Washington pundit Juan Williams stepped into a mini-scandal this week after Salon reported that he plagiarized a report on immigration reform produced by the Center for American Progress, a mistake Williams blamed on an assistant.
Williams, who dishes most of his punditry on Fox News, revealed in his admission how much some of the top columnists depend on researchers to produce their pieces. A similar problem last year hit TV host Fareed Zakaria, who said he had unintentionally plagiarized when he mistakenly mixed up different notes from different sources.
Williams’ error in a column for The Hill was first reported on Salon by Alex Seitz-Wald.
“I was writing a column about the immigration debate and had my researcher look around to see what data existed to pump up this argument and he sent back what I thought were his words and summaries of the data,” Williams told Seitz-Wald. “I had never seen the CAP report myself, so I didn’t know that the young man had in fact not summarized the data, but had taken some of the language from the CAP report.”
The Hill revised the Williams column after CAP brought the similarities to the attention of its editor, Hugo Gordon, including a note referring to the “previously-omitted attribution to the Center for American Progress.”