Harper Collins Pulls Monica Crowley Book After Plagiarism Charges
As Steven Taylor has noted, Monica Crowley, who has been chosen by Donald Trump for a position at the National Security Council, has been accused of plagiarism in both her book and her dissertation in cases that seem to be fairly clear-cut and damning. Now, Harper Collins has announced that it is pulling copies of her book based on the charges:
HarperCollins is withdrawing the digital edition of Monica Crowley’s 2012 book “What the (Bleep) Just Happened?” from retailers, after evidence of plagiarism.
Its decision to recall the book comes after a report by CNN that Ms. Crowley, a conservative columnist and TV personality who was chosen by President-elect Donald J. Trump for a high-ranking communications role at the National Security Council, had included plagiarized passages from Wikipedia and newspaper articles.
“The book, which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will no longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material,” HarperCollins said in a statement on Tuesday.
The book, which took aim at Barack Obama’s presidency and policies, was a modest commercial success, selling around 20,000 hardcover copies, according to Publishers Marketplace. Ms. Crowley’s book was published by Broadside Books, a conservative imprint at HarperCollins; it included identical language to passages published by other sources without attributing credit — in some 50 instances — CNN reported over the weekend. More examples of plagiarism surfaced in Ms. Crowley’s Ph.D. dissertation, according to Politico, which found more than a dozen examples of passages that had been lifted from scholarly works.
While publishers typically have nonfiction books vetted by their legal departments, most do not check for plagiarism, fabrication or factual inaccuracies. As a result, nonfiction books often contain errors and, every so often, plagiarism.
These types of offenses once signified the end of an author’s career. But publishers have seemed more willing to give writers a second chance. Last year, Simon & Schuster published a book by Jonah Lehrer, whose previous books for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt were recalled after it was revealed that Mr. Lehrer had plagiarized passages, recycled his own work and fabricated quotations. James Frey, who fabricated portions of his memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” about his drug addiction, made a comeback as a young-adult novelist and publisher.
In Ms. Crowley’s case, the evidence seemed clear enough: CNN highlighted many instances where text had been lifted from other sources and presented passages with the original material to stress similarities.
The Trump transition team continues to stand behind Crowley despite these revelations, and given the fact that her position at the N.S.C. does not require Senate confirmation there is nothing stopping Crowley from keeping the job unless either she or Trump decide it would be best if she did not do so.