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Stephen Ambrose - Historian/Author (2002)

Ambrose, Stephen, historian/author (2002). Plagiarism. He was almost a book “factory”, writing eight books in five years. But that apparently came easier when parts were copied from other books, without attribution.

Mike Barnicle - Boston Globe (1998)

Barnicle, Mike, Boston Globe (1998). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. Totally made up stories, including one about a black kid and a white kid with cancer. Also used quotes from George Carlin as his own. Fired from the Boston Globe.

Katie Couric - Katiegate

Katie Couric's Notebook

Nada Behziz - The Bakersfield Californian (2005)

Behziz, Nada, The Bakersfield Californian (2005). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. Writing mostly on health issues, she plagiarized from the New York Times and AP, made up sources, and got basic facts wrong. An investigation counted 29 fabricated or plagiarized articles. She also lied on her resume. She was fired.

Senator Joe Biden - U.S. Senator and candidate for President (1988)

Biden, Joe, U.S. Senator and candidate for President (1988). Plagiarism. He withdrew from the 1988 presidential race after being discovered “delivering, without attribution, passages from a speech by British Labor party leader Neil Kinnock… a serious plagiarism incident involving Biden during his law school years; the senator’s boastful exaggerations of his academic record at a New Hampshire campaign event; and the discovery of other quotations in Biden’s speeches pilfered from past Democratic politicians.” He’s still a Senator, and back in the race for 2008.

Ron Borges - Boston Globe Sports Writer (2007)

Borges, Ron, Boston Globe sports writer (2007). Plagiarism. The Globe suspended him for two months “after allegations that he had plagiarized a portion of a football column from another sportswriter.” He retired from the Globe when his suspension ended.

Fox Butterfield - New York Times (2000)

Butterfield, Fox, New York Times (2000). Lying/fabricating and plagiarism. In 2003, a federal jury ruled that “the New York Times and one of its reporters libeled an Ohio Supreme Court justice” in an article published April 13, 2000. The jury found that the article was “not substantially true”. He also “had lifted material from a story in The Boston Globe while reporting, ironically, on plagiarism by a Boston University dean”.

Former President Jimmy Carter - Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid

Carter, Jimmy, former U.S. President, Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. Lying, plagiarism, bias. His book was so full of errors, including doctored maps, that his chief collaborator, Kenneth Stein of Emory University, resigned his position with the Carter Center. Carter’s book was condemned by Alan Dershowitz and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others.

Chris Cecil - Cartersville Daily News (2005)

Cecil, Chris, Cartersville Daily News (2005). Plagiarism. “The associate managing editor of a small Georgia newspaper was fired for plagiarizing articles by a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Miami Herald, including copying a passage about his mother’s battle with cancer. Chris Cecil, 28, was fired from The Daily Tribune News of Cartersville on Thursday after the Herald pointed out six to eight columns written since March that contained portions from work by Leonard Pitts Jr.”

Ward Churchill - University of Colorado

Churchill, Ward, Chairman of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado. Lying and plagiarism. He lied about his credentials and ethnic background to get a job in the first place. His “research” was laden with fabricated evidence, plagiarism and referencing his own previous writings under pseudonyms. He is worthy of Mary McCarthy’s quote about Lillian Hellman: “Every word (s)he writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.” He was fired.

Stephen Dunphy - Seattle Times (2004)

Dunphy, Stephen, Seattle Times associate editor and business columnist (2004). Plagiarism. He used significant quotes (e.g., seven paragraphs at a time) from other sources on multiple occasions. He resigned.

Jacob Epstein - Novelist (1980)

Epstein, Jacob, novelist (1980). Plagiarism. “Jacob Epstein, responding to charges that he had plagiarized from Martin Amis’s The Rachel Papers for his first novel, Wild Oats, has apologized, admitting that he had indeed copied passages and images from Mr. Amis, and from other writers, as well.”

Jacqueline Gonzalez - San Antonio Express News (2007)

Gonzalez, Jacqueline, San Antonio Express News (2007). Plagiarism. She admitted “she used, without attribution, information from a Web site for a Christmas Day column. Later research uncovered further examples of plagiarism in two other columns.”

Alex Haley - Roots (1977)

Haley, Alex (1977) , Pulitzer Prize winning author of Roots. Plagiarism. He settled a lawsuit for $650,000, admitting that large passages of Roots were copied from the book The African by Harold Courlander.

Doris Kearns Goodwin - Historian/Author (2002)

Kearns Goodwin, Doris, historian/author (2002). Plagiarism. Large portions of her book, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, were lifted from multiple other sources without attribution. She took a leave of absence from PBS.

Dr. Martin Luther King - Doctor of Theology, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1950’s)

King, Martin Luther, Doctor of Theology, Nobel Peace Prize winner (1950’s). Plagiarism. Parts of his PhD thesis were plagiarized. A Boston University committee found that he was “responsible for knowingly misappropriating the borrowed materials that he failed to cite or to cite adequately… that is a straightforward breach of academic norms and that constitutes plagiarism as commonly understood.” The committee chairman added, “under no circumstances would the atmosphere under which he did his work condone what Dr. King did. It’s incredible. He was not unaware of the correct procedure. This wasn’t just done out of ignorance.” His degree was not revoked, but the university did attach a letter to his dissertation explaining the plagiarism.

Dennis Love - Sacramento Bee (2001)

Love, Dennis, Sacramento Bee (2001). Fabrication and plagiarism. “The Sacramento Bee fired Love for plagiarizing and fabricating material in his stories on the presidential campaign.”

Bob Morris - Orlando Sentinel (1993)

Morris, Bob, Orlando Sentinel (1993). Plagiarism. “The Sentinel discovered that Morris had written a column for the paper in October 1993 that was essentially the same as one published eleven years earlier by Mike Harden… Punishment was moot since Morris was no longer on the Sentinel staff. But the paper published an apology to its readers and made a cash settlement to Harden.”

Michael Olesker - Baltimore Sun (2006)

Olesker, Michael, Baltimore Sun (2006). Plagiarism. “Veteran Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker, who has been in a high-profile feud with Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, was dismissed yesterday over several instances in which he used, without attribution, wording similar to that employed by other journalists.”

Gail Sheehy - Author (1976)

Sheehy, Gail author (1976). “Manhattan Journalist Gail Sheehy, in preparing her 1976 bestseller Passages, borrowed enough from [UCLA Psychiatrist Roger] Gould’s unpublished research that the psychiatrist sued for plagiarism. The suit was settled out of court, with Gould receiving $10,000 and 10% of Sheehy’s royalties.”

Nina Totenberg - The National Observer (1972)

Totenberg, Nina, The National Observer (1972). Plagiarism. She was fired by The National Observer for plagiarism. “Totenberg had allegedly lifted several paragraphs from a Washington Post story and dropped them into a piece she was writing about former House Speaker Tip O’Neill for the now-defunct National Observer.” She is currently legal correspondent for NPR.

Jim Van Vliet - Sacramento Bee (2005)

Van Vliet, Jim, Sacramento Bee (2005). Misrepresentation and plagiarism. “The reporter watched the game on television at a location away from the stadium. He filed his story without telling editors at The Bee his true location, leaving the impression he covered the game from the ballpark. In addition, it was discovered later that the story included quotes from other media outlets that were unattributed and old, made to reporters on a previous occasion before the day of the game.” He no longer works there.

Bob Wisehart - Sacramento Bee (1994)

Wisehart, Bob, Sacramento Bee (1994). Plagiarism. “Sacramento Bee editor Gregory Favre fired TV columnist Bob Wisehart the second time he plagiarized. For the first offense, Wisehart got a five-month suspension even though his plagiarism involved hundreds of words taken from Stephen King’s book Danse Macabre for a television column about horror shows.”

External Links

Regret the Error 2006 Plagiarism Roundup

Regret the Error 2005 Plagiarism Roundup

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