Jon Stewart took on the most hilarious issue in politics at the moment: Rand Paul’s problem with plagiarism. Rand Paul has been caught copying passages from other sources verbatim, without citation, in speeches, op-eds and in his book. It all started, however, when he brought up the 90s sci-fi dystopia cult hit Gattaca, describing it using the movie's Wikipedia entry word for word (see above).
“Alright, I’m going to pretend here that the thing we’re supposed to be concerned about is that Rand Paul is copying from Wikipedia, and not that he’s warning Americans about the role of government by referencing an Ethan Hawke movie,” Stewart jabs.
More Fun With Rand Paul's Plagiarism Problem: Rand Paul Plagiarizes Wikipedia, Stephen Colbert Approves (Video)
Stewart then goes off on an Ethan Hawke riff, but he does side-swipe a point that might deserve a little more attention than it’s getting: Rand Paul made the claim that legal abortion would lead to a society where only those with the best genes would be permitted to live or be treated well. Seeing as Paul is so concerned with equality for all, he must be thrilled that the Senate just passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit firing someone because they are gay…never mind, Paul voted against ENDA.
As for the whole plagiarizing Wikipedia thing, Rand Paul defended himself by saying that “the spoken word shouldn’t be held to the same sort of standard that you have if you’re giving a scientific paper.”
That ignores the obvious fact that Paul was reading a prepared speech (unless he has the mysterious ability to channel Wikipedia entries. If he can do that, maybe we should support him, because that would be one useful super power). Oh, and Rand Paul has also copied entire op-eds, and a paper from the Heritage Foundation made its way into Rand Paul’s book more or less verbatim. So even by Paul’s standard, he’s in trouble.
Paul can’t even get much leverage out of the whole “the liberal media hates me” shtick, because the plagiarism is so blatant. But yes, the liberal media (and the mainstream media) is having a field day with this one.
“You know what,” says Stewart, pretending to be Paul, “I’ll go and start my own government where you’re allowed to copy. I’ll start my own country…I’ll call it Belgium. I came up with that name.”