Washington Times Fires Senator Rand Paul For Plagiarism

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Rand Paul. (Credit: YouTube, "Eduardo89rp," screenshot)

The Washington Times won’t let Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)  write anymore after it found plagiarism in one of his weekly columns.

According to a report on the Washington Times‘ website,after accusations of plagiarism against Paul, editors “independently reviewed Mr. Paul’s columns and op-eds” for the newspaper.

They found one case where Paul plagiarized, a “Sept. 20 column in which the senator had failed to attribute a passage that first appeared in The Week.”

BuzzFeed had called attention to that article, which it said is “nearly identical to an article by Dan Stewart of The Week that ran a week earlier.” BuzzFeed provided a side-by-side comparison of portions of the two articles, which proved that Paul lifted verbatim from The Week.

That article, “The devastating collateral damage of an insidious drug-war weapon,” now carries an editor’s note that reads:

“[Editor’s Note: Portions of the following article should have been attributed to “Rethinking mandatory sentencing,” an article written by Dan Stewart that appeared in The Week on Sept. 14, 2013.]”

The Washington Times also quoted its editor, John Solomon, as saying, ““We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column.”

How Plagiarism Was Found

The investigation of Paul’s work for the Washington Times came after other accusations of plagiarism against the senator.

In late October, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow busted Paul for plagiarizing from Wikipedia in a speech. Paul said that in that case — where he used sentences verbatim from the Wikipedia page for the movie Gattaca — he “gave every bit of credit to where that plot came from,” Mediaite reported.

Paul argued of Maddow’s claims: “The rest of it’s about making a mountain out of a molehill from people I think basically are political enemies and have an ax to grind.”

From there, media outlets accused Paul of plagiarizing in other speeches and his book.  Gawker summarized some of the highlights:

“Last week, Politico and MSNBC reported that some of Paul’s speeches included plagiarized passages from the Wikipedia pages of Gattaca and Stand and Deliver, as well as language from Associated Press articles. And this past weekend, BuzzFeed reported that Paul copied at least three pages of his 2013 book, Government Bullies, from a 2003 Heritage Foundation study.”

Paul responded to the accusations claiming that people accusing him are “haters” and that his plagiarism wasn’t “intentional.”

“What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” the New York Times quoted Paul as saying. The New York Times added that Paul “took personal responsibility for the oversights,” but that he said it was staff members who failed to attribute.

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Washington Times Fires Senator Rand Paul For Plagiarism

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