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iMediaEthics illustration (Photo via Carson Scholars)

Former Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson apologized after being busted for plagiarism.

As iMediaEthics has previously reported, Fox News ended Carson’s contract in November after Carson indicated he may run for president next year.

Carson apologized Jan. 8 in a statement to BuzzFeed for “inadvertently” failing to fully attribute information in his 2012 book America the Beautiful, which he co-wrote with his wife.

“I attempted to appropriately cite and acknowledge all sources in America the Beautiful, but inadvertently missed some. I apologize, and I am working with my editors to rectify the situation,” Carson told BuzzFeed.

Further, Carson’s agent Sealey Yates told the Daily Caller that “We know for certain that Dr. or Mrs. Carson had no intent to plagiarize.”

“The Carsons, in writing this book, did everything that they thought they were supposed to do to provide the source material for their book,” Yates told the Daily Caller. “And both in terms of footnoting, providing attribution, as best they could. They delivered a completed manuscript to the publisher and they then relied on the editorial staff, which every author does.”

Carson’s agent’s argument to defend his client is disingenuous, in iMediaEthics’ view. Ben Carson is academically trained, having earned degrees from Yale University and the University of Michigan and author of six previous books. To try to defend his mis-attribution by claiming that he and his wife are rank amateurs who don’t understand the rules for giving credit to others’ work is not credible.

A spokesperson for Zondervan, Carson’s publisher, provided iMediaEthics with the following statement: “It has become apparent that further source citation is appropriate in Dr. Carson’s America the Beautiful. Any necessary updates will be made in subsequent printings.”

BuzzFeed exposed the plagiarism in a Jan. 6 article, “Ben Carson’s History Book Plagiarizes SocialismSucks.Net And Many Other Sources.”

Some of the sources Carson used “nearly verbatim include a CBS News article, a Liberty Institute press release, a local newspaper article, and various inernet sites,” BuzzFeed reported.

BuzzFeed discovered that while Carson did list citations via endnotes, “in many cases…he makes no effort to indicate that not just the source, but the words themselves, had been taken from different authors.”

As an example, BuzzFeed provided an example of 100% copy and paste. See the comparison, verbatim text bolded:

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SocialismSucks.net:

“Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed….

“Sure, there are several different brands of socialism — at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people. But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a Socialist State which promises “security” for everyone or government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform — a country in which government guarantees security and “equality” in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans continue to fall for the same scam?”

Carson:

Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.

“Sure, there are several different brands of socialism — at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people. But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises “security” for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform — a country in which government guarantees security and “equality” in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?”

One of the people whose work was misused, the former evangelical pastor William Federer, told BuzzFeed he didn’t mind the lack of full attribution and that he was happy enough with the extent of credit given by Carson.

iMediaEthics has written to Carson’s website for comment.

Hat Tip: Mediaite 

 

Updated: 11:26AM : Clairifed text

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Fmr. Fox News Dr. Ben Carson Apologizes after Plagiarism Accusations

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2 Responses

  1. nick says:

    I love how this site never mentioned the plagiarism of John Walsh, and how the Army College removed his degree. Dr. Carson had permission from the author to use his material. And his argument wasn’t that he was an amateur, but that it was the editorial staff.

  2. Sydney says:

    Dear Nick,
    Thank you for reading.
    We never pull punches.
    The accusations against Dr. Carson are relevant to iMediaEthics given his role in the media working for Fox News until recently.
    John Walsh wasn’t working in the media.

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