Sunday, January 14, 2024

Always Nice to See You Will At Least Be a Footnote to History

 1/14/24 American Conservative article how plagiarism and other academic no-no ruless are selectively enforced depending on whether you can claim victimhood and progressive team membership.

Sadly, labeling critics as “bad faith” actors has become a default weapon of its own for burying factually accurate revelations of academic misconduct by figures on the political left. We saw this same defensive pattern emerge in the early 2000s controversy around Michael Bellesiles, then a history professor at Emory University. Bellesiles’s book, Arming America, skyrocketed to academic fame primarily because its historical narrative bolstered present-day arguments for firearms regulation. When researcher Clayton Cramer uncovered evidence that Bellesiles falsified his sources and made unsupported claims from nonexistent historical records, academia circled the wagons. The American Historical Association passed a resolution depicting Bellesiles as a victim of harassment, and numerous scholars attacked Cramer as a “bad faith” critic with ties to the firearms lobby. They only changed their tune when the evidence became impossible to ignore, resulting in Bellesiles’s resignation and the revocation of the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book.

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