After Rachel Maddow and Buzzfeed pointed out speeches by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul that quoted Wikipedia articles on movies nearly word for word, he was so quiet about it that folks couldn’t help but tease him.
During an interview with Jorge Ramos, Senator Paul finally responded.
Ramos: MSNBC accused you of plagiarism on Monday. They accused you of stealing four lines from Wikipedia for your speech at Liberty University. So is this true, where they are saying you borrowed lines from at Wikipedia entry about the movie “Gattaca”? So, what happened?
Paul: Yeah, we did. And I, I, I let people know..
Ramos: You did?
Paul: Well, we, we borrowed the plot lines from Gattaca – it’s a movie, and I gave credit to the people who wrote the movie. I also borrowed lines from Ray Bradbury and gave him credit as well. I think they are arguing about whether or not things are properly footnoted, and um, there are technicalities to this, but nothing I said was not given attribution to where it came from.
Paul: I talk about a movie – Gattaca. It is a copy written movie by the screenwriters and I gave ever bit of credit to where that plot line came from. The rest of it is making a mountain out of a molehill for people, I think basically, who are political enemies and have an ax to grind
Ramos: Well, because it seems it’s not the first time. The website, Buzzfeed, they said you borrowed several lines from Wikipedia again, during a June speech to Latino registration, in this case, uh, the movie Stand and Deliver.
Paul: I think once again it’s a disagreement on how you footnote things and I think people footnote things different in an academic paper than they do in a public speech, but if we were to present any of these speeches for publication, they’d have footnotes in, but a lot of times the speeches – people don’t take the time to footnote things, but I think it was very clear that the plot lines was not something I created. I didn’t claim that I created the movie Gattaca. See, that’s what’s absurd about this. The plot line from Gattaca belongs to one person, the guy, the screenwriter and I gave him credit for that. It’s kind of ridiculous to sorta say, “You didn’t do proper footnotes”, and it’s making a mountain out of a molehill.
Ramos: Do you write your own speeches, Senator? Or does someone else help you with that?
Paul: A lot of people participate in writing the speeches, so they’re really not attributable to one person, but the thing is that if look in any of my speeches, there’s never been any indication that I’m trying to take credit for someone else’s work. So, really this is uh – really about information and attacks coming from haters. The person leading this attack, she’s been spreading hate on me for about 3 years and I don’t intend for it to go away, but also don’t see her as an objective news source.