A Case of Stolen Literary Work Severe Enough to Impress Plagiarism Recidivist Joe Biden

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Okay, when you steal the content of your plagiarism apology essay you have reached an all-time level of artistic theft! 

That Joe Biden is in the White House is a testament to a duality of ethics. After years of hearing about how presidential prevaricator Donald Trump was unacceptable, the same press corps is accepting of Biden’s frequent myth-making. Also excused is his history of plagiarized activity. In law school at Syracuse University, he had to repeat a year after he was caught passing off purloined papers. His first Presidential campaign was sunk after he cribbed portions of a speech and even in his last run, he was caught with unattributed content in his climate proposal.


But Biden the blurb burglar may have been surpassed. A possible worse example has surfaced.

It is not likely you are familiar with writer Jumi Bello. It is also not likely Ms. Bello will achieve a higher level of publishing notoriety than she enjoys today. Getting caught up in a scandal for artistic appropriation is never a good career enhancement, but to next go to the length of extending that damaged reputation by compounding your crime with stolen content in your mea culpa is a new nadir in publishing. Then, when looking at who she stole from – I’ll just say it, this is unlikely to ever be topped.

Bello was on the verge of having her debut novel released to bookstores this summer. However, before her book ‘’The Leaving’’ went to press, the publishing was canceled by Riverhead Books. This was a result of the revelation that portions of her book had been previously written elsewhere. On Monday, the details of her experience were coming to light.

In an entry at the publishing outlet Literary Hub, Bello wrote an essay about her trials and what led to her resorting to lifting the literary works of others. But the curiosity swirled, as the essay was quite quickly taken down. As Gawker reported on it, another writer from Riverhead Books noted a similarity of passages in Bello’s essay to previously published content. It turned out that the segments were taken from a site that covers stolen work in the publishing field.


Bello plagiarized content in her book, then in writing of her plagiarism, she plagiarized in her essay, from a plagiarism website. As the writer, Jonathan Bailey stated,It’s a moment that even 16 years of work in this field did not prepare me for. To be honest, even as I write this, I am still confused trying to figure out how to approach this both intellectually and emotionally.

To steal content for your essay explaining why you stole content, and to do so from a source that is centered on stolen content is like falling down a literary rabbit hole…to borrow a phrase, as it were.


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