Monday, April 13, 2009

DeWitt goes after Fish piece in NYT on Churchill

As noted earlier by IPBiz, the piece by Stanley Fish on Churchill in the NYT had problems. Here is what Larry DeWitt said:

It is unclear which report Fish read in preparation for his NYT column, perhaps he did not himself fully grasp the nature of Churchill’s actions. So we have to ask: Has Professor Fish ever written something; put someone else’s name on it; then cited it in his subsequent writings as third-party support for his thesis? Has he ever published something under his own name that was written by someone else because they refused to let him republish it? Has he taken a pamphlet written by an advocacy group and published it under his own by-line? I don’t know how it works at Florida International University, but at the university I attend these actions would be grounds for expulsion.

In the light of all this, Stanley Fish’s rather glib dismissal of the charges against Churchill is unfathomable, and no one should think that his op-ed vindicates Churchill.

We should also understand what the jury verdict does and does not prove. The jury did not find that Professor Churchill was innocent of the charge of academic misconduct; they only found that he was not fired for this reason.

Similarly, the Delaware bar people did not find Biden innocent of plagiarism.

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