Listen up, people: There are new revelations in the evolving Rand Paul plagiarism scandal! As it turns out, not only has the senator from Kentucky repeatedly lifted material verbatim from newspaper columns, magazines, books and even Wikipedia — now he’s trying to steal the plot of Les Miserables.
Or, at least, it seems that way after watching his silly sort-of apologies — like this one on CNN — where Paul sounds at least as bitter as Jean Valjean. Paul wants us all to believe that he’s not a bad person — he’s doing nothing worse than boldly bringing ideas to an intellectually starving public!
And now, according to Paul, the haters in the media are pouring over everything he ever wrote, “looking for places where we footnoted correctly but didn’t have the quotation marks in the right place. Or didn’t indent.”
Poor put-upon Paul. To hear him tell it, this debate might as well be over the proper use of the Oxford comma. That way, it’s more believable that he sounds like he’s handing over ransom money when he adds sulkily that, from now on, “we’re gonna footnote everything — as if it were a college paper.”
Of course, you don’t have to be writing a college paper to know that, if you’re going to copy and paste off the Internet, you should, at the very least, learn to paraphrase. Which is, apparently, what Paul’s fellow libertarian conservatives have learned to do over at WND.com.
WND (formerly WorldNetDaily) is a website that’s the sometime home of high-profile conservatives like Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly and Pat Buchanan. Despite that roster, the site purports to be “independent” and “dedicated to uncompromising journalism.” So we’re wondering if it’s possible that they had Rand Paul’s plagiarism scandals on the brain when, this week, one of their independent, uncompromising journalists republished part of an article from Politico titled “President Obama blogs in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act” — and changed its title to “Obama blogs in favor of sexual perversion.”
If Rand Paul’s paranoid fantasy about the current state of things is real– that the “Gotcha!” media is out to make sure you never, ever publish anything that’s been said by anyone ever before — then maybe the folks at WND weren’t trying to insult the president. Or the people who, as Obama said, won’t be at risk for losing their jobs because of their sexual or gender identity if the Act passes. Maybe WND was just playing it safe.
Either way, it got us thinking: How would those independent, dedicated, and uncompromising journalists like the ones at WMD have re-written some other headlines in American history? What could we have expected to see? What do YOU think?
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