CNN's Blitzer: 'I Don't Remember' Biden's Law School Plagiarism

September 18th, 2008 10:55 PM

On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:

BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?

TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.

BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?

TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.

BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.

While I have no basis to doubt Blitzer's statement, it's difficult to understand how the anchor, who at times displays an encyclopedic knowledge on matters political, doesn't know about Biden's law school plagiarism.  The Democratic vice presidential candidate admitted to it over two decades ago and the incident has been widely covered in recent weeks.

In August, Associated Press writers Pete Yost and Holbrook Mohr reported:

Biden admitted back in 1987 that he had committed plagiarism while a freshman at Syracuse University law school and that he occasionally used other people's words in his speeches without giving credit.

The Chicago Sun-Times's Carol Felsenthal wrote:

Biden got in trouble in 1965, during his first year in law school. He wrote a paper in which he lifted five pages verbatim from the Fordham Law Review. He was given an “F” in the course. He managed to avoid being bounced from law school, retook the course and earned a B.
In Slate, David Greenberg's account included:

If that wasn't bad enough, Biden admitted the next day that while in law school he had received an F for a course because he had plagiarized five pages from a published article in a term paper that he submitted.

Earlier this month, Jennifer Fermino of Post Wire Services completed her story on Biden:

He was caught using a passage in his stump speech from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock, without attributing it, while at the Iowa State Fair.
He'd cited Kinnock's words before - and given him his due credit - but for some reason, didn't that time.

Soon after that scandal, new plagiarism allegations surfaced.

Biden had cheated on a law-school paper by cribbing parts of another work, and he was also caught using parts of a Robert F. Kennedy speech without citation.
He quit the race shortly after the cheating came to light.

As I said, Biden's plagiarism in law school has been widely reported.  Perhaps this lapse in Blitzer's awareness is attributable to him depending on CNN for full and complete information.  Maybe he should spend more time talking with Trump.