VIDEO: Expert calls passages in Coulter's 'Godless' book 'textbook plagiarism'

Published: Wednesday July 5, 2006

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Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show featured an interview with the CEO of a plagiarism recognition system which was used to look through conservative pundit Ann Coulter's latest book Godless and a year's worth of her columns, RAW STORY has found.

John Barrie, the creator of iThenticate, called attention to three examples of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in Coulter's book, as reported on Sunday by the NY Post.

Barrie told Olbermann that he stopped looking after he found more than enough examples of "lifted" passages, and that many of her footnotes appeared to be in error, as well.

The Rude Pundit first blogged about the apparent plagiarism in a June 2005 column by Coulter a year ago, and Raw Story followed up on the blogger's work, revealing that the column was little more that a cut-and-paste repetition of points authored by conservative religious groups in the early 1990s. Barrie briefly mentions the 2005 column in the MSNBC interview as another example found by iThenticate.

One of the three "textbook plagiarism" examples in Godless cited by Barrie was also noted first by The Rude Pundit last month days after the book's release. RAW STORY then reported that Coulter "cribbed" a list of adult stem cell treatments from a Right To Life website for the seventh chapter of her book nearly word-for-word.

According to TPM Muckraker, Universal Press Syndicate, the company that syndicates Coulter's columns, will be reviewing Barrie's examples of "textbook plagiarism." Earlier in the day, Kathie Kerr, the media relations chief for the company, first told TPM's Justin Rood that Coulter "is the one that needs to address this."

Editor & Publisher notes that Coulter's latest column does "address" the NY Post. Coulter attacks the tabloid by calling it the city's "second-crappiest paper," but never refers to the plagiarism allegations that the paper broke first in print.

Wonkette is skeptical about any Universal Press Syndicate "probe."

"But now, tired of the phone calls, the hand-wringing, the tears and pouting, Ms. Kerr has done a totally convincing about-face, and vaguely promised a maybe-tomorrow-maybe-someday investigation which no doubt will totally condemn the woman who makes them wheelbarrows full of money which, placed end-to-end, could totally reach Uranus," writes Wonkette. "Oh, the wheels of fake justice are swift. Iím giddy, arenít you?"