Tim Russert’s Journalistic Lack of Integrity: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodiwn, Fake Historian and plagiarist: Frequent “Meet the Press” guest.

Tim Russert, the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died on June 13, 2008. He frequently invited fraudulent “historian” Doris Kearns Goodwin to be his guest on the venerable Sunday morning programme. A broadcast journalist such as the late Mr Russert had an obligation to inform his audience, not to deceive and present an impostor as a source of information. Ms Goodwin is a plagiarist and fraud who stole another author’s work, Lynne McTaggart, and passed it off as her own. She attempted at one point to silence Ms McTaggart from whom she lifted a mansucript with hush money. When caught, Ms Goodwin, ever the liar, said it was “unintentional.” No it was intentional. One knows before graduation from high school that it is wrong to use another’s work and claim authorship. There is no innocence-is-bliss defence for plagiarism as she tried to cover it up by writing checks!!

This quotation is from History News Network that explored the matter in depth:

“In January 2002 Goodwin was accused of plagiarism in The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, she also “lied about whether it was plagiarism (and, incidentally, paid hush money to one of the people she plagiarized).”

PBS’ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” recognised this “historian” was a fake and dropped her as a regular “presidential historian.” She was also removed as a referee for the Pulitzer Prizes and eliminated as an overseer [Board of Overseers] at Harvard. Yet Mr Russert continued to give this immoral cheat, a prominent voice as an authority on “Meet the Press.”

I was enraged every time her appearance was announced and simply turned off my television. Yesterday, as MSNBC began its first of what is now daily round-the-clock hagiographic coverage of his untimely death of a coronary thrombosis at  the age fifty-eight, I even heard a brief audio interview with Ms Goodwin about a “book” when I switched channels immediately.

Why did Tim Russert consider her an authority on American history when she is a plagiarist who apparently knows nothing independently from what she stole from others research? Why did he continue to give her such media prominence when other news organisations, and prestigious entities such as Harvard and Pulitzer (Columbia School of Journalism) removed her? Why was he not sufficiently convinced that his job to inform the American people was sullied by this individual who has no credentials and no credibility in the academic community?

I have dropped her from my syllabi; I do not use her works in any area of research; I inform students if they mention her as a source not to consider ANY of her works as valid; I consider her an immoral and disgraceful individual who arrogantly continues to pass herself off as a “historian.” I am a historian and I assure you she is not. She has no academic credentials, sold at least one book that was plagiarised and yet Tim Russert fawningly had her as a frequent guest on “Meet the Press.”

Tim Russert was a hardworking, well-prepared and entertaining media personality. He courageously named Senator Barack Obama as the winner of the Democratic Party presidential nomination after his brilliant primary victory in North Carolina and impressive showing in Indiana–the former capital of the powerful 1920s Ku Klux Klan. Yet I believe, with all due respect, that Mr Russert disgraced his profession, NBC and General Electric and demonstrated an arrogant disregard of ethics and morality in his continued reliance on Ms Goodwin as a source of historical insight on his programme. This behaviour must be condemned and considered part of his legacy–a mixed and frankly flawed one. 
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