> A few equally lazy writers (Gary Wills on the Left and George Will on the right
> are the worst offenders) have an annoying habit of starting off a columns by
> As Professor Joseph Schmeaux says in his brilliant new book Brilliant New
> Book, “Yada yadda yadda…
> (Continue quoting for 7 paragraphs)
> … yadda yadda yadda”
> I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Does Garry Wills really do this that much? I know his work pretty well. I’m currently working through the twenty-first book that I’ve read by him. I’ve read all his articles in The New York Review of Books for over a decade now. I’ve just checked some online columns by him to refresh my memory, and he doesn’t do seven-paragraph quotations that I’ve noticed. Yes, often he starts a column by quoting one sentence from an author, particularly a classical Greek or Roman author or an early Christian writer. His columns often start out by sounding like meditations on single sentences from older authors, but they usually drop that format and become fairly standard comment and discussion of an issue. Garry Wills tends to have read everything on a subject he’s discussing, so it’s not surprising that he feels has to mention that some other author has distilled the issue to one sentence already.
This isn’t at all comparable to an author who plagiarizes material from other authors. I haven’t looked at the evidence of whether Coulter has done any plagiarism and can’t speak to it, but plagiarism doesn’t include acknowledged quoting of other authors. You may have some case to make that some lazy columnists stretch out their columns with acknowledged quotations from other authors, but you’d have to make that a separate accusation, since it’s quite a different thing from plagiarizing the other author.
I’m not particularly interested in defending Coulter as, in general, I don’t think much of her as a person, or as a political anylist. However, this “plagerism” seems to me to be more a restatement of news facts than plagerizing other peoples’ thoughts and claiming them as their own. Restating news facts is entirely different than claiming an analysis as your own. I will say that it is sloppy not to have cited the news sources, but this is hardly a smoking gun of plagerism.
Just like the Republicans trying to take down Clinton, find something real to charge the woman with, surely she’s actually done something. Half-baked accusations aren’t worth your time and she stands for a lot of onerous things, so talk about what she’s really doing – it’s far worse than this.
One of the additional links above offers the following as evidence of plagiarism:
In my view, those two passages do not constitute any evidence of plagiarism. The link claims the use of the word ‘saboteur’ in both is “a bit too forced in this particular instance to be mere coincidence.”
I think that was one of the weaker examples. Some other ones from the linked articles above:
Coulter: The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River in Maine, was halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant previously believed to be extinct.
Portland Press Herald: The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River, is halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant believed to be extinct.
From this link:
It seems like Coulter’s problem is a lack of attribution of sources and “restatement of news facts” (as one previous poster put it). However, it seems like she barely (if it all) restates the, and just quotes without attribution.
At this site it states that Coulter claims she made a list of diseases that have been treated with adult stem cells, but failed to attribute the list to an article by Planned Parenthood (that link includes the complete side-by-side comparison of their lists:
Maybe not deliberate plaigiarism, but definitely sloppy work. From the articles in the OP
So I think you can tell he probably isn’t fond of Coulter and her work in general. Some people might try to attack his accusation that way (He just doesn’t like Coulter!), but he does make a good point.
That definitely does happen, but if they’re lazy enough to borrow a chunk of another writer’s work, they should at least acknowledge that writer in the text, or a footnote/endnote.