The Harvard board has promised to let Harvard president Claudine Gay keep her job, despite multiple scandals. On one hand, she has been criticized for failing to say that calls for Jewish genocide violate Harvard's policies. And then, there's her plagiarism scandal. But is this just a random attack dug up by conservatives trying to take her down? Washington Free Beacon staff writer Aaron Sibarium joins Glenn to explain why this is not the case at all. Harvard has known about President Gay's plagiarism scandal for months — and even hired "the best defamation law firm in the country" to try and shut the media's reporting efforts down. But why go through all this trouble to protect her? Aaron explains his theory and also breaks down why these alleged instances of plagiarism are so serious.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errorsGLENN: There's a couple of things going on with -- with a woman that runs Harv
And one of them is, hey. I have to have a room with -- with color crayons. And comic books, so you can read a comic book, and then, you know, color a happy tree. Because you feel like you're being, you know -- you have microaggressions all around you.
Stopping free speech everywhere, unless you're calling for, you know, the death of Jews.
Then, I guess, hey.
You know, free speech.
But there's something else that has now been brought up, that I think people knew about in the Harvard world.
But didn't say anything.
And that is the fact that its president Claudine Gay, broke Harvard's own code of conduct on plagiarism.
And it's a pretty significant amount of plagiarism.
Including her doctoral dissertation.
Parts of it were wholly plagiarized.
And she never credited anybody.
Now, here's why this matters: You plagiarize something. I don't really care.
You plagiarize something in a book. And claim it's yours.
Okay. I care. Because that's stealing from somebody else. You plagiarize in a university. Well, you're setting the standards, and trying to hold those standards of academic excellence and honesty. And if the person who is at the top is known to have plagiarized. How do you tell the students, we're going to kick you out?
This has nothing to do with her testimony, but it has everything to do with how corrupt our -- our universities are. How morally corrupt they are.
We have Aaron Sibarium on with us now.
He wrote a great piece for the Washington free beacon. And we wanted to talk to him about this.
You went to Yale. And you were the editor of the Yale Daily News. So you know something about Ivy League, and plagiarism.
Not really celebrated, is it?
AARON: No, Glenn. It is not. It is not celebrated. And, in fact, I would say that generally, at you all of these standards to get a lecture thing, it doesn't matter how small. It doesn't matter if it's unintentional. Even if you do it with the best intentions, it's still a serious problem. You should double-check your work to make sure absolutely nothing is plagiarized. That is what Harvard tells the students in a very long document that outlines its policy very clearly. It's no fewer than five times indicates that intent is irrelevant. Any language or even just ideas or content from someone else, and don't cite them, it's plagiarism. And according to the letter of the Harvard plagiarism policies, A, they clearly violated them.
GLENN: Yeah, and like significant.
I mean, you in your article go threw it. We don't have to go threw it here. But it's significant. Why does this matter?
AARON: Well, look, people do make mistakes.
And if this were -- if this was what we found out of a corpus of, say, a hundred or 200 peer-reviewed papers, one of which had won a noble prize. He might say, okay. A few paragraphs here or a there. It's the overall content. It's not such a big deal.
I think it's worth emphasizing that she had published in total, 11 peer-reviewed articles. Eleven in the past two decades. That is a really, really small number for any academic I think at a prestigious university. But especially for the academic that the university chooses to elevate to its position.
So you're not talking about a few instances of maybe perilous citations or plagiarism. How to have 100 papers. You're talking about it out of 11 papers. Right?
So we found -- so there have been, you know, 11 peer-reviewed articles. Two of them. We found examples of plagiarism.
Then a dissertation. Then another thing that she wrote. That is in another peer-reviewed journal.
So this starts to amount to a pretty substantial percentage of her academic output. That contained at least some plagiarized material.
So as a percentage thing, I think it's not actually the best way to look at it.
It's not just a couple mistakes here or there. It seems to be a pattern. And a pattern that is fairly consistent throughout two decades of relatively meager scholarly output. Meager scholarly output.
GLENN: So this is not anything new. It's my understanding it's kind of been known and kicked around for a while, but just kept quiet and didn't matter. Is that true?
AARON: Well, yeah, it appears to be true. Because just last night, the New York Post reported that they had many of these examples, confronted Harvard with them. All the way back in October. And Harvard claimed, oh, we addressed this promptly. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we initiated the review. And Dr. Gay requested corrections.
Well, what the Harvard corporation didn't mention is that apparently, they intimidated and maybe even threatened to sue the New York Post for defamation after the New York Post reached out for comment.
So Harvard apparently took this seriously enough, that they thought it was worth hiring the best defamation law firm in the country. God knows how much they were paying them, to send a 15-page intimidation letter. To journalists who were coming to them. For examples of plagiarism.
Clearly, they thought it was worth pulling out the big bucks.
Shelling out a lot of money.
To shut this down. And that was all the way back in October.
GLENN: So why would they do this? To protect -- I mean, why?
AARON: I think that Claudine Gay is an emblematic of the -- of the kind of DEI ideology that is -- that is at Harvard.
You know, some people have focused on her race and gender. And I'm sure, they don't want the -- of firing, yeah, of course.
But I actually think it's more than that. It's that she -- she kind of represents the ideology they already subscribe to, and they don't want the ideology discredited.
And also, I think they haven't gotten as much attention.
She was a very shrewd political operator before she became president. She was sort at the center of a lot of cancellations, right? She helped engineer the bureaucratic administration of votes. The Israeli famous (inaudible) at Harvard. And she helped also strip Ronald Sullivan, Harvard law professor from the administrative post, after Sullivan meets the decision to serve on Harvey Weinstein's defense team. He can't defend the unpopular. That's no longer allowed.
So she -- you know, I think had a -- had a pattern of rewarding friends and punishing enemies. And sort of maneuvered the administration and bureaucratic apparatus, Harvard, around her.
Very strictly. That's a part of how she became president.
And I think that that background may be part of why they're so unwilling to let her go.
The whole kind of institution having some sense been mobilized around her. Kind of put all the places in place.
GLENN: Right. Does it play any role, that her first cousin is Roxanne Gay. Who is a feminist author and New York Times writer, who is absolutely -- absolutely a terrible human being.
AARON: Yeah, honestly, I don't know if that really -- I think they would view this with just about anyone in her position, anyone in her position, anyone with her ideology.
AARON: I mean, and I would say, too, right? They've obviously been under pressure from donors. But they're also under pressure from their own faculty and students. And, you know, you mentioned the -- the testimony she gave where she put in forthrightly -- condemned calls for the genocide of Jews. I think part of the issue is that she couldn't really go up there and say, yeah. We support free speech in all cases. And, in fact, yes, even if you want to call for the genocide of other groups, we will protect that. Because we're so principled.
A, because it wouldn't be true. I mean, we all know it's not true.
And, B, if she would have said that, student activists would have come and tried to burn her house down.
AARON: So they really -- to be fair to her, she is kind of in a rock and a hard place. And no matter what she does, or what Harvard does, some constituency is going to throw a fit.
GLENN: Well, I have to tell you, I do not want to see harm come to anybody. But, gee, if you get nailed by your own policies and your life is tough because you shoveled this poison, and now that poison is coming back to haunt you, you know, I have a hard time. Again, with nobody being hurt, I have a really hard time giving any sympathy to her at all.
GLENN: Thank you so much. One last question, is this an issue outside of her?
Should this be an issue outside of her testimony?
In other words, is this just being brought up, because there's a mob brought up on the other side, that is saying, hey, she should be fired for this.
Is this a real issue, beyond the anti-Semitism stuff?
AARON: Obviously, anti-Semitism stuff increased scrutiny on her. It would be silly to deny that. But I'm thinking what would be an issue, you know, this -- the plagiarism, isn't quite as severe as -- it's not like data fraud.
Right? There's a guy at Stanford, right? Stepped down amid allegations of data fraud. And that was really curious, right? On its own terms.
I think this would be a scandal on its own. The anti-Semitism stuff, obviously amplifies it and makes it worse.
But, again, I think the real context here is them meager, scholarly record. Right?
Again, I really don't think people would care. I wouldn't care all that much if we had found this and it was in the context of like 200 brilliant peer-reviewed papers. That's not the context.
And I think what it underscores, this woman was clearly not chosen for her scholarly manner.
If that was the criterion, they had a lot of other candidates at Harvard, would have been better.
GLENN: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Appreciate all your work and all your writing. God bless.
AARON: Thank you.