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National Review's Elizabeth Warren Plagiarism Claim Quickly Debunked

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Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifies before a House subcommittee on May 24, 2011.
Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifies before a House subcommittee on May 24, 2011.

National Review writer Katrina Trinko ended up with egg on her face Friday evening after accusing Democratic senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of plagiarism -- a charge that was quickly debunked.

Trinko published an item early Friday evening bearing the accusatory title, "Plagiarism In Elizabeth Warren's 2006 Book." The article, which appeared on the Review's "Corner" blog, made the following claim about "All Your Worth," a personal finance guide Warren published with her daughter:

["All Your Worth"] includes a passage that appears to include parts of two paragraphs directly lifted from a book published in 2005, Getting on the Money Track by Rob Black.

Soon after Trinko's piece went up, Salon's Alex Pareene examined the evidence and came to this conclusion about Trinko's allegations:

The passages line up perfectly. The wording and even the punctuation are identical. It’s plagiarism all right. Except it looks very much like Warren is actually the victim. [Emphasis Pareene's]

In fact, while "All Your Worth's" paperback version was released in 2006, the original hardcover edition first appeared in bookstores in March 2005. Black's book was released sometime later that year. Trinko quickly issued a correction and apology -- noting her confusion over the dates -- and removed the original article from the Review's website.

"I can see how they got this wrong," Pareene went on to tell the New York Observer's Hunter Walker, "but honestly, five more minutes of Googling it would have disproven it before they even published it."

Breitbart.com made similar charges earlier on Friday, suggesting that Warren plagiarized a set of recipes she submitted to a cookbook published in 1984.

Warren's campaign has been beset with controversy recently. In particular, critics have seized on the revelation that Warren once, for a number of years, claimed Native American heritage in law school directories -- and suggested she might have therefore received preferential treatment from schools or employers. Records records show this was not the case, though that hasn't stopped Republican Sen. Scott Brown, whom Warren hopes to unseat in this November's election, from using the episode for fundraising.

Polls currently show Warren and Brown neck-and-neck.

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