Mehdi Hasan of MSNBC has a plagiarism problem. It appears that, as with the cases of John Oliver and James Corden, Britain is not sending its best. The pundit also seems to be as much of a chameleon as Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, taking whatever position gets him ahead.
Lee Fang, a reporter formerly at the Intercept, published an investigative piece on his Substack looking at Hasan’s journalistic (or, maybe, not-so-journalistic) history. “Writing” an article in 2000 taking up the cause of spanking disobedient kids, he took — almost to the letter — the text from a 1998 article in US News and World Report. A few alterations here and there to account for the difference in date, and voila!
Hasan pulled a similar stunt later that year when he copied and pasted (or its 2000 equivalent) the text from a piece about the Israel-Palestine conflict without proper attribution.
Aside from plagiarism, the pundit also has a penchant for changing his views with the seasons. At one point, Hasan, in an application letter to the conservative Daily Mail, wrote, “I am also attracted by the Mail’s social conservatism on issues like marriage, the family, abortion and teenage pregnancies. I’d like to write a piece for the Mail making the left-wing case against abortion…” Now, he goes on the attack against the pro-life cause in the United States.
The application letter to the Daily Mail brings up another point. Having previously called the publication the “immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting Daily Mail,” why exactly did he decide to apply to and praise it? “I believe the Mail has a vitally important role to play in the national debate,” Hasan said, “and I admire your relentless focus on the need for integrity and morality in public life…”
Cockburn would like to assure The Spectator’s US readers that Hasan is not a fair representation of UK journalists. After all, most of Cockburn’s British colleagues are fine — and at least a couple of them are honest…