Plagiarism, Shmagiarism

24 February, 2008
Rat Fink

All right, friends. Let’s get this straight. Barack Obama has been taking hits lately from the Clinton campaign about using another man’s words without proper citation. In the big scheme of things, it’s not really that important. Sure, there’s the argument that says, “If he’ll cheat on a paper, won’t he cheat the American people?” Well sure, but would you ask the same question of someone who is viewed as one of the greatest men of all time?

After all, Martin Luther King did it. In fact, he did it repeatedly – made a virtual habit out of it. I attend the same university that King did, and the BU library is full of papers on the subject. The press buried it for years, until 1991, when Boston University convened a panel to study the allegations. Even after it was (repeatedly) proven that King plagiarized, BU decided to not retract his doctorate, saying that he was still a great man. That is true, even though one of the researchers went on record to say:

Neither death, nor Nobelity [deliberate spelling – King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964], nor immortality confer immunity from the consequences of academic theft.

As a doctoral student myself, I have to agree. I am expected to hold my work to the highest possible standard. So then, why is it OK for him to have done it, but I’d get thrown out of the joint if I got caught? I’m a nice person – I like to help people. I don’t have a criminal record. Hey wait, King has a criminal record! Not fair! I’ve never been civilly disobedient!

Anyway…there are other pressing questions regarding the upcoming election. Important ones, like:

What if Hillary picks Bill as vice president? Oh, no!

Have a lovely day, mes amis.

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