A famous (or at least well-known) person has been caught plagiarizing. Who, who? -- you say, waiting breathlessly. Go ahead--breathe--I want to work up to this latest incident.
Now that I am no longer teaching, I do not have occasion to lecture students on the evils of plagiarism. This topic was a regular cautionary lecture for me to deliver, usually early in a semester, and certainly as part of the instruction on conducting and using research.
I have written about the topic in this blog--multiple times, I discover when I do a quick search on "plagiarism." Here's how I railed on the topic previously:
Every semester I try and try to impress upon my students the need for absolute academic integrity. I use several examples of famous people who have been accused of plagiarizing--e.g. accusations made against J. K. Rowling (settled in her favor), against Doris Kearns Goodwin (who indicated that the plagiarism had been inadvertent due to a careless assistant), and against Stephen Ambrose (proven). I even used an essay written by Anna Quindlen about Wayne Newton plagiarizing her, until the students said--who's Wayne Newton, so I abandoned that example.
So, the long and the short of it is--yes, famous people do plagiarize. And, if they are big enough, they own up to it.
So, herewith--it has happened again. Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, has been caught plagiarizing. Several times, he has used wording, obviously obtained from Wikipedia, and has not credited the source. Rachel Maddow has done a fine job in her show of "outing" the senator for his intellectual thievery and dishonesty.
And how does this tough, no-nonsense senator respond? HE WANTS TO CHALLENGE RACHEL TO A DUEL. Seriously. Here's an MSNBC story on his response. And, again, I have to say SERIOUSLY. Senator Paul makes it sound as though the only reason he doesn't challenge Rachel to a duel is
"... I can’t do that because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then."
I am flabbergasted practically beyond words. Senator Rand Paul is upset because 1) he was caught plagiarizing; 2) he can't admit that he was plagiarizing; 3) he thinks he is being unfairly targeted and picked on for plagiarizing; and 4) he wants to challenge Rachel Maddow to a duel, but he can't because, then, he couldn't be the senator from Kentucky?
NEWS FLASH to Senator Rand Paul--you SHOULDN'T be a United States senator if you are so intellectually dishonest that you plagiarize, and then refuse to own it, and decide that you should challenge the person who publicized your dishonesty to a duel!