White House Aide Plagiarizes in Newspaper Column

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Ironic that a man with a name so close to “Google” should be caught plagiarizing?

Special Assistant to the President Timothy Goeglein works in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, where he’s tasked with serving as the “pipeline” to the president for the administration’s “most conservative supporters,” as New York Times and Washington Post profiles put it. Goeglein worked under Karl Rove up until Rove’s departure. He also writes a regular editorial column for The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

And as blogger Nancy Nall discovered (via google), yesterday’s column, a philosophical ramble on the purpose and nature of education, contains entire passages from a 1998 article in The Dartmouth Review by Jeffrey Hart, a former speechwriter for Richard Nixon. Nowhere in the piece does Goeglein cite Hart. It’s about as open and shut of a case of plagiarism as you’re ever likely to find (see below).

We’ve placed calls to the News-Sentinel and the White House seeking comment, and we’ll let you know what we hear.

Update: Goeglein fesses up. From The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

“It is true,” Tim Goeglein wrote to The Journal Gazette in an e-mail. “I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses.”

He said he wrote to the author of the essay, Jeffrey Hart “to apologize, and do so categorically and without exception.”

Update: The News-Sentinel‘s editor has also declared that the paper will be investigating Goeglein’s past columns to find other examples of plagiarism. Something tells me that he might find other examples. A lot more.

Here’s one of the three passages that Nall identified as having been lifted directly from Hart’s piece:From Goeglein’s piece:

It can hardly be challenged that the United States of America is part of the narrative of European history. Europe is overwhelmingly the source, and some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, literature, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, demonstrably, from England. This Britain-America connection is central.

There have been many ways of answering the question: What is Europe? A handy way to think of the matter is the paradigm of “Athens” and “Jerusalem.” In this paradigm, those terms designate both the two cities we have all heard of but also two kinds of mind. The tradition designated “Athens” is associated with philosophy and with critical exercise of mind, with reason. The tradition associated with “Jerusalem” is associated with monotheism, with faith.

From Hart’s:

It can scarcely be challenged that the United States is part of the narrative of European history. It owes little or nothing to Confucius or Laotse or to Chief Shaka or to the Aztecs. At the margin it owes a bit to the American Indians, but not a great deal — corn, tobacco, some legendary material. But Europe is overwhelmingly the source. And some parts of Europe more than others: Our language, legal tradition, political arrangements derive, and demonstrably so, from England.

There have been many ways of answering the question, “What is Europe?” But a handy way to think of the matter is the paradigm of “Athens” and “Jerusalem.” In this paradigm, those terms designate both the two cities we have all heard of, and also two kinds of mind.

The tradition designated “Athens” is associated with philosophy and with critical exercise of mind. The tradition associated with “Jerusalem” is associated with monotheism.