The Washington Times, a scabrous rag, actually wrote something we agree with — a farewell note to Senator Rand Paul, whose column for the paper will be ended following multiple accusations of plagiarism, including a recent column for that paper. In a paragraph that we hope elicited hearty laughter all around the newsroom, the Times noted that
Mr. Paul took personal responsibility for the oversights, which he and aides said were caused by staff providing him background materials that were not properly footnoted.
Ah, yes, the old “I take personal responsibility for my underlings’ sloppy work” ploy. You stay classy, Rand. (Protip: No citation needed for obvious allusions.)
In keeping with that theme of personal responsibility, Paul also whined that he was being singled out for special scrutiny:
“The standard I’m being held to is a little different than everybody else,” Mr. Paul said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “They’re now going back and reading every book from cover to cover and looking for places where we footnoted correctly and don’t have quotation marks in the right places or we didn’t indent correctly.”
What! You mean to say that getting caught plagiarizing three times might prompt people to look more closely to see if you did it more than three times? Damn. You mean to say that if they find that body we stashed under the porch — and in the garden, and in the basement — the police might also start looking in the crawlspace? Persecution!
Times editor John Solomon said
“We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column[.]”
It’s reassuring to know that writers for the Washington Times should probably conform to at least the most minimal standards of a high school English class.
An aide to the senator explained that really, Rand Paul writes all his own stuff, apart from the stuff that he doesn’t actually write:
In a statement to The Times and multiple other media outlets Tuesday, Doug Stafford, an adviser to Mr. Paul, said the senator’s ideas were all his own. But he said Mr. Paul had relied on staff to provide “supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were clearly not sourced or vetted.
In other words — which seem to be the only kind he has available to him — Paul is less the “author” of his “writing” than the general contractor, and he’s gotten stuck with some cheap knock-offs that he had no idea were shoddily manufactured. Poor thing. Maybe he should challenge them to a duel, too?
Still, Rand Paul is looking forward to putting all this past him so he can get back to sharing his important message that with hard work and individual initiative, anyone can be a success. Especially if they’re freed of the burdens of government regulation and intrusive journalists looking at them too closely.