Nouvel Observateur: Un cas classique de plagiat
This morning, as i often do, i sat down at my desk and fired up my computer to read the news of the day. I started, as i usually do, by reading the New York Times, the Washington Post, the overnight breaking news form Reuters and AP, and then Le Monde. Nothing caught my attention until i went to the NouvelObs.com. And there, i read an article by Renaud Dély titled “Hollande face au piège sarkozyste de ‘l’union nationale’.” The article sounded very familiar. The arguments presented by Mr. Dély felt like i read them somewhere else. Then, it hit me. Of course, those arguments sounded familiar to me because i wrote them, on this blog about two months ago in a post titled “France: Sarkozy, une strategie electorale a la Bush 2004.”
This is a classic case of plagiarism. Mr. Dély took my arguments, rewrote them, reworked them, and presented them as his. If Mr. Dély were one of my students, i would fail him for presenting an argument that is not his without properly citing the original source or citing the original work.
In my October 27, 2011 post, i argued that the incumbent president Sarkozy’s main strategy would be to present himself as the only valuable, unifying, and less risky candidate out there. His reelection strategy would be to limit the choices of the French voters to a binary choice/option. Either they choose an “experienced, battle-hardened, steady-handed leader and the captain who navigated the treacherous waters and brought [Ship France] to a safe harbor in these dire times”, or gamble and choose an alternative that would be a very risky option in this time of crisis–i.e., choosing Hollande. Sarkozy (just like Bush in 2004)
“cannot run on domestic issues. He has one of the worst record in job creation of the fifth republic; he has introduced highly controversial reforms that have not yielded any results (social security reform, retirement reform, education and so forth) he has a poor record on immigration control; he has a poor record on the economy and economic growth; and he has a poor record on security. During his tenure, deficit spending went through the roof and the overall charge of the national debt has tremendously increased. So what else out there is left to run on? In two words: leadership and national unity” (Laseptiemewilaya, October 27, 2011).
Furthermore, in the same post, i argued that Hollande has to have a careful electoral campaign strategy and must focus on tying Sarkozy to his record. If Sarkozy is trying to run away from his abysmal record, Hollande, as the challenger in chief, has to focus like a laser beam on the incumbent’s record.
Well, this is what Mr. Dély basically wrote in his article today. Why did he not cite my work? That is a question that Mr. Dély needs and has to answer. I sent him an email and left a comment below his article (I think the comment has magically disappeared from the comments section). Now the ball is in his camp. Although i am not expecting him to reply and answer my request, but i have to say that i hate plagiarism. Plagiarism is cheating; plagiarism is taking someone else’s work, ideas, arguments and presenting them as yours. It is a flagrant sign of intellectual laziness and dishonesty, and Mr. Dély has shown himself to be a good incarnation of these two nefarious values.