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Monday, July 18, 2016
Do Plagiarists Deserve A Second Chance?
world can be forgiving and provide second chances to those who break the law,
violate a code or hurt the ones they’re supposed to love. But should the book publishing world – and
readers – embrace a writer who violated the moral and professional trust of his
profession, not once, but twice?
Lehrer admits to fabricating quotes, failing to cite secondary sources, and
presenting factual errors in his earlier book How We Decide. It was pulled
from the shelves by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt several years ago. An earlier book, Imagine: How Creativity Works,
was also pulled. The author is a
he deserve another chance to write, publish, and sell his books? Simon & Schuster decided to publish A Book About Love, Lehrer’s latest tomb. Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and leading
indies show no qualms in selling his book, which he says was independently fact-checked,
Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the book
issue here is that readers and the media can’t fully trust a writer’s work if
his history has been so dishonest and sloppy.
How can we be asked to have faith in the materials and ideas he brings
forth? Did his poor ethics, lack of
judgment or skill as a well-researched writer dramatically improve from his
fraudulent works to now?
lawyer committed crimes at work would you hire him to defend you? If a woman got divorced because she cheated on
her last pair of husbands, would you marry her?
If a baseball player was caught doing steroids, would you want to sign
that player to a huge long-term contract?
the other hand, don’t we allow kids who cheated on texts back in school? Don’t employers sometimes hire convicted
felons? Aren’t there women who take back
their philandering husbands? Don’t
sports teams forgive players accused of domestic abuse, addiction, or other
love and respect writing books too much to condone any behavior that conflicts
with the preservation of information accurately. Books are society’s legacy and we can’t
afford for anything but truth and accuracy to survive. I could never support a
writer who cheated his or her way to publication.
I also condemn censorship. Everyone has
a right to publish a book, no matter how offensive the book or person is. We,
as a society must be vigilant to make sure we don’t support, blindly, a book or
writer – ever. The burden falls on us to
make sure we champion only those who deserve it.