Three deadly sins in academe and journalism are Falsification, Fabrication and Plagiarism (FFP).1 Political speechwriters normally take great pains to avoid obvious text-copy plagiarism,2 but on Monday Melania Trump's speech plagiarized text from Michelle Obama. Trump employee Meredith McIver took responsibility, but new analysis here raises more doubts.
Climate denial is pervaded by FFP examples, the most famous likely that around the Wegman Report, where plagiarism and reactions to its exposure resemble those in the Trump case.
First, high-profile work is trusted to inexperienced people, who can make silly errors. Competent organizations check.
Then, exposure generates contradictory excuses, some clear fabrications, such as personal attacks on irrelevant people.
Finally, the organization takes surprisingly long to produce official explanations, about which doubts may be raised.