Plagiarism double standard (IOKIYAR)


Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) has decided to drop out of the race for U.S. Senate, he announced on Thursday. The Billings Gazette reports, Walsh drops out of U.S. Senate race:

Sen. John Walsh said Thursday he is pulling out of the Senate race because his campaign was distracted by the controversy over allegations that he plagiarized a U.S. Army War College research paper.

Walsh, a Democrat, said he decided to drop out of the race. He had canceled campaign events this week as he and his family discussed what he would do.

The New York Times reported July 23 that Walsh had plagiarized large portions of the research paper in 2007.

Walsh will serve out the rest of his Senate term, which ends in early January 2015.

“I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator,” Walsh said in a statement to supporters. “You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will.”

The Montana Democratic Party now will choose a replacement for Walsh to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, along with Republican Rep. Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots.

The party has to select a new Senate candidate at a nominating convention by Aug. 20. About 175 delegates, including statewide and federal elected officials, county party committee leaders and the party executive board members, will pick the nominee.

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Daines had held a large lead in polls, but Walsh had narrowed the gap in the days before the New York Times story broke.

Editorials in the state’s largest newspapers had called on Walsh to drop out of the race because of the plagiarism.

Hmmm, I’m curious . . . where are all the editorials and political commentariat calling for a well-known serial plagiarist in the U.S. Senate, Senator Aqua Buddha, Rand Paul (R-KY) to step down? Rand Paul’s plagiarism allegations, and why they matter (November 4, 2013):

aquabuddhaSen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been accused of multiple counts of plagiarism — both in speeches he gave and in a book he wrote.

The first accusations of plagiarism came from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who noted that Paul recounted the plot of the film “Gattaca” using the same verbiage used on the film’s Wikipedia page.

Since then, there have been several other revelations.

1. BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported that Paul had also lifted language from Wikipedia while discussing the movie “Stand and Deliver” in a June 2012 speech.

2. Politico’s Alexander Burns reported that Paul, in a 2013 response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, used language that was exactly the same as a 2011 Associated Press report. And in a speech at Howard University earlier this year, Paul used language similar to the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family while discussing vouchers.

3. Kazcynski reported Saturday that three pages of Paul’s recently published book (more than 1,300 words) borrowed heavily from a 2003 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation, along with another example involving the Cato Institute.

Is it plagiarism?

Yes, as long as the language was directly lifted and wasn’t quoted.

Despite Paul’s insistence that he provided citations, plagiarism is about the words used used as much as the ideas expressed.

So while Paul did indeed cite the movies “Gattaca” and “Stand and Deliver,” the issue is more about whether he acknowledged that he was using the exact language that Wikipedia used.

In the case of the Heritage Foundation and Cato, even if the think tanks were cited in the endnotes, that doesn’t give Paul license to re-print entire sections of their work without making clear that he has done so.

Aqua Buddha did it again this year after this plagiarism dust-up. Rand Paul Caught Up in Accusations of Plagiarism Again over NSA Lawsuit (February 15, 2014):

Remember for a few weeks last year when the media (Rachel Maddow especially) got on Senator Rand Paul‘s case about plagiarism? Well, he’s now stuck in another such controversy, in a bizarre case involving an attorney who wasn’t happy about being marginalized on the case and his spokesperson, who lit up over passages she said were lifted from his original suit.

The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank spoke with the ex-wife and current spokesman for Bruce Fein, one of the suit’s original authors, and she claims that Paul lifted much of his original work after he was left out of the suit and Paul brought in Ken Cuccinelli, the former Attorney General for Virginia.

Fein… was furious that he had been omitted from the filing he wrote. “I am aghast and shocked by Ken Cuccinelli’s behavior and his absolute knowledge that this entire complaint was the work product, intellectual property and legal genius of Bruce Fein,” Mattie Fein, his ex-wife and spokeswoman, told me Wednesday. “Ken Cuccinelli stole the suit,” she said, adding that Paul, who “already has one plagiarism issue, now has a lawyer who just takes another lawyer’s work product.”

Milbank goes through example after example of passages that Fein originally wrote that were then taken, altered in minor ways, and then used in the lawsuit that Paul filed this week. A few people connected with the case have said Fein would be included later on.

After Milbank’s piece went up, Fein ended up releasing a statement saying his ex-wife was “not speaking for” him and denied any of it represented how he feels. But then Milbank went ahead and published the e-mails he was provided, in which it’s clear Fein is not happy with how he was marginalized in the process of working on the suit.

Aqua Buddha’s bad example has inspired Randian cult followers to plagiarize his web site. It is apparently a Libertarian thing to do. There Is An Epidemic Of Republicans Plagiarizing From Rand Paul:

Sen. Rand Paul’s libertarian vision for the Republican Party future has such broad appeal that a generation of Republican candidates is copying his platform — and in many cases, literally copying and pasting it on to their own websites.

Republican Senate, U.S. congressional, and state legislative candidates around the country have plagiarized from the Kentucky senator, BuzzFeed has found. The group includes two candidates with a serious shot at entering the U.S. Senate next year, Oklahoma’s T.W. Shannon and North Carolina’s Greg Brannon.

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Paul isn’t the only libertarian who’s a popular target for copy and pasters. BuzzFeed previously reported that David Clements, a Republican candidate for Senate in New Mexico, and Brannon both plagiarized their “on the issues” pages from libertarian Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash.

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This is the third time Brannon has been caught plagiarizing. Brannon was also previously caught plagiarizing Paul by the New York Times.

How awesome would it be if these Randian cult followers plagiarized material already plagiarized by Aqua Buddha himself? Would it count as a two-fer?

Rand Paul claims that he is the victim of “haters” out to destroy his political career. Seriously, Dude? All I ever hear and read from fawning Beltway media villagers is a lot of hype about how Aqua Buddha is a “serious” contender for the GOP nomination for president in 2016. What in hell are they thinking?

I am sick and tired of the media villagers treating this fraud with kid gloves. The Paul family are just political hucksters who figured out that they can get rich by shaking down the rubes on the right to give them money for their political action committee. This half-wit, like his village idiot father, will be running for president every four years until the rubes finally figure it out and stop giving them money.

UPDATE: Steve Benen writes in the same vein, Montana’s Walsh quits campaign following plagiarism controversy:

[T]here’s a reasonable case to be made that John Walsh is getting a raw deal. The fact that he was guilty of plagiarism is not in dispute – he was caught dead to rights – but the incident occurred before he became a senator.

In contrast, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was caught plagiarizing, repeatedly, in a variety of media, while serving in the Senate. Worse, while Walsh immediately acknowledged his wrongdoing, the Kentucky Republican tried to redefine the word “plagiarism” and suggested he wanted to “duel” journalists who dared to point out his misdeeds.

And yet, he we are. Walsh, caught plagiarizing before his Senate career, is finished, while Rand Paul, caught plagiarizing during his Senate career, is planning a presidential campaign. As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, the asymmetry is striking.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.