2 years ago
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Joe Biden & his long, repeated history of plagiarism, dishonesty
Joe Biden has had a long, repeated, and unapologetic history of plagiarism and dishonesty
In 1987, while Joe Biden was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee - and while he was conducting hearings on Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court - Biden was also out on the campaign trail for President, plagiarizing others in speech after speech. From the New York Times, September 17, 1987:
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As generations of teachers keep saying, plagiarism is theft. Considering their content, the Biden speeches sound like grand larceny. For instance, in a California speech last February, Senator Biden adopted almost word for word what Robert Kennedy said in 1968 about the gross national product: ''It doesn't measure the beauty of our poetry, the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debates, the integrity of our public officials.'' ..... Lifting that language trashes the very values he was urging.
What makes Senator Biden's behavior mystifying is recklessness. It's one thing to misappropriate someone else's words. It's another to take passages so clearly someone else's that you're likely to get caught. That's true of the Kennedy quotes and even more so of the Senator's abundant lifts of highly personal thoughts about ancestry from Neil Kinnock, the British Labor Party leader. It's a bit like Gary Hart inviting reporters to follow him even as he was seeing women other than his wife - a bit like daring people to catch you.
The misappropriations are troubling for another reason. Hackneyed political oratory gives voters one measure. But Mr. Biden claims to be a candidate with something to say and asks to be measured by that standard. By passing off the words of Neil Kinnock or Robert Kennedy or Hubert Humphrey as his own he deprives voters of his thoughts and his words. His message, counterfeit, clanks.
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Apparently, Joe can't help himself. This is a lifelong habit - and apparently he can't kick it. In 1965, as a first year law student at Syracuse University, Biden narrowly avoided expulsion for plagiarism. Again, via the New York Times, September 17, 1987:
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Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic Presidential candidate, was accused of plagiarism while in his first year at Syracuse University Law School, academic officials familiar with Mr. Biden's record said today.
Mr. Biden, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is presiding over the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork, has called a news conference for 9 A.M. Thursday to discuss this charge and reports that he has lifted material from speeches by other politicians to use in his public addresses.
A Biden aide, who asked not to be identified, declined to comment on the plagiarism charge, saying Mr. Biden wanted to discuss it himself. ''It's his life,'' the aide said.
According to the people familiar with the record of the 44-year-old Senator from Delaware, he was called before the disciplinary body at the law school during his first year because of charges that he had committed plagiarism on a paper. Mr. Biden entered the school in 1965 and graduated in 1968.
CBS News tonight quoted an aide to Mr. Biden as saying he had been exonerated. However, an academic official said Mr. Biden had been found guilty, ''threw himself on the mercy of the board'' and promised not to repeat the offense. This, according to the official, persuaded the board to drop the matter and allow Mr. Biden to remain in law school. Mr. Biden's office declined to clarify the circumstances surrounding the case, saying the Senator had insisted on handling the matter himself at the news conference.
One academic official said Mr. Biden asked for and obtained his law school records several weeks ago and requested then that the school not distribute them until he had had a chance to examine their contents.
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Biden has had a lifelong history of plagiarism and dishonesty - apparently with little to no consequences. Suppose Governor Sarah Palin had the above history? It would be on the front page of every newspaper - and lead every nightly newscast - for the duration of the election cycle. The mainstream press would have made it her middle name: "Governor Sarah Palin, who has admitted to plagiarism during law school and prior campaigns, tonight said that..." When the mainstream press have discussed Joe Biden this election cycle, have you ever heard them even mention his long history of plagiarism?
Examples of media bias are too many to keep track of these days. But the mainstream media's complete amnesia about Joe Biden's lifelong history of plagiarism and dishonesty has to be one of the more stunning examples of media bias this election cycle.
If the mainstream media were smart, they'd ask Democrats a lot more tough questions. Democrats - used to their cozy relationship with the press - can't handle tough questions.