POLITICS
08/27/2013 04:30 pm ET Updated Aug 27, 2013

Anti-Obama Ranters Have Just Started Plagiarizing Each Other

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As someone who has enjoyed a LOL or two reading the odd rantings of President Barack Obama's more "free-range" critics, I have long worried the day would come that they'd all just run out of original things to say about KENYAN MOOOSLIM NOBAMA ET CETERA AD INFINITUM. And now that I am reading Eddie Gregg's piece from the Billings Gazette, I am newly concerned that the day of Peak Derangement has finally come.

See, Max Lenington, who is the treasurer, assessor and superintendent of public schools in Yellowstone County, Mont., hates Barack and Michelle Obama. And so he sent around a letter to the editor titled "Why I hate Barack and Michelle Obama," and the Gazette printed it. Now, I say "sent around" and not "wrote" because it would be inaccurate for me to report that he actually wrote this piece. The person who actually did the writing is a conservative writer named Mychal Massie. And he is not happy.

Per Gregg:

After the letter’s publication, a reporter and a few readers noticed that the piece submitted by Max Lenington — sent using his government email address — was similar to a syndicated editorial, “Why I Do Not Like the Obamas,” by conservative writer Mychal Massie.

“I do view this as plagiarism. This is totally unacceptable,” Massie said Sunday. “I don’t care if he is Republican, I don’t care if he is as conservative as the day is long. … It’s clear that it’s my piece. What he did is dishonest.”

Gregg reports that Lenington "appears to have essentially condensed Massie’s editorial from about 1,000 words to 300 words," as well as "restructured sentences written by Massie and interchanged certain words with others that have similar definitions." That is some bush league plagiarism, right there. (Gregg offers up the side-by-side examples, for your perusal.)

Apparently, Lenington had sent Massie an email, in which he shined him on and asked "permission to use some of your excellent Anti-Obama comments." Massie told him this was okay so long as he made no changes and gave proper attribution -- requests that went unhonored.

Gregg has subsequently reported that Lenington is something of a serial plagiarist, as another letter to the editor published earlier this year was essentially stolen from WorldNetDaily. If you are wondering whether these habits perhaps call into question Lenngton's ability to "assess" or "superintend" schools, well, his "actions are under review by the County Attorney’s Office."

In a sort of hilarious side note to all of this, Lenington, aggrieved that not all of the newspapers he sent around his plagiarized letter to ended up printing them, opined that this proved “the point I had made in both editorials as to the death of journalism.”

Yeah, he really burned you, "journalism."

READ THE WHOLE THING:
Yellowstone County official accused of plagiarizing anti-Obama editorial [Billings Gazette]
More possible plagiarism surfaces; county official’s actions under legal review [Billings Gazette]

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