Refers to the scandal and damage from revelation that a written work by a person of power is a product of plagiarism
. After the doctoral feces
of Pal Schmitt
, former president of Hungary (see also Piece of ScHmITt
Usually widely publicized and followed by investigation and the resignation of the person implicated. When ScHmITt hits the fan, the damage done is not restricted to the person caught in fraud. The prestige and standing of the institution involved (publisher, university, etc.) is negatively affected, even when investigation and sanctions are carried out. Sometimes spillovers leave a long lasting stain on the reputation of an entire sector, e.g., the scientific community or even a country.
In addition to Mr. Schmitt, famous cases involved Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, former German defense minister; Silvana Koch-Mehrin, German MEP and former vice president of the European Parliament and Rama Yade, former secretary of state for sports in the French government.
You know ScHmITt hits the fan when the allegation of plagiarism is being vehemently denied.