen intentionally alluded to Fillon's speech because it could cause her opponents to repeat words that have meaning as well as influence people to vote for her. IMHO

robother said...

A more realistic variation on Ann's absurd defense would be to point out that Fillon's words were an attempted hoax by a conventional Conservative Candidate on the French voter, stealing her thunder. "When I say these words, you know in your heart I really mean it."

Martin said...

This whole idea of "plagiarizing" in a speech strikes me as a bit ridiculous. It's not like you're claiming credit for someone else's original research or copyrighted work from which they will earn income, and you are harming them by denying them credit for some career achievement or diminishing the value of an asset. It's just something they said, nd if it expresses your own beliefs or intent, so what?.

If X says "A" and I also believe "A", whom do I harm by saying "A"? It would be polite to give credit, "... as Mr. Fillon recently said..." and is a bit unseemly not to, but this is not to have a cow over. And I thought the same when Melania Trump spoke Michelle Obama's words, and some years ago when Joe Biden was found to have cribbed from Neil Kinnock. It may be a social faux pas, but that is all it is.

Reminds me of when my wife taught in a community college system with several campuses, and there was threat of a strike so the central administration had each campus president send an identical letter (no doubt drafted by the Law Dept) to everyone at their respective campuses. The faculty all screamed "plagiarism" because it was the same letter. Well, d'oh. I told them, "You're being morons, grow up."

People who think they are smart like to yell "plagiarism."

Inga said...

Blogger Bruce Hayden said...
"Ok, .i got suckered Jupiter and checked Inga's almost nonexistent profile."

Oh Bruce, have you taken a gander at Jupiter's profile? Is his profile any more extensive than mine? Actually my profile is more extensive than his, yet you decided to comment on my " nonexistent profile". Dumbass. As for the pink pussy hat, it's the summer weight version that will be popular for the upcoming summer protests.

Jupiter, you seem strangely obsessed by my genitalia. Ask your mom about it, she'll fill you in on the general appearance of the genitalia of a grandmother.

mockturtle said...

If there is one thing all French agree with, it's that they invented civilization.

That and self-delusion.

Yancey Ward said...

To find the original source, if there is such, one would need to search for the speeches given in French, not English.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

exiledonmainstreet said...If there is one thing all French agree with, it's that they invented civilization.

Wikipedia has a great article on the forced conversion of the French language. A law that was ordered by a man who almost failed his French classes - Napoleon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergonha