Mark Steyn, plagiarist

Quoting myself:

One of the less pleasant parts of my job is talking to students that I have caught plagiarizing assignments. All too often, rather than admit to copying they will tell me clumsy lies and blame somebody else.

Like Mark Steyn. When he was caught stealing from a blog post by Geoff Pullum, instead of apologizing and giving Pullum appropriate credit, he implausibly claimed that he had independently came up with the same examples and wording.

From John Quiggin and PZ Myers, who got it from Bitch, Phd, who got it from Unfogged.

My previous posts on Steyn are here.

Update: See John Holbo on Steyn’s “premature dejoculation“.

More update: Predictably, Tim Blair denies everything.


  1. #1 QUASAR9
    May 21, 2006


    Hope not to be see my blog accused of the same failures.
    THE REAL CO2 DEBATE comment is basically a summary of info collected, and a rehash of what has been much said and by many. The consolation I guess, is that any statistical error can be attributed to misinformation heard or read, and collected from others. I can only take credit for the presentation, and have no one source (or collection) of sources I could credit, since even the figures stated are little more than media soundbites or news ‘headliners’
    Then again I am not presenting the short comment as a ‘paper’ nor do I make any claim to ‘originallity’. Does that leave me ‘free’ or clear of any liability?

  2. #2 ChrisV
    May 21, 2006

    I’ve seen Steyn borrow witticisms before. Tim Blair linked to a post of Currency Lad’s where, referring to Andrew Jaspan’s comments on Douglas Wood, he said something like “This must be the first recorded case of Stockholm Syndrome by proxy”. Mark Steyn’s version, published a week or so later, was something like “This must be a first: Douglas Wood didn’t get Stockholm Syndrome, but everyone back home did”.

    Could be coincidence, but since I’m sure Steyn reads Tim Blair, I’m somewhat doubtful.

  3. #3 Kevin Donoghue
    May 21, 2006

    I have to say I am profoundly unshocked. Isn’t this what hacks do? To clear up the point I went to Wikipedia to find out where the term “hack” comes from:

    Newspaper journalists are sometimes called “hacks”, which could potentially be construed as a reference to an old style method of copy editing involving an encyclopedia, a manual typewriter, a pair of scissors and a roll of scotch tape.

    So Steyn is a hack? What else is new?

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.