Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Columbia University valedictorian nailed for plagiarism

Columbia student Brian Corman copied from comedian Patton Oswalt in his valedictorian speech. Corman's speech was "up" on YouTube but then it went down, faster than you could say Wheatoned Curry.

Oswalt twittered and the YouTube vid re-appeared.

Plagiarized grad speeches, as at Palo Alto High, are nothing new.

**As to Ann Curry, in giving a commencement address at Wheaton in Norton, MA, Curry mis-identified as graduates Billy Graham, Wes Craven, and Todd Beamer, all of whom went to Wheaton in Illinois. She did get one graduate right. From her apology to Wheaton in Massachusetts:

I now know I should have named National Medal of Science winner Dr. Mary Ellen Avery, former New Jersey Governor and former EPA Director Christie Todd Whitman, literary agent Esther Newberg, Oscar-nominated actress Catherine Keener and Ken Babby, the youngest senior officer in the history of the Washington Post, among others. Thank goodness I got Leslie Stahl right.

Yes, she misspelled the first name of Lesley Stahl!

IPBiz has commented on the bumbling performances of Stahl on "60 Minutes," especially the "thermocouple-in-hot-dog" and "copper sulfate as metal" stupidities in the Kanzius episode.

***And, yes, TechDirt did comment on the Columbia matter, including the text:

While it certainly does piss off comedians, they seem to ignore the fact that it's not just quite common among comedians, but, historically, it was considered quite normal. That's because people realized that there is no monopoly on being funny


Related to that, what this really comes down to is a reputational issue. While Oswalt is wrong to call Corman's actions "stealing," he's right to question the kid's decision, and raise questions about his reputation.

Let's see, because copying is common, it's all right, and one shouldn't call copying stealing?


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