Daniel Peterson and Admitting Defeat

Some people just get a pass. It’s not right but it’s the way things are. Recently on our blog, Daniel Peterson’s piece in the Deseret News was noticed for its wholesale borrowing from unattributed sources that far exceeds the bounds of academic (and probably journalistic standards). Submitted as a student essay, this piece would have earned Peterson a trip to the dean/provost of students. Submitted to a peer reviewed journal, this piece would have garnered a swift rejection. Or had it made it to print, official censure. This is serious business.

But as it is, it looks like Peterson is going to escape any repercussions for this ethical breach and for publicly misleading thousands and thousands of DN readers. And apparently not even his friends/colleagues can make him own his wrongdoing. In a comment threatening legal action against FPR for suggesting this dishonesty, Blake Ostler also promised to make Peterson “come clean” if he had in fact been caught plagiarizing. TT’s subsequent post detailed how strong the case against Peterson is. Ostler, to date, has gone silent and has either failed to compel Peterson to concede mischief or has not attempted to do so, suggesting his initial promise was empty rhetoric. Furthermore, except for this brief threat leveled and then abandoned by Ostler, none of Peterson’s many, vociferous followers and friends have stood up to exculpate his actions on the one hand, or condemn them on the other. The radio silence is absolute.

Peterson has dodged this and apparently nobody cares.

Carry on. You can expect Peterson’s next Deseret News piece faithfully defending your faith to appear on schedule.

We admit defeat.

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