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July 23, 2005

How idiots define plagiarism

Never heard of The Raw Story before, and I'm not likely to look for much from them in the future, but I came across this hilarious bit of logical contortionism they use to try to claim Ann Coulter plagiarized for one of her columns.

Coulter employs the same NEA talking points in her Jun. 29 column written in the wake of a ruling barring the Ten Commandments from public places. She lists various identical “obscene” projects she says taxpayers have funded. All of the excerpts below compare this column with earlier texts.

Well, no, in the lengthy Flummery piece, at the bottom is a list of 14 questionable grants by the National Endowment for the Arts. In Ann's piece titled Thou Shalt Not Commit Religion, she lists 23 things the government has paid for that people would find offensive. Between the two lists that are four items in common. The items are worded differently in both lists. The Raw Story article (written by John Byrne and “researched” by Ron Brynaert) implies that Ann had to have plagiarized these four items. The idea that an attorney, who's established herself in the legal field then became a well known author would be unable to find the four items on her own is too much for Byrne and Brynaert to grasp. Which then explains the need for logical contortions. I wonder why they didn't just accuse her of plagiarism because she used the word “is” JUST LIKE THE OTHER ARTICLE DID!!!

They also point out that in her list of 14 government funded outrages, two were also mention by Jeff Jacoby in a 1995 article, How the NEA Pollutes the American Culture. Except that the two examples are two of the most widely known NEA abuses around, Andres Serrano's Piss Christ and porn star Annie Sprinkle's New York Kitchen Theater performance. I've heard both incidences regaled by dozens if not hundred of journalist, preachers, Conservatives and anyone else who is outraged that the government paid them to do it. And now Ann Coulter is plagiarizing by mentioning it?

The article goes on in the same fashion, noting other articles that mention several of the items in Ann's list. What the bone-head authors failed to notice (or maybe just failed to mention) is that these incidences have been noted and repeated by numerous people over the years. The wording of Ann's list matches none of the other -- a requirement for a legitimate accusation of plagiarism. Either the authors have had their head stuck so far up their ignorance of what the government really does with the money it takes from taxpayers at gun point, or they simple wanted to bash Ann Coulter and figured (reliably so) that anyone who disliked Ann, wouldn't have the brains to figure out their whole argument was full of horse hooey.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 23, 2005 12:19 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How idiots define plagiarism:

» How idiots define plagiarism from Don Singleton
I want to commend Danny for the work he did comparing these items. [Read More]

Tracked on July 25, 2005 06:30 AM

» Recycled post: How idiots define plagiarism from Danny Carlton -- alias "Jack Lewis"
Note: I'm reposting this, (originally posted July 23, 2005) since the current claims that Ann Coulter plagiarizes, are the exact... [Read More]

Tracked on July 11, 2006 05:26 AM

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