Trump's National Security Pick Is a Prolific Plagiarizer

Monica Crowley, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, hasn’t done a great job protecting her own dirty work. According to Politico, the former Fox News analyst is a prolific plagiarizer.

While a candidate for an international relations Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2000, Crowley plagiarized multiple sections of her dissertation titled  “Clearer Than Truth: Determining and Preserving Grand Strategy: The Evolution of American Policy Toward the People’s Republic of China Under Truman and Nixon.” Her thesis is kept on microfilm at the University of Michigan and accessible through the academic database ProQuest.

“More than a dozen sections of text... have been lifted, with little to no changes, from other scholarly works without proper attribution,” Politico reported. In other instances, Crowley identified sources but didn’t note that she was directly copying text; in other instances she didn’t attribute at all.

Crowley’s failure to quote an author’s exact words and failure to paraphrase could violate Columbia’s definition of unintentional plagiarism. Her writing also violates types I and II of Columbia’s definition of intentional plagiarism, which are, respectively, “direct copy and paste” and “small modification by word switch,” “without quotation or reference to the source,” Politico noted.

Politico’s findings follow a recent report from CNN which found that Crowley plagiarized more than 50 passages in her 2012 book “What the (Bleep) Just Happened.” In this case, Crowley copied “directly from conservative columns, news articles, Wikipedia and in one case a podiatrist’s website.” Publisher HarperCollins said it would pull Crowley’s book from sale until it was revised.

Crowley was also accused of plagiarism in 1999 after a reader in California saw similarities between Crowley’s column in the Wall Street Journal and a 1988 Paul Johnson piece in Commentary. WSJ published an editor’s note the following week acknowledging the parallels.

Before working for Fox News, Crowley was a research assistant and adviser for President Richard Nixon in the years after his White House tenure, and worked with him on two books. She later wrote two of her own books about Nixon, and has since shown that she’s learned as much about covering her own tracks.

Crowley’s potential position in Trump’s administration does not require Senate approval.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.