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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just words? Don’t tell me words don’t matter.

I guess it's because they try too hard. What else explains Democrats' chronic affinity for plagiarism? It wasn't always so. We remember the oratory of the Kennedy's. "Ich bin ein Berliner" which sustained a besieged city in its hour of need and "When I returned Mary Jo and the car were gone." which sustained Republican fund raisers for a generation. Some may complain that having Ted Sorensen as a speech writer and a ghost writer good enough to write Profiles in Courage was misleading and gave JFK a leg up but it is no more misleading than Bill Ayers ghost writing Dreams from my Father.
Then there was the matter of Obama's quoting, without attribution, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
“Don’t tell me words don’t matter, 'I have a dream'. Just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’ Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? Just speeches?”
An adoring press allowed Obama to slip the noose on that account and the President had the foresight so seal every word he wrote in his academic career.
In 1988 Senator Joe Biden was forced to drop out of the presidential primary when he was caught plagiarizing British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock with some rubbish about his Irish ancestors who worked all day and played football all night. Then it came to light that he was a serial plagiarist having lifted clever lines from Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
With Democratic politicians it not a question of when-soon but rather who will be the next plagiarist.

Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh was selected to fill out retiring Montana Senator Max Baucus' term. Here was a man who didn't hate the military but had actually served in Iraq. Imagine the chagrin when the Senator was outed by none other than the New York Times for having extensively plagiarized his master's thesis at the United States Army War College. Incredibly the very first sentence was flagged for improper attribution and it goes down hill from there.
To quote from the Times;
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.
It was not just a sentence here and a paragraph there. The Times finds about 25% of the essay lacked proper attribution. View it here and you will agree it's lean on originality. Will Walsh pay a price? Probably not as the Real Clear Politics average of polls has him trailing Republican Steve Daines by 12.5 points.


  1. Don't forget Doris Kay Goodwin. Mike Barnicle is in a class by himself. He stole from George Carlin and Mike Royko at the height of their popularity. Like no one would notice?
    Here is a huge link of journalistic "indiscretions."

  2. I could also have added Nina Totenberg but I limited it to politicians.

  3. Well, then there's "You, you, you didn't build that!" Such a profound, true statement.