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John Lott Takes On Media Over Fake News About Sheriff Clarke

John Lott Takes On Media Over Fake News About Sheriff Clarke

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you haven’t heard, the so-called “mainstream” media have been sharpening their knives for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, President Donald Trump’s choice for an assistant secretary position at the Department of Homeland Security. His conservative beliefs are just too much for them, including his long-standing support for the right to keep and bear arms.

On Friday, author and researcher John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, completely debunked media claims of plagiarism on Clarke’s master’s thesis in a story posted at thehill.com.

“But what Sheriff Clarke did was not dishonest. He footnoted each of these segments, citing the correct sources right on the same page.” — John Lott“CNN focused on 23 short segments of his nearly 40,000-word thesis. Eighteen are mere sentence fragments; five are full sentences,” Lott wrote. “CNN cites the supposedly standard definition of plagiarism: ‘If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks … The length of the phrase does not matter … even if only a few words are involved.’

“But what Sheriff Clarke did was not dishonest. He footnoted each of these segments, citing the correct sources right on the same page.”

Lott referred to Steven Brill, the founder of Court TV and a lecturer at the Yale English department, who in 2007 told the Yale Daily News: “Plagiarism is when you steal someone’s words and you don’t attribute it to that person.”

“Clarke’s thesis footnoted on the same page each questionable sentence,” Lott wrote

After stating a very eloquent case that should embarrass CNN and anyone else who has parroted the plagiarism charges, Lott concluded: “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Clarke did not dishonestly take someone else’s work. If there ever were ‘neon signs’ pointing to the sources of the paraphrasing, Sheriff David Clarke had them.”

You can read Lott’s complete explanation here.