Rand Paul Moves to Breitbart.com

So reports New York magazine:

Just a day after the Washington Times dropped Sen. Rand Paul as a columnist after it emerged that he’d plagiarized parts of at least one his weekly installments, Breitbart.com announcedPaul’s column would be moving there.

In terms of using the column as a means of reaching the GOP base, I suppose the move makes sense, but it certainly is move deeper into the depths of hacktacular “journalism.”

In regards to the plagiarism charges:

The senator haspromised to footnote his work from now on.

Some free advice to Paul:  footnotes aren’t enough if one is going to cut-and-paste, as that requires usage of quotation marks as well.  Just changing a word here and word just indicated that one knows exactly what one (or one’s ghostwriter) is doing.

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    hacktacular “journalism.”

    Thats great Steven, I’m going to have to plagiarize that in the future.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Because nothing says “Serious Presidential Candidate” like Brietbart.com.

  3. dennis says:

    Morning, Steven.

    The problem with Rand Paul’s move is that it reveals that he is completely and utterly uninterested in serving the interests of all of “we the people.” He’s interested in serving the interests of only the right-wing crackpots who frequent Breitbart and Townhall. Well, good luck with that in 2016, pal.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    I thought Breitbart died?

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @dennis: He’s not even remotely interested in “serving the interests of” his “right-wing crackpots” base. He’s only interested in pandering to their delusions to con them into voting for him. If he were worried about their real interests, he’d be a Democrat. As his base would be if they weren’t delusional.

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Yes. Does he really want to be associated with Breitbart in 16? Either he is incredibly unwise or doesn’t have presidential aspirations.

  7. @Rusty Shackleford: At this point, I am pretty sure that “unwise” is the right answer.

  8. John Peabody says:

    In terms of using the column as a means of reaching the GOP base, I suppose the move makes sense, but it certainly is move deeper into the depths of hacktacular “journalism.” (Footnote: I think I read that in a blog somewhere)

  9. James Pearce says:

    A perfect marriage of journalistic ethics….

    Of course, it’s also a marriage of convenience as no one else will publish a Paul column anymore.

  10. rachel says:

    @Rusty Shackleford: Well, if he had an ounce of wisdom, he wouldn’t have committed plagiarism. If he had half an ounce of wisdom, he wouldn’t have called the people who discovered his lapse “haters” and openly regretted he couldn’t answer them with violence. If he had a quarter ounce of wisdom, he wouldn’t be moving to that flypaper for has-been and never-were rageaholics.

    He may have presidential ambitions after all of those acts, but only if he’s delusional.

    ETA: and he might be. His toupee looks a bit tight.

  11. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Because nothing says “Serious Presidential Candidate” like Brietbart.com.

    You’re being sarcastic, but remember, there are people for whom it really does say “serious Presidential candidate.”

  12. Stonetools says:

    So the hack sinks to his own level of hackerdom.

  13. CSK says:

    Doesn’t Breitbart print Sarah Palin’s ghosted Facebook postings as actual new articles?

  14. JoshB says:

    Breitbart’s CEO referred to Paul as one of their “original thought leaders”. That is certainly an interesting choice of terms considering the ummm… circumstances.

    Source

  15. Mikey says:

    @JoshB: He never specified they were Paul’s original thoughts…

  16. grumpy realist says:

    Cool! Maybe Rand can also regurgitate some of his stuff over at WND. Y’know, the same place that insisted President Obama was a reptile from Alpha Centauri.

    I fully expect Rand Paul to announce his candidacy for POTUS on the Art Bell show.

  17. Rick Almeida says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    His father’s made a mint off of a hacktackular newsletter aimed at the true-believing and gullible. Sen. Paul is 100% his father’s son.

  18. Anonne says:

    @C. Clavin: Andrew Breitbart died, but his organization lives on.

  19. Ron Beasley says:

    I predict that both Cruz and Paul are going to flame out before 2016. For Cruz it will be his father for Paul it will largely be himself although his father might contribute.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @Anonne:
    By running the writings of plagiarists?
    Nice legacy.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    Wasn’t Breitbart behind the Shirley Sherrod lie?
    Perfect place for Rand Paul.

  22. al-Ameda says:

    Breitbart? Stay classy, Rand.

  23. David M says:

    Breitbart? A sitting Senator is writing for Breitbart? Looks like Gohmert may be getting some competition.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    You know, I think this type of plagiarism is much more important to professional journalists than your average joe, and hence gets a lot more play. If a pro copies a paragraph or two from Wikipedia in a column they are paid to write, I agree it’s a bib, big deal. If a politician does the same thing, it just strikes me as lazy, but not in the same league.

  25. @MarkedMan: Except that one presumes he was paid by WaTi and is now being paid by Breitbart. Beyond that, he also plagiarized part of his book (or, again, his ghostwriter did).

    Plagiarism is theft and it is lying to the reader–in other words, pretty despicable stuff.

  26. mantis says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I think this type of plagiarism is much more important to professional journalists than your average joe

    Anyone who produces intellectual property of any kind knows this is a big deal. It’s theft, pure and simple. Rand Paul is an unapologetic thief.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @mantis: Mantis, you said “Anyone who produces intellectual property” and I guess that’s my point. For the most part, I don’t consider politicians producers of intellectual property. They may write a book but, again for the the most part, those books are about equivalent to those “History of TechCo” type of books that companies commission about themselves, i.e. they serve a marketing purpose and little else. I think this falls just about into the category of finding out that he was out playing golf with John Boehner and, at fifteen shots over everyone else out there he got hopelessly tangled in the trees and he kicked the ball onto the fairway. Not cool, and shows something about his character, but PGA players are simply going to see it as much more egregious than weekend duffers. In the end, I don’t think it hurts him all that much amongst anyone but the professional writing class – but of course, those of the people who will be, well, writing about him, so the effect is disproportionate to the number of people who actually see this as revelatory.

  28. reader says:

    @MarkedMan: I think you half hit the nail on the head here. It shows a lazy mind…a genuinely lazy mind and it is a big deal in a president.

    Good judgement is critical in a president.

    A president has to be able to analyze, understand and think thru the consequences of the decisions he’ll make based on the information he’ll be presented with in office.

    This whole plagiarism business and his reaction to it suggests (to me at least) that he doesn’t have what it takes to reach the White House, let alone competently serve, if so honored.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @reader: I absolutely agree with you that Paul is completely unqualified to be president (or even a Senator for that matter) but that has little to do with this issue. At the level of Senator and above almost all speeches and probably all publishing (blogs, books, columns, etc) are “plagiarized” in that they are not written by the politician but by professionals – or unpaid interns. Look at how many columnists and political analysts got their start as speechwriters. So most cases like the current Paul kerfluffle boil down to having an underling do something untoward, not the politician themselves. I’m sure Paul fired his speechwriter and told all his friends never to use that SOB ghost writer again, but because we maintain the polite fiction that politicians writer their own stuff, he can’t say that publicly.

  30. @MarkedMan:

    At the level of Senator and above almost all speeches and probably all publishing (blogs, books, columns, etc) are “plagiarized” in that they are not written by the politician but by professionals – or unpaid interns.

    True, but you are confusing having something ghostwritten with it being plagiarized.

    Sure, Paul has speechwriter, but the speechwriter plagiarized.

    And probably someone ghostwrites his columns and his book, but they, too, plagiarized.

    Paul’s problem is that he is not taking responsibility for the actions of his speechwriters/ghostwriters. His name is still on the project and he is still responsible.

  31. mantis says:

    @MarkedMan:

    they serve a marketing purpose and little else.

    There are a lot of things that people spend a great deal of time and creativity on that serve marketing purposes.

    I think this falls just about into the category of finding out that he was out playing golf with John Boehner and, at fifteen shots over everyone else out there he got hopelessly tangled in the trees and he kicked the ball onto the fairway.

    I think cheating at a game and stealing the work of others are quite different things.

  32. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Paul’s problem is that he is not taking responsibility for the actions of his speechwriters/ghostwriters.

    Just as his father didn’t take responsibility for the racist garbage his newsletter put out in the ’90s. The apple doesn’t fall far, etc. etc.

  33. ernieyeball says:

    @MarkedMan: unqualified to be president (or even a Senator for that matter)

    On the authority of you…
    ———————————-

    No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

    No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    These are the Constitutional qualifications for a seat in the US Senate and POTUS.
    Would you like to propose more? High school Grad? GED? Undergraduate College Degree? Law School? How about candidates for these offices have prior experience at the State and Local level?…

    To raise the bar see USCon Art. V.