It is well-known but underreported that Ann Coulter committed plagiarism with the publication of her first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Even today, Coulter denies doing so. However, a recent interview with a Coulter colleague leads to the inescapable conclusion that Coulter did, in fact, use the words and research of Michael Chapman and that she has never given him credit for his contribution to her very first best-selling book.
On July 15, 2014, I published a column chastising Coulter for daring to falsely accuse a National Review columnist of plagiarism. At that time, I brought up Coulter’s own plagiarism in 1998. That night, I briefly interviewed Mark LaRochelle, columnist for Human Events, about a number of matters unrelated to plagiarism.
The next morning, we continued our interview. I initiated the chat and he said he would be right back. A few minutes later he returned. It quickly became apparent that Coulter was coaching him. He was more reserved, not as forthcoming as he had been the previous evening. The relevant portions are provided below with annotated endnotes.
July 16, 2014
Have you seen my essay, “Ann Coulter Falsely Accuses Journalist of Plagiarism” at http://t.co/lig5hQLg5S? If so, what are your thoughts?
Would you mind checking it out and giving me your thoughts? As a member of the Human Events team, you might be able to provide some insight.
I know Chapman.
We talked about the dispute. I understand his frustration.
What did Chapman say to you?
Do you mean that he wanted payment of some kind?
I don’t know the details. I think Coulter had paid him something for research. He may have wanted co-author (or “with”) credit or something.
Do you think it was right for Coulter to fail to ever publicly acknowledge his contribution to her book? To claim that she wrote every word of it? To even deny ever having heard of his name? To threaten lawsuits against those publishing reports about it?
I don’t know about all that.
I do research, too.
Sometimes I ghostwrite.
I’m more concerned about getting the information out than getting credit.
You don’t have an opinion, Mark?
Do you think her behavior is emblematic of someone with integrity?
Michael wasn’t ghostwriting. Totally different. Did you get paid for ghostwriting?
Michael published articles and reports and did research and he was given absolutely no credit. Ann even besmirched his name.
I have too many beams in my own eye to go around throwing stones. I have forgiven people for much worse. And there are much bigger problems confronting us.
This isn’t about throwing stones, it is about accountability. And it is about the truth.
Ann plagiarized from Michael, lied about Michael, threatened legal action against anyone who spoke the truth about it. Is that integrity?
Moreover, this is but one example – an instance you are personally familiar with. But Ann has exhibited a pattern of such unethical, immoral, and ungodly behavior.
How can conservatives possibly hold liberals accountable for their misconduct if we can’t even address significant failings such as this on our side of the aisle?
And would God – the God who indeed does forgive – would He want the truth to be hidden, the lies to be concealed, the sin to be continued? I think not.
It’s only defamation if it is false.
But you still haven’t addressed my questions.
Virtually all the vilification of Coulter that chokes the media is false.
We can disagree on that. But what of Ann’s plagiarism? Do you condone that? Excuse that? Ignore that?
Any number of left-wing luminaries have committed genuine, legally actionable plagiarism. Yet they are lionized and promoted by tax-funded agencies like the National Institute for the Humanities, PBS and NPR; they are given awards and rewards. Whenever a conservative such as Rush or Coulter dares speak out, they must be silenced and banished like McCarthy.
So, because others do it, it’s OK for Ann to break the law? It’s OK for Ann to besmirch the reputation of the person she victimized? It’s OK for Ann to threaten truth-seekers? It’s OK for Regnery to side with Ann – lie! – and leave Michael high and dry?
When does doing the right thing cease to be the right thing to do?
When Chapman wrote for Human Events, he was writing for Regnery. They paid him for his work. It was theirs. They allowed Coulter to use it. She put Chapman in her acknowledgements. I understand Chapman’s position. Been there, done that.
1) Ann did not put Michael in her acknowledgements. She has never publicly acknowledged his contribution. In fact, she denied his contribution, denied even ever having heard his name.
2) Michael’s research was Michael’s.
3) Regnery lied about Michael’s part in her book, saying that every word was Ann Coulter’s. EVERY WORD.
I have a first edition hard copy. Chapman is in the acknowledgements.
[I was taken aback by his clear, bold, and unequivocal statement. For a very brief moment, I questioned myself. But then I distinctly remembered that High Crimes is the only Coulter book without an Acknowledgment.
LaRochelle lied. Why would he lie about possessing a book he did not have with an Acknowledgement it did not contain? Why would he lie about something so fact-checkable? It wasn’t his lie, it was Coulter’s.
Liars live in the moment. They always believe that their next lie will cover-up their last one. Besides, Coulter wasn’t lying to me (she knows I know the truth). She was lying to her colleague. – DB]
Would you please provide the citation?
After Chapman made a public dispute, Coulter (or Regnery) removed his name from later editions.
Please provide the citation.
Also, why spitefully remove his name if he was originally acknowledged? His contribution to her book still remains his contribution.
When privately questioned about the omission of Michael’s name, why did Ann say it would be corrected in the softcover, but never correct it?
I don’t know about that. Acknowledgement is at the author’s discretion. If I accused an author who acknowledged my research of plagiarism, I wouldn’t be surprised to be removed.
As far as “Chapman’s research is his own” – I wish! Human Events retains the rights to every article I ever got paid for.
“Research” not “article” – unpublished research.
How did Coulter acquire Chapman’s unpublished work?
Terence Jeffrey wanted Ann and Michael to co-author the book. Terence asked Michael to give everything he had to Ann. He did so, expecting credit and/or co-authorship.
I’ll ask Terry about that.
Please do. Also, would you mind scanning that Acknowledgement for me?
Thanks in advance.
[After a lengthy pause]
Can you get back to me on Terry and the Acknowledgement?
July 21, 2014
[I waited for several days for LaRochelle to do his research on Terry and the Acknowledgement. – DB]
Hi Mark. Are you there?
Hi Mark. Do you have a moment?
Were you able to scan the High Crimes’ Acknowledgement for me?
[Shortly afterwards, LaRochelle blocked my access to his Facebook page. – DB]
July 22, 2014
[The following morning, I sent the following email to LaRochelle. – DB]
Subject: Ann Coulter’s Plagiarism
Thank you for your (abruptly terminated) Facebook chat. Have you ever noticed that people who refuse to talk are generally those who have something to hide?
I eagerly anticipated seeing your scan of Ann’s Acknowledgement in High Crimes. My own first editions (both hard cover and soft cover) of High Crimes contain no Acknowledgement whatsoever. I’d like to see what yours looks like.
Ann lied to you, she lied about Michael (and me), and she has turned you into a liar, too.
You have discovered how easy it is to become an enabler, to condone and enable sin, instead of what we are called to do: expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11-14).
The bottom line: Ann plagiarized from Michael, using his words and his research without giving him credit. That is the very definition of plagiarism. Then she denied knowing him, attacked him, and threatened legal action against the press reporting on it. Cover-up? Of course.
Moreover, Regnery literally said that High Crimes was 100% Ann Coulter. A lie. And now you have joined the ranks of those who will defend Ann no matter how wrong she is.
Would Jesus approve?
If you want to talk, I can be reached at 240-476-9690.
You can use this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Not without its irony, in my first interview with LaRochelle, Mark wrote “My personal experience (with Ann) is mostly in helping with the research for her McCarthy chapters in ‘Treason.’” Would that be the Treason in which LaRochelle was not credited? Yes!
[See Propaganda: Orwell in the Age of Ann Coulter, available as a free PDF download at http://www.coulterwatch.com/propaganda.pdf, for a more detailed examination of Ann Coulter’s much-neglected plagiarism in her very first book. To date, Coulter has yet to publicly acknowledge the many contributions in words and research provided by her colleague, Michael Chapman. – DB]
 This is an admission that Coulter “copied passages” from Chapman’s articles.
 This is an utter impossibility as High Crimes and Misdemeanors did not have an Acknowledgements section. Already the lies are materializing.
 Coulter paid Chapman absolutely nothing!
 He doesn’t have an opinion about a colleague’s adherence to moral and ethical practices in journalism?
 So? Don’t all journalists?
 That’s nice. Stealing credit is illegal. Besides, Chapman did want the credit – credit to which he was entitled.
 In other words, he is turning a blind eye to his colleague’s wrongdoing – because she is his colleague (and rich and powerful). What she did wasn’t so bad, so let’s forget it. Let’s hide the truth. Besides, I forgive her, so Chapman should, too.
 Certainly, Coulter is a very criticized person – from the Left. Very few conservatives criticize her, especially when she deserves criticism.
 Actually, Coulter is probably the most defaming individual since McCarthy. Most substantive criticisms of Coulter are largely accurate and based in reality. Coulter does lie, does use hate speech, does employ elimination rhetoric, and does deliberately offend other people.
 The reverse is true.
 Consider his immediate parsing and equivocation: “genuine, legally actionable plagiarism.” Coulter’s plagiarism was definitely genuine and legally actionable, but his assertion implies it isn’t.
 The Left gets away with it, so shouldn’t Coulter? Can we please dispense now and forever with the “everybody does it” defense?
 The issue is not silencing or censorship, it is plagiarism – a crime!
 Human Events may have owned the published work, but not the credit. Chapman deserves the recognition.
 Once again, High Crimes did not contain an Acknowledgement. This is pure fiction.
 A flat out lie, as noted above. Coulter must have provided these words to LaRochelle. Who would volunteer such an assertion on their own, one which could so easily be refuted if inaccurate? LaRochelle clearly did not know there was no Acknowledge in High Crimes. Coulter must have dictated his answer, lying to me (and to LaRochelle).
 Yet another detailed lie provided by Coulter. Chapman certainly never made that claim. Coulter is the only possible source for this lie. Moreover, the public dispute arose years later, not 1998. Chapman tried, privately, to address the matter.
 Yet another rationalization. If Coulter had credited him in her Acknowledgement, there would have been no basis for a charge of plagiarism. She could have easily said, “Look, here’s your credit!”
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