More examples of Coulter 'borrowing liberally' for new Godless book

Ron Brynaert
Published: Wednesday June 14, 2006

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A blogger who - nearly a year ago - accused conservative pundit Ann Coulter of plagiarism is now making additional claims in regards to her new book which was published only a week ago, RAW STORY has found.

In a series of posts, The Rude Pundit, shows examples of "possible plagiarism" by Coulter in the book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism released last Tuesday (6/6/06) by Random House's Crown Publishing Group.

Last night, The Rude Pundit pointed to a passage from Coulter's fourth chapter which appears to have been derived from a 2004 60 Minutes interview with Judge Charles Pickering (link). According to the blogger, Coulter's apparent use of the transcript may have even resulted in a factual error.

"In 1966, he testified against Klan member Sam Bowers, on trial for murdering civil rights activist Vernon Damer," Coulter wrote.

"Back in 1966, after civil rights activist Vernon Damer was killed by a firebomb, and notorious Klan leader Sam Bowers was charged with the murder, Pickering, then prosecutor in a nearby county, testified that Bowers had a reputation for violence," says the CBS transcript.

"The problem here is not plagiarism as much as it's just more cut and paste stupidity," write The Rude Pundit. "Why? Because, see, for one thing, Bowers was charged with the 1966 killing of Vernon Dahmer and Pickering testified in 1967."

"But since Coulter's just taking it all from the 60 Minutes profile, which she doesn't cite until two pages and two footnotes later, she simply copies the exact same errors that CBS made," The Rude Pundit continues.

An additional example was posted by The Rude Pundit just this morning (link). This time, Coulter is accused of borrowing liberally from a 1988 press conference led by at-the-time Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes, helping to demonize furloughed murderer Willie Horton to help the senior President Bush beat off former Massachussetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

"Other murderers furloughed by Dukakis included Donald Robertson and Bradford Boyd. Robertson raped a ninety-three-year-old woman and her seventy-two-year-old daughter and then stamped on their chests so hard that he crushed their internal organs," Coulter wrote.

Excerpt from Keyes' October 27, 1988 press conference: "Donald Robertson raped a 93-year-old woman and her 72-year-old daughter. Okay? After he raped them, he kicked them and beat them so bad, he crushed their chests and the internal organs in their chests."

After presenting more examples from both texts, The Rude Pundit continues: "Not only does Coulter blatantly cut and paste the first part, she also presents the exact same information in the exact same order as Barnes did back in 1988, including many directly quoted phrases, without citing anywhere the source for the information. As if it just appeared out of thin air."

The blogger then shows how Coulter quotes Keyes on Horton, but without revealing to her readers that the press conference may have been the source for that entire section of the chapter.

"It would have been simple for Coulter to avoid even seeming like she plagiarized: a couple of quotation marks, one of those footnotes she's always bragging about," The Rude Pundit writes. "But she didn't."

Earlier today, RAW STORY revealed that Coulter apparently inserted a list which was originally compiled by an anti-abortion group, the Illinois Right to Life Committee, almost word-for-word into her book (link). For fifteen of the sixteen items on her list, Coulter appeared to do little more than remove the parentheses and slightly change a word or two, such as "using" into "with."

Last week, The Rude Pundit found a couple of lines from the first chapter of Godless which were "strangely similiar" to sources that Coulter neglected to cite in the endnotes (link).

In one example, Coulter wrote (link): "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."

"Here's the Portland Press Herald, from the year 2000, in its list of the 'Maine Stories of the Century': '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," offered The Rude Pundit.

Nearly a year ago, The Rude Pundit caught Coulter apparently lifting passages from various texts "without attribution" for a column on controversial examples of "speech that has been funded in whole or in part by taxpayers." Shortly after, a RAW STORY investigation turned up even more examples from that same column.

Many of the bulleted items in Coulter's 2005 column were part and parcel of a long propaganda campaign waged by the Reverend Donald Wildmon's American Family Association and other conservative religious groups to end public funding of the arts. In fact, many of Coulter's examples were originally included in a 1990 AFA advertisement published in USA Today and The Washington Times bashing the National Endowment for the Arts.

(NOTE: RAW STORY has uncovered similiar examples from Coulter's latest book and will be reporting on them shortly)