Conservative tries to smear Tim Goeglein's victim, Jeff Hart
I don't usually get mail from the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. So, this message came as a bit of a surprise:
Just wanted to alert you to my colleague M. Thomas Eisenstadt's blog entry about the Goeglein plagiarism scandal and how it's opened up a can of worms at Dartmouth. Sure, the Bush staffer got fired, but the real story is whether the Dartmouth Review article that was plagiarized, was original in the first place. This mystery pits two well-heeled Dartmouth alums against each other: former professor, failed Nixon speechwriter and Dartmouth Review founder Jeffrey Hart vs. Asst. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Callahan. One of them is a plagiarizer, too.
Here's the link to Eisenstadt's piece:
We hope you'll look into it, too.
The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy
Nall caught Goeglein because he made the mistake of dropping a very unusual name, "Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey.” When Hall googled the name, it became clear that Goeglein's column on education was based, almost word-for-word, on this essay by conservative scholar Jefferey Hart.
Here's the passage where Hart mentions Prof. Rosenstock-Hussey. It's just one of dozens of sentences and ideas that Goeglein lifted from Hart's essay:
A notable Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth, Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey often expressed the matter succinctly, “The goal of education,” he would say, “is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can re-found his civilization.” [DR]
As it happened, L'affaire Rosenstock-Hussey was not an isolated incident. Goeglein, Bush's top liaison to the religious right, turned out to be a serial offender who had stolen from many sources, including Hoagie Carmichael and Pope John Paul II.
Eli's email made some serious charges. The founder of the Dartmouth Review is pitted against the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State over plagiarism? That would be something.
So, I clicked over to the Eisenstadt post. Sure enough M. Thomas Eisenstadt, of Eisenstadt Group is implying that Tim Goeglein's latest victim may be a plagiarist. The Eisenstadt Group bills itself as Eisenstadt Group a "multifaceted consulting firm specializing in political campaigns and issue advocacy, in case you were wondering.
I'm exerpting this passage from Eisenstadt's post so you can see for yourselves.
In my ironic ramblings about plagiarism, it’s possible that I buried the lead. The Goeglein case was open and shut about as fast as you can get. But the question that lingers is what’s the story with this Jeffrey Hart character? I was just reading The Dartmouth Review’s wrap-up story by A.S. Erickson and something odd hit me:
When contacted by CNN, Professor Hart said, “I told him I was flattered he’d used it. It doesn’t damage him in my estimation at all. I’m glad he spread the word.” ….”A bit of plagiarism should not trouble this White House at all. The Dartmouth Review publishes a lot of very good material, and should take a bow.”
To his credit, this is exactly the point I was making in my last blog (though I meant it ironically). But honestly, why would an avowed Obama supporter like Hart be so forgiving of a Bush apparatchik like Goeglein? On a purely human level, it doesn’t make sense. He should be going ballistic. (for example, our friend Debbie Schlussel rightly takes considerable umbrage when Sean Hannity plagiarizes her)
The only explanation is that something was funny with his original story in the first place and he didn’t want to draw attention to it. He probably figured it was one part of one article - the whole thing would blow over. He had no idea at the time that Goeglein had also plagiarized everyone from The Washington Post to the Pope, and it would become a huge story. As I pointed out in my last blog, it could be that Hart had plagiarized the quote from Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy from fellow Dartmouther Asst. Deputy Sec. of State Thomas Callahan. (Emphasis added.)
The only explanation? Hart is under suspicion because he didn't give a sufficiently irate quote to CNN? Debbie Schlussel is a role model emotional self-regulation?
Eisenstadt's "case" against Hart comes down to the fact that two Dartmouth alums quoted the same Dartmouth prof in the Dartmouth review.
The centerpiece of the attack is a quote in an alumni profile attributed to Thomas Callahan:
Thomas Callahan ’84, currently a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the US Department of State, believes in a liberal arts education. “My father was class of 1947 at Dartmouth and used to quote to us one of his favorite professors, a philosophy professor named Eugene Rosenstock-Hussey: ‘The goal of education is to form the Citizen. And the Citizen is a person who, if need be, can refound his civilization.’”
Rosenstock-Hussey was a German Jew who had fought in the Kaiser’s army in WWI. As Nazism took hold in post-Weimar Germany, he emigrated to America.
“He and my father clicked, I think, because neither of them took anything for granted. Rosenstock-Hussey had lived through chaos and war. My father had just completed his tour with the Marine Corps in WWII. My father’s parents were Irish immigrants and he grew up during the Depression. They were very poor. By the time I came along, my brothers and sisters had it pretty good. He didn’t want us to ever take life for granted.” (Emphasis added) [DR]
Callahan was, of course, the subject of the latter piece, not the author.
Apart from citations of Rosenstock-Hussey, the two stories have nothing in common. Hart's piece is a polemic against self-directed study programs at Dartmouth. Callahan profile is a blurb on a famous alumnus.
Compare: What Is A College Education? and The Making of Citizen Thomas Callahan. Then look at Nancy Nall's side-by-side comparison of Hart's essay to Goeglein's column. Goeglein didn't just cite Rosenstock-Hussey's chestnut, he stole Hart's entire argument.
Eisenstadt thinks it's significant that both pieces misspell Eugen Rosenstock-Hussey's name in the same way:"Eugene."
Where are these charges coming from? Why are Eli and Eisenstadt going out of their way to smear Both Callahan and Hart attributed the idea to the great man himself. Don't they understand that if you cite your sources, it's not plagiarism?
There's nothing suspicious about two Dartmouth alums citing the same obscure Dartmouth professor in different articles the Dartmouth Review. The fact that the same publication consistently misspelled the same unusual name may reflect on the Dartmouth Review's editors, but not on the Hart or Callahan.
It was odd when Goeglein, with no known ties to Dartmouth, cited Rosenstock-Hussey in an Indiania newspaper in 2008. That reference was the red flag that prompted the further investigation that exposed Goeglein's wholesale theft from Hart.
But Goeglein didn't get in trouble for citing the same sources as someone else, he got busted for lifting the better part of Hart's article and passing it off as his own.
Eisenstadt pointedly notes that Hart came out for Barack Obama. Maybe that's why they're gunning for him. I've noticed that spurious accusations of plagiarism are cropping up a lot in this campaign. It's gotten to the point where campaigns have accused their rivals of intellectual dishonesty for supporting similar policies.
The bar for public accusations of plagiarism is being set alarmingly low. Obama was accused of "plagiarism" because his talking points overlapped with those of Duval Patrick (who had the same campaign manager as Obama).
If you're a Democrat who sounds like other dems, you're a plagiarist. If you're a Republican who sounds like other Republicans, you're "on message." Unless you're a high-profile Republican like Jeff Hart who publicly supports Barack Obama, in which case you're a plagiarist when a Bush appointee steals your words.