Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Al Franken a Plagiarist?

.... Sure seems so. In my book, chapter 24, I make the case that in Franken's "Lying Liar" book his chapter attacking Fox News was almost verbatim from a report put out by the ultra-liberal media watchdog group, FAIR, 2 years earlier. No where in his book does Franken cite FAIR as his source. In other words, he passed it off as his own research.

Ironically, no liberal who attacked me or my book ever challenged my plagiarism charge against Franken

Yesterday, Newsbusters.org, a division of The Media Research Center, posted this interesting story on their blog:

http://newsbusters.org/node/4745

6 Comments:

At 4:17 AM, Blogger bobcollum said...

Listen, I do have the bare minimum of respect for you, but this is completely ridiculous what you've gone and done here.....it's very disingenuous.

You say Franken stole from this report done by FAIR, so you supply 3 sentences from Liars that are found on pg 62 and 63, and the sentences from the organization that you so valiantly stand up for.

#1 FAIR, July/August 2001: "The Most Biased Name in News" by Seth Ackerman, writing about Hannity & Colmes:

"Even Fox's "left-right" debate show, Hannity & Colmes--whose Crossfire-style format virtually imposes numerical equality between conservatives and "liberals"--can't shake the impression of resembling a Harlem Globetrotters game ..."

FRANKEN, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (Dutton, 2003, hardcover 1st edition), page 63:

"For those of you unfamiliar with the Hannity and Colmes dynamic, it's a conservative-versus-liberal talking head show, kind of a combination between Crossfire and a Harlem Globetrotters game."

My initial response is "huh, he probably did snag that joke, but I guess you also take issue with his similar use to the words "conservative" and "liberal". Kinda reaching for that one aren't we Alan? If that's plagerism, than I guess we're all a little guilty.

#2 FAIR, writing on Brit Hume:

"Fox's managing editor is Brit Hume, a veteran TV journalist and contributor to the conservative American Spectator and Weekly Standard magazines."

FRANKEN, Lies and the Lying Liars, p. 62:

"For managing editor, [Roger Ailes] chose veteran journalist Brit Hume, a contributor to the ultra-conservative Weekly Standard and the ultra-conservative American Spectator."

This is where you totally lose me. How ccan you explain this as plagerism? It's freakin descriptive! The only way this could be what you say it is is if FAIR supplied inaccurate information and the very same thing was written by Franken. There would be no doubt, but I don't think that is the case. Also, one wonders why using "conservative" and "liberal" in the first example wasn't allowed, but it goes unmentioned when there's a slight difference for the second one.

#3 FAIR, writing on Special Report With Brit Hume:

"Each episode of Special Report with Brit Hume, for example, features a three-person panel of pundits who chat about the day's political news at the end of the show. The most frequent panelist is Fred Barnes, the evangelical Christian supply-sider who edits the Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard."

FRANKEN, Lies and the Lying Liars, p. 63:

"[Hume] also anchors the nightly new show, Special Report with Brit Hume, which concludes with Brit moderating a three-person panel of pundits. The most frequent panelist is prominent conservative Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard."

It seems there's a little confusion here......

How else can someone describe something without using facts? Facts that may have been previously stated by someone else.....how is that plagerism? Is what was said untrue? Aside from the FACTS there are little comparisons. Just so you know.

Now a liberal has challenged you on it.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger A. Skorski said...

Bobcollum, I did not cite 3 examples as you claim in your post. Newsbusters.org cited 3. In my book, I cited 10. You have to look at the similarities in the wording and not just at the facts. If you say "the Yankees are great" and I say "the yankees are great," that is not plagiarism.

For example, is it a well known and established fact that Fred Barnes is "the most frequent panelist" on Brit Humes Special Report? FAIR reported that he was, but where did Franken get it from? Are you suggesting that Franken monitored that show for a long period of time and documented who is the most frequent panelist? Franken certainly didn't make that claim in his book.

According to Eric Hanonoki who maintains Franken's website and blog, Franken's analysis is public domain as he cited tompaine.com as also drawing the same conclusions as Franken did. The problem is, tompaine.com acknowledged on his site that his material and analysis came from FAIR - that's also in my book.

 
At 4:20 AM, Blogger bobcollum said...

Bobcollum, I did not cite 3 examples as you claim in your post. Newsbusters.org cited 3. In my book, I cited 10. You have to look at the similarities in the wording and not just at the facts. If you say "the Yankees are great" and I say "the yankees are great," that is not plagiarism.

If I have to take the similarity of actual words used into account, how could the last sentence make any sense? Also, I apologize, allow to me to rephrase my statement:

You supplied a link(for the purpose of evidence) that gave, at best, empty, useless examples to back up the claim stated in your post that Al Franken is guilty of plagiarism...a fairly serious allegation.

For example, is it a well known and established fact that Fred Barnes is "the most frequent panelist" on Brit Humes Special Report? FAIR reported that he was, but where did Franken get it from? Are you suggesting that Franken monitored that show for a long period of time and documented who is the most frequent panelist? Franken certainly didn't make that claim in his book.

This paragraph is odd on several levels.

1. Wouldn't you, having written a book including this very topic, already know the answer to the first question? That is not how to cover all of your bases.

2. Why hasn't the idea that Franken has a research team entered your mind at any point?

3. I myself have never viewed that particular show, but I would think if there was any attention paid to it by the left, it could definitely be considered common knowledge amongst the regulars.

Does he have to have a source for every word he says about another person?

What are the chances that two different liberals could do a little research on the same show and come up with a relatively similar description?!!?? Better get out the calculators....:sarcasm:

According to Eric Hanonoki who maintains Franken's website and blog, Franken's analysis is public domain as he cited tompaine.com as also drawing the same conclusions as Franken did. The problem is, tompaine.com acknowledged on his site that his material and analysis came from FAIR - that's also in my book.

It's too bad we can't go any further into this.....I don't think i'll be shelling out the cash for that......book.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger A. Skorski said...

Bobcollum, there is no documentation to prove who "the most frequent panelist is..." The most frequent threesome are Barnes, Kondracke, and Liason and the only reason I say that is because I watch the show everynight and it is based merely on observation, not documentation.

In his book, Franken tries to credit his researchers or Lexis Nexis whenever he can to back up his claims of thorough research.

Frankly it's an absurd observation to make, that "Barnes is the most frequent..." because it's pointless. It really didn't enhance Franken's attacks on Fox News.

I am quite comfortable stating that neither Franken nor his researchers monitored Hume's program long enough to document which panelists are most frequent.

Franken cheated, pure and simple.

Lastly, you can't accuse me of not willing to dialogue with people who disagree with me.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger irishnut said...

hey mr skorski never heard of u before so i googled your name and got this the words "stones and glass houses" come to mind!

eamonn.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200511090001

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger A. Skorski said...

Mr. Irishnut and every other Franken fan, why do you continue to invest so heavily in what David Brock of MMFA tells you? Don't you know that he makes things up and intentionally takes things people say and distorts them?

David Brock is desperate for attention and unfortunately he has found a following of people who are too lazy to do their own research and would rather accept whatever he says.

 

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