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More On Watchdogs and Plagiarism


A number of emailers have written to point out that Rep. Sherrod Brown, a politician, is not a journalist and is therefore, the argument goes, not subject to standards prohibiting plagiarism:

Tell me you know there is a difference between a politician putting out campaign material and a journalist writing for a news organization. You’re comparing apples and oranges…
The problem is, journalists aren’t the only ones subject to such standards. From the Plain Dealer article:

Students can be flunked for copying others’ words without attribution, and journalists can be fired. While the line dividing politicians and online political commentary sometimes seems fuzzy, University of Chicago political scientist Daniel Drezner, himself a blogger and co-editor of a forthcoming book on politics and blogging, says Brown went “outside the bounds.”

He compared it with Sen. Joe Biden, the Delaware Democrat who dropped out of the 1988 presidential race after it was learned he plagiarized part of a stump speech.

“It strikes me as pretty much the same thing,” Drezner said. “It’s plagiarism.”


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