Avi said Bob Hendlun on Wed, then Avi again Thu & Fri
Howie column ping
Yeah, they sound the same, but Ive been telling you that
By Howie Carr | Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
How desperate is Hillary Clinton when shes accusing Barack Obama of lifting material from Deval Patrick?
First of all, Deval is working for him - you cant steal something from somebody whos working for you. Second of all, if Barack ever does get caught lifting material from somebody else whos not on the team, he can always dust off the ultimate excuse:
It wasnt plagiarism, it was an homage.
Thats what those wacky Jerry Lewis-loving French film directors always used to say when somebody caught them lifting scenes, shot by shot, from a crappy Grade B Monogram film noir.
This is a very gray area, but I dont think Obama is even close to the line. I mean, when I first heard Sunday that the Clintons were peddling this plagiarism story, I thought they must be kidding. On my radio show, weve been running back-to-back audio cuts for weeks now of Barack and Deval - one yelling Yes, we can! and the other one leading the chant, Together, we can!
Plus I could have sworn I wrote two columns right after Hillary won this state 56-41, basically saying that Massachusetts Democrats heard all the same lines from Barack that theyd heard from Deval in 2006, and that they werent buying another pig in a poke.
I guess nobody read those columns of mine, which is a lot more depressing than being plagiarized, I can tell you that.
Remember a guy on the old Boston School Committee named Joe Casper? Back in 1985, he was rooting through the garbage on Court Street (thats the kind of guy he was, OK?). In the trash he discovered a speech that his colleague Rita Walsh-Tomasini was going to deliver to some high school group.
Knowing that he was scheduled to speak at the same event first, Casper grabbed the speech out of the wastebasket. A day or two later, he delivered her speech, word for word, as Rita sat on the stage in the traditional stunned disbelief. When it was her turn, Rita got up and said shed decided not to deliver a full address, but just to congratulate everyone. Needless to say, she got a bigger hand from the crowd than Casper.
But Casper, always the jokester, was unrepentant.
It was Gods will, he said of the speechs appearance in the trash can. I never said I wrote it.
Maybe it wasnt plagiarism, but it was definitely stealing.
The difference with Barack and Deval is that Deval gave the lines to him, willingly, or at least didnt care if he used them. Its very simple. If Barack wins, Deval wins.
Look, Ive coined a lot of nicknames for people, but the fact is, some of the best ones were spoon-fed to me. A guy from Milton told me the other night how much he liked my nickname for Sen. Brian Joyce - Multiple-Choice Joyce.
That is a good nickname, and Im glad to take full credit for it. But the fact is that it was given to me by one of Joyces political foes during the 2001 congressional race. The real author has told me he doesnt want me ever to reveal him as the source, as it were. Ditto, the guy who pinned the nickname Muffy on Kerry Healey.
Sometimes people dont claim credit for other peoples work because theres even more cachet in citing an authority. Like Billy Bulger with James Michael Curleys line about the Ancient & Honorables: Invincible in peace, invisible in war.
Its a guaranteed winner of a quote whenever you deliver it, but crediting it to Curley makes you appear almost erudite.
This has been going on forever. Its just that very few politicians have ever thought to whine about it until now. But Hillary is drowning, and drowning women are desperate. Just ask Ted Kennedy.
I read that last line on the Internet yesterday, I think. Or maybe I added the part about Ted Kennedy. Whatever, its in the paper now. Consider it Gods will.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1074743