Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) lost his weekly column with the Washington Times this week amid accusations that he plagiarized a portion of an op-ed from September.
Paul’s issues with plagiarism began when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow questioned some of his speeches, including one that appeared to come almost completely from Wikipedia’s article on the movie Gattaca. BuzzFeed also questioned some passages from an op-ed Paul wrote for the Times.
The Times reported on Tuesday that it independently reviewed all of the senator’s columns and op-eds, and also published a correction in the column in question, which ran on September 20.
Paul and the Times also “mutually agreed” to end the weekly column, which appeared on Fridays. Times Editor John Solomon explained, “We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column.”
Solomon added of working with Paul, “We also appreciate the original insights he has shared with our readers over the last few months and look forward to future contributions from Sen. Paul and any other members of Congress who take the time to help educate our readers.”
Rand Paul has written hundreds of pieces in the Times and other media outlets in the past few years. However, the majority of his work is just now receiving more attention from journalists looking to uncover cases of possible plagiarism.
In response to the allegations, Paul’s adviser, Doug Stafford, stated that the senator’s ideas are his own. However, some of the senator’s staff provide “supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were clearly not sourced or vetted.”
Do you think the Washington Times made the right decision to end Sen. Rand Paul’s weekly column?