Saturday, 1 May 2010

More Plagiarism Uncovered!

At his blog today, Andrew Bostom triumphantly links to an article by Diana West, which seems to be defending him in his recent spat with Robert Spencer over alleged "plagiarism" (whether he still would have posted it if West had been defending Spencer is unclear). The article focuses primarily on what does seem to be statements of inaccuracy and faulty memory on Spencer's part. In essence, he claims that Bostom got a certain quote from him, but in reality he got it from Bostom. A fair enough point.

But here's the interesting thing. This exact same point was made by Bostom himself at his blog two days before West made it at her own site. In other words, it seems that West "plagiarised" Bostom (that is, if we defer to Bostom's elastic and inconsistent definition of plagiarism), since she never cites him as the source for her "discovery". Will Bostom therefore admit that he is a steaming hypocrite? Unlikely, given that he has a habit of switching off his comments field, or disappearing altogether, whenever things get a little hot for him.

What this affair has basically shown is that while Bostom is a brilliant scholar of Islam, he is at his core an obnoxious little man. Spencer is worth twenty of him in this fight.

1 comment:

  1. "What this affair has basically shown is that while Bostom is a brilliant scholar of Islam, he is at his core an obnoxious little man. Spencer is worth twenty of him in this fight."

    Actually, the links you provide here take the reader to a typically insightful and rational analysis by Diana West (which contains more in it than a mere "exact" replica of Bostom's prior post), through which then the inquisitive reader is led to Bostom's update, which again fills out more pertinent information about this whole affair.

    What the reader comes away with on reading those two articles, by West and Bostom, may not necessarily dilute their sense that at least Bostom is behaving most curiously with his strange resort to insulting epithets for Spencer (e.g., "Little King") -- only strange because it comes out of the blue it seems -- but it does cast an unfortunate light also on Spencer's behavior in response. While no one relishes being insulted with hostile epithets, particularly by someone one once counted as a friend, still one must resist the temptation to tilt back emotionally. The elementary revelation that Spencer's volley fired impulsively back at Boston --

    "My April 21 article is a chapter from my 2007 book “Religion of Peace?” If Bostom used the quote from “Looming Tower” in a 2009 piece, he got it from me"

    -- is in fact diametrically incorrect (Spencer's own book, as both the West and Bostom articles demonstrate, shows that Spencer got that "Looming Tower" quote from Bostom), seems to indicate, if not that Spencer is being "gratuitous and libelous" (West's words), then certainly he is being exceedingly sloppy and forgetful. If it is the latter, one senses here, and in Bostom's hostility against Spencer that seems to come out of the blue, the intemperate and impetuous reflexes characteristic of two grown men letting their emotions about some falling out they have had -- who knows about what -- cloud their judgement and interfere with the elementary care calmer minds would take to adjudicate differences like this.

    And if this immature behavior on both their parts didn't evidently involve matters pertinent to the still inchoate anti-Islam movement about which we all have a sincere and exigent stake -- even we shabby civilians who are not the movers & shakers which Spencer is (and which to a lesser extent Bostom is) -- it would be a matter only of the private business of these two immature men.