Trump’s Idaho page appears to plagiarize 2012 KBSX story
Former Idaho Reports associate producer Brad Iverson-Long discovered nearly all the information on Donald Trump’s Idaho page is copied and pasted from a 2012 KBSX story, with no attribution for the station or reporter Samantha Wright. (Update, 4:55 pm: The site has now added attribution and a link to Wright’s story, but has not updated the out-of-date information.)
The text from Wright’s story is under the headline “REQUIREMENTS TO VOTE FOR TRUMP,” and includes information that was up-to-date when the story first came out in 2012. “This year, Idaho made the switch to a closed primary system,” reads one line. Another section describes “a contentious redistricting process over the last year,” which happened in 2011 and early 2012.
Phil McGrane, chief deputy at the Ada County Clerk’s Office, is quoted in the story, as is then-Idaho Republican Party executive director Jonathan Parker. Parker stepped down as executive director in 2012.
McGrane said Tuesday he didn’t know his name was on Trump’s website. Parker, a Cruz supporter, was also caught off guard.
“I was not aware that I was quoted on their website. I am not endorsing Trump for president,” Parker said. “As far as ethical standards go, I would encourage them to fix it immediately.”
Peter Morrill, acting general manager for KBSX, said the Trump campaign did not contact them for permission to use the story.
“Clearly we were not contacted by the Trump campaign for permission to use old content from our website,” Morrill said, adding the station is asking the campaign to take down the content.
“It’s a four-year-old story. Over the last four years, there have been changes to the election laws, and it’s sad that they took the opportunity to use an old story that at the time was in fact accurate… but now because of changes in the election laws, is not the case now,” Morrill said.
Wright, the reporter who wrote the original story, said her biggest concern is voters will use the outdated information and get confused.
As of 2:40 pm MT, the Trump campaign still had the content on its website. We’ve also reached out to the campaign for comment, and will update if we hear back.