Rep. Tim Moffitt Caught Plagiarizing Content on Shady Lawmaker Blogs
Over 75 Examples of Plagiarism Found on Blog Network Used By 30+ GOP Lawmakers
Rep. Tim Moffitt’s controversial media company, InTouchNC, is busy scrubbing over 75 examples of plagiarism from the lawmaker’s network of right-wing blogs portrayed as official legislative newsletters in more than 30 districts.
The attached spreadsheet outlines dozens of cases in which Moffitt’s website lifts whole sentences or even multiple paragraphs from third-party sources. some cases, Moffitt’s blog plagiarizes from special-interest talking points such as the oil and gas industry. Some of these blog posts were included in Moffitt’s “Raleigh Digest” insert in the Citizen-Times last November.
“Any first-year journalism student could tell you that copying entire paragraphs and passing it off as your own writing is clear-cut plagiarism that would get you expelled from most colleges,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress North Carolina Action. “More troubling is that Moffitt’s blog has posed as the work of an independent public servant. Instead, Moffitt has clearly acted as a propaganda mouthpiece for special interests like the oil and gas industry.”
Nearly half of the examples of plagiarism discovered by Progress North Carolina were found in a single post, “Fracking Awesome.” Many of the plagiarized passages were lifted from sources such as Cabot Oil & Gas, the company involved in fracking-related water contamination in Pennsylvania, and the American Exploration & Production Council, a fracking lobbyist.
Moffitt’s network of nearly-identical websites is made to look like official newsletters (complete with a modified state seal at the top) from each lawmaker who pays for one. If a constituent didn’t already know about InTouchNC, they’d have no way of knowing those blog posts weren’t written by their own lawmaker.
“It’s startling to learn that Moffitt is acting as a mouthpiece for special interests like the oil and gas industry by plagiarizing their word for word talking points on his website,” added Brenner. “What’s worse is that his copy-and-paste plagiarism racket is used by state lawmakers across North Carolina. Maybe those politicians are fine with parroting propaganda from special interest groups like Big Oil. Maybe they are not. These politicians should explain. Hopefully, they won’t look to Moffitt for talking points on that explanation.”