Friday, February 29, 2008

White House Caught Plagiarizing from The Dartmouth Review

Just last week Columbia announced that they would be keeping on staff a professor caught red-handed, guilty of extensive plagiarism. And now comes news of this. Timothy Goeglein, a top White House aide, has been caught plagiarizing from The Dartmouth Review. The article in question appeared in a small Indiana daily. Goeglein admits to taking passages from Prof. Hart's 1998 article in the Review, saying, "I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

Here is part of the plagiarized text, you be the judge:
A notable professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College in the last century, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey, expressed the matter succinctly. His wisdom is not only profound but also worth pondering in this new century. He said, “The goal of education is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.”

He meant that, I think, in quite a large sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of, but rather to be an educated man or woman, you needed to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of our civilization.

This does not mean you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a citizen of this one, you should be aware of what it is and where it — we — came from. It can hardly be challenged that the United States of America is part of the narrative of European history. Europe is overwhelmingly the source, and some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, literature, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, demonstrably, from England. This Britain-America connection is central.

And here is the corresponding text from Prof. Hart's article, "What is a College Education?"
A notable Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey often expressed the matter succinctly, “The goal of education,” he would say, “is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.”

He meant that in quite large a sense. He did not mean that you had to master all the specialties you can think of.

He meant that you need to be familiar with the large and indispensable components of your — this — civilization.

This certainly does not mean that you should not study other cultures and civilizations. It does mean that to be a Citizen of this one you should be aware of what it is and where it came from.

It can scarcely be challenged that the United States is part of the narrative of European history. It owes little or nothing to Confucius or Laotse or to Chief Shaka or to the Aztecs. At the margin it owes a bit to the American Indians, but not a great deal — corn, tobacco, some legendary material. But Europe is overwhelmingly the source. And some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, and demonstrably so, from England.

Several more paragraphs are copied just as baldly as these. In addition, it is now coming to light that he has plagiarized other articles in the past. It seems conclusive. The question now is whether or not the White House will take a more principled stand than Columbia.

P.S. Some pre-scandal info on Goeglein.

Update! Here is Jeffrey Hart's statement:
Bush was planning to go to war in Iraq within weeks after he took office in January 2001. This has been documented. He sold the invasion through lies about WMD. No one found even a tube of Chinese toothpaste in Iraq. A bit of plagiarism should not trouble this White House at all. The Dartmouth Review publishes a lot of very good material, and should take a bow.

Update III: Goeglein has resigned. The AP story is here. The current tally for the number of plagiarized columns he wrote is 20.

10 comments:

John Bruce said...

Notwithstanding various commenters on the Columbia thread, this is certainly evidence that nationally, plagiarism is a problem, and our colleges and universities aren't doing much to help it.

W. Aubin said...

I would hesitate to chalk this up as another clear indication of Bush's desire to destroy America, but rather as the result of Mr. Goeglein's apparent subconscious desire to destroy his own reputation and credibility.
Perhaps Professor Hart should see this as clear proof that his articulation of these points represents the pinnacle of applicable English grammar, and that a young White House aide of questionable integrity had either to pass them off as his own or produce an inferior paragraph.
It is nice to see that this illustrious publication still finds its way to high places.

Anonymous said...

Hardly young, he was 44.

W. Aubin said...

I mean young in the most patronizing sense possible, for his behavior has not matured past the grade school level.

You are right, he was more than old enough to know better.

John Bruce said...

Here's what's puzzling: he clearly had a good career going in an area that didn't require original writing skills (unlike, say, a professor). He wrote the columns for his hometown paper. Whom was he trying to impress? Any money involved would have been nominal. Yet he set himself up for this kind of self-destruction. Something was clearly missing, though there's never been a shortage of White House staff who've shot themselves in the feet.

jamie hunt said...

The plagiarized paragraph stands as a testament to the lucidity of Prof. Hart's thought. That light--at least in matters pertaining the President Bush--appears to have abandoned him.

Anonymous said...

I don't think hart is alone in thinking bush a terrible president: liberals hate him, conservatives hate him—the only admirers he has are party hack repiglicans.

jamie hunt said...

Anonymous at 6:23 wrote: " ... the only admirers [President Bush] has are party hack repiglicans."

Well, I have been putting on a little weight ...

Seriously, Anon 6:23, without revealing your identity, please acknowledge that you're posting from beyond the Green pale: Harvard, say, or Princeton. To learn that such a witless riposte was crafted by a Dartmouth student or alum would be most disheartening ... a tragic waste of $40K+ per annum in tuition and fees.

A. S. Erickson said...

While 6:23's pass at humor didn't land, I think his main point is largely correct. Liberals clearly don't like Pres. Bush, and 90% of conservatives don't like him either.

jamie hunt said...

You're a gracious soul, Mr. Erickson, crediting Berkeleyite grammar school invective ("party hack repiglicans") as a pass at humor. At any rate, I'll not dispute that the President is held in low regard by many, including Prof. Hart. Whom, like Mr. Bush, I esteem.

Nonetheless, Hart's cited paragraph above--accusing W. of preparing for war with Iraq as soon as he entered office (as opposed to reviewing contingency plans for all prospective belligerents) and failing to acknowledge that nearly every sentient political and military leader in America thought Saddam had WMDs (his having used them on Iranians and Kurds and all) in the run-up to the war--is, frankly, verging on Trutherism. Unless, somehow, I missed where Professor Hart said it with a Menckenian wink and a puff on his stogey.

At any rate, onward. This thread, like all, is getting buried by the onward rush of events.