Friday Funny

One of a series

whatthebleepjusthappened

The Trump administration is coming together, 12 days prior to inauguration day. Selected to be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council is conservative columnist Monica Crowley:

Monica Crowley (born September 19, 1968) is an American columnist, political commentator, and talk radio personality. She has regular appearances on Fox News, is the online opinion editor and a regular columnist for The Washington Times, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In December 2016, the Donald Trump administration announced that Crowley will be appointed senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

The above mentioned Washington Times is not to be confused with The Washington Post, a publication carrying a considerable journalistic reputation. An item in Wikipedia sums up The Washington Times:

Founded on May 17, 1982, by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon, the Times was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the church until 2010, in which Moon and a group of former executives purchased the paper. It is currently owned by diversified conglomerate Operations Holdings, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the church.

It will be remembered that creationist Jonathan Wells, author of the creationist tome Icons of Evolution, is a follower of the late Reverend Moon. The Washington Times notably supports conservative philosophy, including creationism (Including Intelligent Design).

According to the Wikipedia article, Crowley has been with Fox News as “a foreign affairs and political analyst.” and she has been an occasional stand-in for Sean Hannity on the Hannity program. Her recent book is What The (Bleep) Just Happened (full title: What The (Bleep) Just Happened? The Happy Warrior’s Guide To The Great American Comeback). I have a copy of the Kindle edition.

It would appear that Crowley is going to  be a useful addition to the Trump administration. Her sterling communications credentials will be of tremendous benefit to the Trump team,  too often  beset by the curse of mixed messages. However, in light of recent developments, we wonder just who will be doing Crowley’s communications for her:

Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN KFile review has found.

The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia. The New York Times bestseller, published by the HarperCollins imprint Broadside Books, contains no notes or bibliography.

Crowley did not return a request for comment. Multiple requests for comment by phone and email over the past two days to HarperCollins went unreturned.

I am guessing we will have to wait until we hear back from somebody, anybody, in the Trump team before my question can be answered. In the meantime Andrew Kaczynski, writing for CNN Money, has cited some egregious examples:

In the book, Crowley lifted an entire section on Keynesian economics from the IAC-owned website Investopedia.

In one instance, Crowley lists a variety of so-called “pork” items she claimed were part of the 2009 stimulus package. Many of the instances were copied wholesale from a conservative list of pork barrel spending, with some items dating back to the 1990s. Most of the copied instances were listed on a website for a podiatrist dating back to 2004.

The article also demonstrates some interesting parallels between passages in the book and matter, uncredited, by other authors. For example:

whatthebleepjusthappened-01

The similar (identical) text is highlighted.

Director of Strategic Communications for the NSC is a job that does not require original writing, and congressional review for the position is not required. That aside, we can only hope that when Director Monica Crowley reports to the new president that Russian forces are massing on the Ukraine border, she is not repeating something she read in The New York Times.

If that is not funny, then what is?

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2 thoughts on “Friday Funny

  1. Pingback: Fact Deficit | Skeptical Analysis

  2. Pingback: Friday Funny | Skeptical Analysis

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