ABC, NBC Ignore Montana Democrat Accused of Plagiarizing Masters Thesis

On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his masters thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.” 

Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]

In a news brief on Thursday morning, CBS co-anchor Norah O’Donnell highlighted the Times’ story:

The New York Times reports that a different senator, Montana Democrat John Walsh plagiarized his Master’s thesis. The Times analyzed Walsh’s thesis which he needed for his degree from the United States Army War College. That degree was considered one of his most important achievements. The newspaper says at least 25 percent of the paper highlighted in pink and yellow was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced. The Iraq War veteran admits he made a mistake but he says he was being treated at the time for post-traumatic stress. 

While CBS was the only “big three” network to cover Democrat John Walsh’s plagiarism controversy, it failed to mention the possible repercussions for his actions:  

From the Times report

After the New York Times published the article about Mr. Walsh’s paper online on Wednesday, the War College’s provost, Lance Betros, a retired brigadier general, said in a telephone interview that the college would begin an investigation immediately. Mr. Walsh’s paper will be run through an online plagiarism detection program, the provost said, and if there is evidence of a violation, the college will convene an academic review board to determine whether Mr. Walsh committed plagiarism and, if so, whether it was intentional.

The school’s commandant would ultimately determine any punishment. “We’re not going to treat this any differently than with another student,” Dr. Betros said. But Dr. Betros emphasized that the War College’s students were repeatedly reminded about the strict academic integrity policy. “We drill that in incessantly,” he said.

See relevant transcript below: 


CBS

CBS This Morning 

July 24, 2014

NORAH O’DONNELL: The New York Times reports that a different senator, Montana Democrat John Walsh plagiarized his Master’s thesis. The Times analyzed Walsh’s thesis which he needed for his degree from the United States Army War College. That degree was considered one of his most important achievements. The newspaper says at least 25 percent of the paper highlighted in pink and yellow was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced. The Iraq War veteran admits he made a mistake but he says he was being treated at the time for post-traumatic stress. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.