Kerry the Plagiarizer?

Robert Harris is apparently lowering himself to agree with an analysis that John Kerry plagiarized portions of his 1997 book, The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America’s National Security. The basic charge is that some sentences in Kerry’s book bear a marked resemblance to sentences that appeared in news reports about the topic of the book, money laundering.

Yawn. Kerry wasn’t writing as a scholar, but rather wrote a popular book designed for a general audience on money laundering. Harris hits him Kerry for slightly rewriting a couple sentences that he picked up from a news report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Big deal — major newspapers do this all the time. The major syndicated news companies regularly runs articles which are little more than rewrites of their competitors stories.

If it is good enough for the Associated Press or the BBC, why not for John Kerry? At best Kerry simply engaged in poor attribution, which is hardly unheard of for non-scholarly authors and hardly worth the space the Sun devotes to it.


Researcher Alleges Potential Plagiarism in 11 Passages of Kerry’s Writings. Josh Gerstein, New York Sun, October 26, 2004.

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