If I didn’t know any better, I’d think some of the reporters at Buzzfeed and Politico received their journalism credentials from schools that advertise on matchbook covers. Some of you are old enough to remember that. It’s similar to pondering the notion they received their training on being journalists from a toy inside a Cracker Jacks box. Either way, a recent story published by both outfits doesn’t deserve to be called “reporting.” It’s a hatchet job, and if you take a whiff, you can likely smell David Brock nearby.
The stories attempt to accuse Neil Gorsuch of plagiarism, and do so sloppily. Both the Buzzfeed piece and Politico piece are garbage, using information spoon-fed to them, to make their case instead of relying on a full examination of Gorsuch’s work. Politico even admits it:
POLITICO did not conduct a full examination of the federal judge’s writings.
Of course not. Why do any work when you can just take from what Buzzfeed (who published first) said and find ‘experts’ to help drive your narrative?
One of Politico’s lame attempts to make Gorsuch a plagiarist is claiming he copied from an Indiana Law Journal article. Watch how Politico constructs their case:
Yet a review of the documents provided to POLITICO shows Gorsuch parroting other writers’ prose and sourcing without citing them. Instead, Gorsuch often acknowledges the primary sources cited by those writers.
In the most striking example, Gorsuch, in his book, appears to duplicate sentences from an Indiana Law Journal article written by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma without attributing her. Instead, he uses the same sources that Kuzma used: A 1982 Indiana court ruling that was later sealed, a well-known pediatrics textbook, “Rudolph’s Pediatrics,” and a 1983 article in the Bloomington Sunday Herald.
Seriously? Politico is criticizing Gorsuch for using source material — the same source material Kuzma used — and not attributing it to Kuzma. Do you know who found the plagiarism accusation unpersuasive? Abigail Kuzma:
Kuzma, a one-time aide to former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), did not respond to an inquiry from POLITICO, but released a statement through Gorsuch’s team. Kuzma said she does “not see an issue here, even though the language is similar.”
“These passages are factual, not analytical in nature,” Kuzma, now a deputy attorney general in Indiana, said. “It would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.”
Buzzfeed tried the same tactic of accusing Gorsuch of plagiarizing his work (they, too, did not do a full examination of Gorsuch’s writings because doing actual journalism is hard) but when they asked an expert if it passed the sniff test, they were rebuffed:
Having reviewed the examples provided by BuzzFeed News to the Gorsuch team, the professor who supervised Gorsuch’s dissertation, Emeritus Professor John Finnis of Oxford University, provided a statement to the Gorsuch team, concluding, “[I]n my opinion, none of the allegations has any substance or justification. In all the instances mentioned, Neil Gorsuch’s writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he and I work.”
In other words, the accusation is crap.
The absurdity here is the accusation of plagiarism rests on the idiotic notion Gorsuch used source material instead of “attributing credit” to somebody else who used the same source material.
Dr. Chris Mammen, who was a student at Oxford while Gorsuch was there, said in a statement provided by Gorsuch’s team, “The standard practice in a dissertation is to cite the underlying original source, not a secondary source, that supports a factual statement.”
More support for Gorsuch:
Georgetown professor John Keown, one of the outside examiners of Gorsuch’s Oxford dissertation on which the book was based, calls the allegations of plagiarism “unsubstantiated” and praises the book as “meticulous in its citation of primary sources.” Further: “The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is very wide of the mark.”
Yet people in the mainstream media still cannot fathom why they’re not trusted.