Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Saturday, July 08, 2006

Liar, Lair, plagarism on fire

Ann Coulter

How Defending Ann Coulter Is Like Defending a Serial Killer:
When historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was accused of plagiarism for her 1987 book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, fifteen years after its publication, her early defense was her "extensive" research and citations. Ann Coulter's publisher, Crown, is making the same case, saying that Coulter's book Godless has "19 pages of endnotes."

And it's true, oh, so true. There's endnotes upon endnotes in this heinously awful collection of Coulter's columns strung together by the mucus of venomous spittle. Man, you couldn't even begin to check all these endnotes, nor would you, because, you know, you expect that an editor or, say, a publisher would have checked all this before. In her last "book," Slander, Coulter couldn't talk enough about how the thing was filthy with endnotes, which, she and others asserted, made it all valid and true and right. The fact-checkers out there can address what will inevitably turn out to be a mind-bogglingly random tossing of sources in at the end of Godless.

The problem, of course, is not what's cited. As Goodwin learned, it's not what you cite that makes you a plagiarist. It's what you don't cite. And, really, open up just about any random page in Godless, and, sure enough, there'll be uncited information, which, while not the word-for-word plagiarism that gets everyone all hard and ready to ejaculate at the book burning, is still sloppy and just objectively (you heard the Rude Pundit: "objectively") wrong.

Like, for instance, pages 204 and 205, in her chapter where Coulter supposedly disproves evolution. She summarizes and quotes from Michael Behe's evolution-questioning book Darwin's Black Box, yet her endnotes contain not a single mention of Behe's book. One might assume she never actually read Behe's difficult work. Then she quotes two evolution-supporting biolgists, Tom Cavalier-Smith and Robert Dorit, who "concede Behe's point." Yet, again, she offers no citation for these quotes. Could it be because what she's actually doing is quoting Behe quoting them from an article first published at the creationist Discovery Institute's website?

The entire book has page after page of uncited material, no matter how much she actually cites stuff elsewhere. To say that her endnotes prove her innocence is not unlike saying that the guy next door went his whole life without killing anyone until he blew a brain gasket and went on a ten-state hobo-stabbing spree. Crown Publishing is full of shit and knows it (unless you wanna publish a book by the Rude Pundit; then let's do lunch - you know how to get in touch), trying to protect a cash cow from being gutted. And it doesn't matter if it's just negligence or active theft and obfuscation. Coulter appears on television and is treated like an expert whose opinion is at least vaguely informed by more than a desire to keep appearing on television. (For, indeed, Coulter is the crack whore of the news networks.) Every network gives her the imprimatur of being knowledgeable.

So why has the Rude Pundit spent so much time on Coulter's plagiarism when there's so many other more important issues out there? Simple enough: because it's fun. And in the midst of summertime, we can all agree that a little bit o' fun is a good thing, especially if the end result is something positive, like daily jogs on the beach'll help you get rid of that spare tire or that tearing down Ann Coulter will make the United States a much more pleasant place.

posted by Steve @ 12:07:00 AM

12:07:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans