Trump National Security Pick Monica Crowley Accused of Plagiarism


#1

sfgate.com/entertainment/the-wrap/article/Trump-National-Security-Pick-Monica-Crowley-10842613.php


#2

If it’s true, she’ll pay dearly for it. She will even if it isn’t true.


#3

Seems a bit overwrought to call it plagiarism. It’s more like the situation on current news/opinion shows where the talking heads all seem to use the same words to describe whatever the current narrative is. I first noticed when George W. Bush picked Dick Cheney as his VP. Every talking head used the word “gravitas” to describe the pick.


#4

The analogy is so strained that it is hard to imagine that you read the link.


#5

You might be right. If that’s the only example, I’d write it off to the un-imaginative language of newsreaders.

Hard to say. The article says this was one of at least 50 examples of plagiarism, however, but we don’t know how long, or how close, the other supposedly plagiarized passages are.

But it’s certainly true that they (newsreaders and pundits) all seem to use the same language. For example, the word “narrative,” used to mean either “BS story” or “the current line coming from [insert your least-favorite official or party here]” has become standard, but you wouldn’t hear that a couple of years ago.


#6

Easy enough to find out. Just run the suspect text through a redlining program and you’ll see them side by side, with any changes highlighted, and you can get a word count of similar passages.

One or two, that’s maybe just the way all the talking heads speak (and write). Enough of them, well, it’s probably something less innocent.


#7

Please look at the link:

money.cnn.com/interactive/news/kfile-trump-monica-crowley-plagiarized-multiple-sources-2012-book/


#8

Yep, doesn’t look good.


#9

Oh my, I’m not sufficiently interested to read her actual book and compare with whatever she’s said to have plagiarized. I’m always a bit skeptical about the potential for “fake news” nowadays, so I would have to check it out myself and look at the credits. But again, it’s not that interesting to me.

And besides, I don’t care that much for Monica Crowley in any event. But she’s just a communications director appointee, and I imagine she can do that. I imagine even I could do that; repeat what I’m told to say.

One thing that does occur to me. I wonder how many of these TV personality book writers actually write their own books. I’ll have to hand it to O’Reilley. He at least admits he has a “co-author”. But get a lousy ghost writer and you’ll get a lousy product, and only yourself to blame.


#10

I suppose if she borrows good ideas to counsel the President with, it can’t be all bad.


#11

Oh, sure, I agree that most of the talking heads who’ve published books have had a ghostwriter, even if that ghostwriter is uncredited. And good for O’Reilly for giving credit where credit is due.

But I have a feeling that a professional writer (the ghostwriter) wouldn’t have committed a whole lot of obvious plagiarism.


#12

It’s possible the same writer contributed to both books. It would be interesting to compare several books written by different authors about the same topics and see how closely the books matched.


#13

Oh, I don’t know. I know some of the fake ID makers for illegal aliens sometimes make terrible errors, and they’re really good at what they do. But sometimes they create fake ID that leads to the arrest of an innocent man on an outstanding warrant somewhere because they use real social security numbers.

What, exactly is a ghostwriter going to do to ensure that he/she doesn’t commit what some would say is plagiarism? Maybe there’s a “plagiarism checker” or something where you write what you want to say in the most concise manner you can think of, then check it against all the writings in the world. Maybe there is. If there is, then Crowley or whoever wrote this stuff for her really was lazy.

I do know it’s difficult to avoid repetition in some very basic things. How many concise ways are there to say (just for example) the stock market crash of 1929 caused severe deflation in the price of goods and services? I didn’t copy that from anybody, but I’ll bet it wouldn’t survive a “plagiarism checker” if such a thing exists.


#14

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: Certainly possible. Part of what I do occupationally is review and summarize medical records. We refer to a phenomenon called “record creep”, in which something said by some physician or other just gets carried into the next record and the next and the next, verbatim or nearly so, even when further diagnostics show that the original statement was erroneous. Sometimes the newer, more accurate part gets rejected for the older part, seemingly because the latter was repeated so many times.

If ghost writers write about the same topics over and over again, they’re almost bound to repeat themselves now and then.


#15

It is quite simple. When large portions of text are copied word for word from another source, just cite that source to give credit to the author of that source. The example cited in this thread is not a close call. There is zero chance that anyone could come up with those exact words without copying the from the original.


#16

That’s one line, and sure, that could happen easily. And upon reading the first story linked to, I was willing to give Ms. Crowley the benefit of the doubt (I guess I still am – her book isn’t on my reading list, and neither are her sources, so I won’t get the opportunity to make up my own mind).

But if the second story is true, and passages were lifted from multiple sources, many of them, all with no (or minimal) changes, it’s pretty hard to think this was anything but outright plagiarism.


#17

Again, maybe the ghost writer was just repeating himself/herself. I’m assuming you are saying Crowley did not give credit, even in a general fashion, for those things that are said to be plagiarized.

But regardless, your post did not respond to my earnestly intended question. Is there such a thing as a “plagiarism checker” one could run his writings through to make sure he isn’t plagiarizing? Without such a device, I think it would be quite easy for a person to come up with virtually the same wording for a background, factual statement that’s known to everybody and endlessly repeated. One is reminded of what is it? The thousand monkeys typing for a thousand years…and so on.

Besides, the texts in question are so dull that it would be easy for a person who is half-asleep to come up with them. In fact, being half-asleep would help.

Regardless, if a “plagiarism checker” exists, it’s simply astonishing that whoever wrote the book didn’t run it through. Hard for me to believe it doesn’t, just as it’s hard for me to believe the reporter who “found” it didn’t have some device to do it.

But in any event, I never cared much for Crowley. To me, being married to Alan Colmes makes me dubious in the same way that James Carville being married to Mary Matalan does. Both on polar opposite sides of the political world and remaining married for years without so much as changing one iota, philosophically. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway, she’s Trump’s pick, not mine.


#18

Monica is his sister in law (Alan Colmes). He’s married to her sister Jocelyn.


#19

Well, I just checked, and there are, indeed, plagiarism checkers. Assuming they’re as good as they say they are, it’s beyond my comprehension that Crowley or her ghost writer didn’t run the book through one of them.

I would think it would be easy enough to mix the words around so the checker wouldn’t declare it plagiarism. It wouldn’t have mattered because so awfully many books just say the same things. But maybe they didn’t bother to do it.

The more I think about this, the more I suspect this was ghost written, and by someone who was either trying to rush it through or was just slovenly. Personally, I doubt Crowley wrote much of it. Main ideas, maybe, but perhaps not even that.

I remember long ago in graduate school being charged (along with some others) with writing an entire issue of the University publication, all dedicated to one narrow part of a subject. Imagine our astonishment in seeing, in the very next year, a brand new textbook for that course, authored by several university professors. Our product was part of it, verbatim, and I imagine the other professor-authors had their students write their segments too.

But I guess the professors all made some money on the books which, I’m sure, became mandatory course texts in the various universities whose profs “contributed” to it.

I also remember getting “idea blurbs” from distinguished people in the field, and having to “make an article out of it”. Did I repeat myself, I wonder, in doing so? Probably did, at least some. And I doubt a single one of those distinguished “authors” were bothered about it the least bit.


#20

Ah! My mistake, then. :blush: Nevertheless, I’m still not fond of her.


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