It’s probably time to turn the page on the sordid story of recently fired Harvard president Claudine Gay. Except we find two things remarkable about the continuing news coverage. First, the media keeps obsessing that “conservative” sleuths were the ones who discovered her serial plagiarism. So what! Are the “investigative reporters” embarrassed that they were scooped on a story they never investigated themselves?
And since when is the whistleblower the bad guy, and the guilty party the victim?
Second, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and nearly every leftist publication are repeatedly referring to Claudine’s “alleged” plagiarism. Here’s a recent example:
So we looked up the Webster’s dictionary definition of “alleged,” and here are the three usages of the word:
- accused but not proven or convicted
- asserted to be true or to exist
- questionably true
Then we looked up the word plagiarism:
“Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It is defined as stealing and passing off the ideas or words of another as one’s own, using another’s production without crediting the source, committing literary theft, or presenting as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.”
Any fair-minded person who has read any of the more than four dozen instances of Claudine Gay’s writings containing uncited passages without quotation marks that are nearly carbon copied from other sources would have a very hard time arguing that in we have here many textbook cases of “passing off the ideas of words as one’s own” and “without crediting the source.” No one would say that the plagiarism was only “questionably true” or “not proven.” It may have been carelessness. But it isn’t questionable.
Plagiarism isn’t a crime. It’s an ethical violation. And she was caught red-handed. Over. And Over. And over. Meanwhile, Claudine says she’s just a victim of racism and she “proudly stands behind her work.” She means someone else’s work.