CNN analyst Matt Egan provided a bizarre defense of former Harvard University President Claudine Gay, who resigned on Tuesday after being accused of more than 50 acts of plagiarism. Egan claimed that Gay is not actually accused of plagiarism, just “copying other peoples’ writing.”
“These plagiarism allegations of where Claudine Gay has had to issue corrections of multiple corrections now we should note that um… Claudine Gay has not been accused of stealing anyone’s ideas in any of her writings uh… she’s been accused of sort of a more, like copying other people’s writings without attribution,” Egan said. “So it’s been more sloppy at attribution than stealing anyone’s ideas.”
The bizarre statement with met with ridicule on X.
“‘Copying other peoples writing without attribution’ – if only we had a word for this,” said Damien Toell.
“CNN is showing how their reporters are a bunch of flunkies who don’t know the meaning of words,” conservative journalist Kyle Becker chimed in.
CNN is showing how their reporters are a bunch of flunkies who don't know the meaning of words
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) January 2, 2024
CNN is the network that called the BLM riots “mostly peaceful” so we should expect no less from the leader in fake news
— Paul A. Szypula 🇺🇸 (@Bubblebathgirl) January 2, 2024
A robber can't steal money from you, they can only take money from you without acknowledging who held the money first.
— Fed Up Kentuckian (@FedUpKentuckian) January 2, 2024
In her resignation letter released Tuesday, Gay seldom mentioned the accusations levied against her and instead blamed the stress of “personal attacks” and “racial animus” for her resignation.
Gay has been accused of copying works from other academics upwards of 50 times, including her 1997 doctoral dissertation, which was corrected after Harvard determined that it contained “duplicative language without appropriate attribution.”
Harvard President Claudine Gay faces six new plagiarism allegations, totaling nearly 50. An article from 2001 shows significant unattributed borrowing from scholar David Canon. The controversy highlights disparities in academic plagiarism standards. pic.twitter.com/vb8Vb2ornw
— Lavrion Mining (@LavrionMining) January 2, 2024
“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president,” Gay, 53, wrote in the letter announcing her resignation.
“[I]t has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can … focus on the institution rather than any individual,” she went on to complain.
Gay became the second Ivy League university president to resign following a disastrously congressional hearing in which they failed to explicitly condemn calls for violence against Jews. University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned last month after intense backlash.