The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Coulter's syndicate brushes off plagiarism charges

Making like the Random House susbsidiary that publishes her books, the Universal Press Syndicate has decided that Coulter's liberal borrowing from uncited sources is not worthy of attention.

In a statement sent to E&P, Universal President and Editor Lee Salem said: "Last week a software program company official ran Ann Coulter's columns through a 'match-text' program, frequently used by teachers to detect original work. The New York Post cited two columns in which some text matched other published materials and also mentioned three snippets in her book, 'Godless: The Church of Liberalism.'

"In addition to looking at the columns mentioned in the New York Post story, we also reviewed a sampling of other columns that have been mentioned in the media. Like her book publisher, Crown, Universal Press Syndicate finds no merits to the allegations of plagiarism brought by the software company executive. There are only so many ways you can rewrite a fact and minimal matching text is not plagiarism.

"Universal Press Syndicate is confident in the ability of Ms. Coulter, an attorney and frequent media target, to know when to make attribution and when not to. We also have confidence in our 35-year history of detecting fraudulent and unethical work, having represented conservatives and liberal commentators alike."

While the right-wing columnist might not be guilty of wholesale fraud, in minimizing the issue the companies are giving their approval to work that wouldn't pass muster in a freshman seminar. And that ain't good.