Politicans and Actors, II

January 28, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

A post (here) a couple of days ago showed the fictional Larry Garfied, played by Danny DeVito, justifying Mitt Romney’s capitalism, and doing a better job of it than does Romney himself. 

Here’s another politician, Anthony Albanese, an Australian cabinet minister, delivering a politically charged speech.  Like Romney, he’s not all that bad.  But Michael Douglas, seventeen years ealier, shows him how Aaron Sorkin’s  lines should be delivered.

(For more information, see this Language Log post, which is where I found the story.)


PCM said...

Isn't that called "pulling a Joe Biden"?

PCM said...

Seriously, though. Leaving aside the copyright of the movie, what's the difference between taking words from a movie and taking them from a speechwriter? Would it change anything if his speechwriter wrote the script for the movie. Why?

Sad as it is, I don't think anybody expects a politician's words to be their own. They're all actors and it's all in the delivery, right?

Jay Livingston said...

I think that Obama was accused of plagiarism during the 2008 campaign because he borrowed a repeated phrase in one of his speeches. I just Googled "Obama plagiarism," and in addition to turning up that 2008 speech ("just words?" taken from Deval Patrick), it also returned of accusations of plagiarism in the recent SOTU.

But you're right-- most politicians don't write their own speeches. So definitions of plagiarism get fuzzy.