Writer ‘Flattered’ That Rand Paul Plagiarized Him

AP

A writer whose words were plagiarized by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) doesn’t exactly feel like a victim. In fact, he’s “flattered” by the senator’s actions.

The Week’s Dan Stewart wrote Wednesday that he isn’t offended that two paragraphs of one of his articles appeared verbatim in an op-ed by Paul in The Washington Times. The Times announced Tuesday that it made a mutual decision with Paul to end the senator’s column.

“I suppose I ought to feel angry. My work was stolen by an elected official and putative presidential candidate with a far higher profile than me, who passed it off as his own instead of acknowledging its lowly creator,” Stewart wrote. “But I don’t. In fact, I’m not all that bothered by Sen. Paul’s use of my article. Worse things have happened.”

Stewart wrote that he’s “indifferent to being plagiarized” due to the nature of today’s media industry, with its increased emphasis on aggregation.

“Once your words are published online, they become part of the currency of the internet,” he wrote. “They can be freely woven into others’ articles, quoted at length, or tweeted without context. None of us can afford to be that sensitive about how others use or abuse our work.”

Stewart said he’s “flattered” that Paul brought attention to his original article, which focused on federal sentencing laws.

Paul initially showed defiance to the plagiarism charges, but as the evidence mounted he eventually conceded that he and his team should be more careful.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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