Sunday, March 02, 2008

Plagiarism in the White House

Like many people somewhat connected to academia (in my case, as a student), I take a harsh view on plagiarism, which I consider a form of stealing. Now, via an off-topic comment over at Evolving Thought, I see that there has been another high-profile case.

Bush Aide Resigns Over Plagiarism

White House official who served as President Bush's middleman with conservatives and Christian groups resigned Friday after admitting to plagiarism. Twenty columns he wrote for an Indiana newspaper were determined to have material copied from other sources without attribution.

Timothy Goeglein, who has worked for Bush since 2001, acknowledged that he lifted material from a Dartmouth College publication and presented it as his own work in a column about education for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne. The newspaper took a closer look at his other columns and found many more instances of plagiarism.


In these internet days, how does anyone expect to get away with this? It might be possible to hand in a plagiarized assignment, but anything that gets published will be read by someone who has read the original. I regularly read articles and op-eds in obscure American and Australian newspapers, even though I live in Northern Europe. And I regularly come across articles in Danish where I can recognize the "inspiration" (it doesn't help the "authors" that they don't seem to be aware of any sources other than NY Times and LA Times).

When I read the next part of the article I couldn't help laughing though.

''The president was disappointed to learn of the matter and he was saddened for Tim and his family,'' White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

She said Goeglein had accepted responsibility and ''has apologized for not upholding the standards expected by the president.''


Yes. The President, who used faked data to convince politicians to support his war against Iraq, is disappointed!

Anyhow, given Goeglein's role on many repugnant issues, I think we can all be happy to see him leave.

Update: Lindsay has more

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