Rand Paul Rebrands Amid Plagiarism-gate

Posted November 7, 2013 at 12:52pm

Following a full week of being battered by mounting reports that he cribbed parts of others’ intellectual capital and repackaged them as his own, Sen. Rand Paul appears to have finally found safe harbor in the conservative blogosphere.

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)
(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

The Kentucky Republican has come under fire as of late for liberally borrowing third-party content (ranging from pop culture references on Wikipedia to rhetorical red meat produced by conservative think tanks) to pad his own speeches and publishing projects. After others pointed out that he’d used unattributed material from The Week for a recent Washington Times piece, the Times yanked away his weekly soapbox.

The unrelenting scrutiny appears to be throwing Paul for a loop.

Stand with Rand supporters
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The one-time media darling — a status he briefly enjoyed earlier this year following his headline-making filibuster of the administration’s drone program — has now been reduced to challenging pesky journos to duels and threatening to take his ball and go home.

None of that, however, dissuaded Breitbart News Network from bringing Paul on as its new poster boy.

Given that Team Breitbart is clearly aware of all the accusations, the right wing news outlet must believe Paul can bring something to the table other than original thought and/or unimpeachable wisdom, right?

“Senator Rand Paul speaks to a new generation of conservatives — ones who have become the foundation of the modern Tea Party and Liberty Movement,” Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon suggested in the closing lines of a Thursday release announcing the new partnership.

The meat of the media blast seems more telling:

“Paul, a Tea Party favorite and son of former libertarian Congressman Ron Paul, is widely perceived as one of the frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016,” the Breitbart PR machine crowed in the second paragraph.