Now that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter has been accused of numerous instances of plagiarism, will the many media outlets on which she has made recent appearances to promote her latest book continue to provide her with a platform to shout her twisted rants, and if so, will they confront her with these charges?
The CEO of a company that developed a computer program to identify plagiarism has stated that he has found examples of "textbook plagiarism" in the latest book by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter. As an online article in the New York Post reported, John Barrie, CEO of iParadigms, ran Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, June 2006) through his company's iThenticate software. In its July 2 article, the Post reported that Barrie's search found "at least three instances" of plagiarism, including these two:
A separate, 24-word string from the chapter "The Creation Myth" appeared about a year earlier in the San Francisco Chronicle with just one word change -- "stacked" was changed to "piled."
Another 33-word passage that appears five pages into "Godless" allegedly comes from a 1999 article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.
The San Francisco Chronicle article the Post story referred to, titled, "Pity This Blushing Bride-to-Be," was published on July 3, 2005. Reporter Jane Ganahl, discussing the engagement of actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (a follower of the religion of Scientology) wrote:
[A] galactic ruler named Xenu brought billions of people to Earth 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs.
On Page 209 of Godless, Coulter compared the theory of evolution to the religious doctrines of Scientology:
[G]alactic ruler Xenu brought billions of people to Earth 75 million years ago, piled them around volcanoes, and blew them up with hydrogen bombs ...
The weblog the Rude Pundit previously identified the similarity between a passage in Coulter's book and one that appeared in a Portland Press Herald article. The article, titled, "People and Events That Made Maine's Century," was published December 12, 1999. In the article, library assistants Linda Madsen, Susan Butler, Beth Murphy, Julia McCue, and Beth Brogan and historian Herb Adams wrote:
The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River, is halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant believed to be extinct.
From Page 5 of Godless:
The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River in Maine, was halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant previously believed to be extinct.
Since her book was published on June 6, Coulter has made numerous television and radio appearances to promote Godless. She has appeared on:*
- NBC's Today
- Fox News' Hannity & Colmes
- MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson
- Fox News' Fox & Friends
- ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show
- Fox News Radio's The Alan Colmes Show
- Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America
- Cox Radio Syndication's The Neil Boortz Show
- Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto
- CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight
- Radio America's Michael Reagan Show
- Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show
- Fox News' DaySide
- Salem Radio Network's Michael Medved Show
- CNBC's Kudlow & Company
- Fox News' Heartland with John Kasich
- Premiere Radio Networks' The Drudge Report with Matt Drudge
- Salem Radio Network's Mike Gallagher Show
- Salem Radio Network's Dennis Prager Show
- Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson
- Westwood One's Lars Larson Show
- American Family Radio's Today's Issues
- Ave Maria Radio Network's Kresta in the Afternoon with Al Kresta
- Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly
- NBC's The Tonight Show
- MSNBC's Scarborough Country
Media figures have routinely defended Coulter's remarks (as Media Matters for America has documented here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). Given these mounting allegations of plagiarism, Media Matters asks: Will those TV and radio programs that gave Coulter a platform to shout her twisted rants to a national audience now confront her with these charges (among other things)?
Correction: This item originally stated that Coulter appeared on Jones Radio Networks' The Ed Schultz Show. However, a spokesman for The Ed Schultz Show has since said that although Coulter had been scheduled to appear on the program, Schultz canceled the interview. Media Matters regrets the error.