Sen. Rand Paul's weekly column, axed from The Washington Times this week after plagiarism allegations, has already found a new outlet. The conservative media outlet Breitbart News announced on Wednesday that Paul, the Kentucky tea party favorite and possible 2016 Republican presidential contender, would become the newest contributor amid its recent "period of exponential growth."
I've lost count of how many times Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been caught presenting others' work as his own -- are we up to double digits yet? -- but there's no reason to think the list will stop growing anytime soon. Andrew Kaczynski reports today on even more instances of plagiarism in a Paul book originally published last year.
But changes are afoot. Reflecting on the controversy this week, the senator told the New York Times that he's had so much trouble because he's very busy. "We need to get stuff earlier, but it's hard," Paul said. "We probably take on more than we should be doing."
To solve this apparent problem, the Republican senator has decided to move his weekly column from one conservative news outlet to a different conservative news outlet.
It's a curious approach. If Paul and his team were forced to copy and paste materials that didn't belong to them because they "take on more than we should be doing," how will it help to simply move a troubled column to a different website?
As for the larger context, the senator now has a new defender, with Mike Huckabee complaining that he's "appalled" -- not by the mistakes Paul has already admitted to making, and not by accurate reporting, but by those who've noticed Paul's plagiarism. Huckabee added, "I don't know of anybody who has ever made speeches that felt like they had to go and footnote everything in the speech."
I never thought of plagiarism as an issue that only one side of the political divide understands, but it appears Paul and his defenders are changing the basic definition of simple words. For the record, no one has suggested Paul needs to "footnote everything" in his speeches and published works -- the controversy is about the senator presenting others' work as his own. That's all.