AS77: Observations on CJ Werleman

Please note that CJ is not actually on this episode. He’s been a guest several times before but this time I wanted to talk about what’s happening with him, and not have him in the proverbial room. He has been very vocal about his dislike of Harris’s views, as seen in this video:

And now he’s being accused of plagiarism: http://www.gspellchecker.com/2014/10/is-cj-werleman-a-plagiarist/

Serious charges, but are they appropriate? Listen for an honest take, as is the norm with your fake Norm McDonald, Thomas Smith.

7 thoughts on “AS77: Observations on CJ Werleman”

  1. Solid episode. As someone who’s followed the Harris debate recently, I thought you gave a fair observation and critique of all sides.

  2. Picked up on the person you were wondering about talking about a previous podcast about plagiarism with Tom and Cecil they were referring to the journalist and author Jonah Lehrer.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/20/jonah-lehrer-s-self-plagiarism-scandal-rocks-the-new-yorker.html

    This whole CJ Werleman is similar to the Christopher Hedges plagiarism scandal. Wonder if you can draw any parallels, especially because the same arguments have been used against Sam Harris.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118114/chris-hedges-pulitzer-winner-lefty-hero-plagiarist

  3. Harris has since posted the email exchange, and the last email by CJ is not included. I would suggest, given what we now know, that he never actually sent it. He simply wrote it, and added it to the list so he could have the last word.

  4. Given the fact that he’s shown himself repeatedly to be willing to be fast, and loose with his characterization of people’s statements I don’t buy his “apology” for a moment. That being said since you did this podcast dozens of additional instances of plagiarism have been unearthed.

  5. I think you are being careless with your continued references to supporters of Sam Harris’ being fanboys or “ardent” followers. This is a very common accusation about people who defend Harris, but it is a mere projection, and you are giving it validity.

    I don’t agree with Harris on everything, but I am often accused of being a “fanboy” when I defend Harris against people who lie about Harris’ position. Atheists are used to being accused of being “just as fundamentalist” as religious people, or “just as dogmatic” as religious conservatives, but this is a projection. When people use dishonest tactics, and you stick up for the truth, people accuse you of being “rabid” or obsessed, but it’s such nonsense that it is not even worth responding to (it’s actually a way of changing of topic), let alone accepting it as an obvious fact about the world, the way you do.

    I’m sorry to say, but that critic you mentioned in the beginning of the episode is absolutely correct about your style. You are being way too wishy-washy here. You are trying to find some happy middle ground in a case where one side is blatantly lying and being dishonest. And now you are even downplaying the charges of plagiarism, as if they are nothing. This is a huge problem with modern progressives – the desire to excuse dishonest behavior as mere difference of opinion, and outright plagiarism as simple laziness. You have values, don’t you? Stick up for them.

    Plagiarism is always a big deal. I can’t believe you are defending plagiarism, or buying into Werleman’s framing of the charges being a distraction.

    Even without the plagiarism charges, Werleman has demonstrated a clear willingness to lie and is not a trustworthy writer. This much was clear before the plagiarism charges came out. You may be okay with lying, but it’s one of those “traditional” values that is worth keeping around. Maybe you are just trying so hard to give Werleman the benefit of the doubt that you have overlooked the extent of his dishonesty.

    This happens too much with progressives. They love certain figures so much that they excuse lying and plagiarism (Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, etc)

    1. I’m really not sure where all this is coming from. I’m not at all a fan of Chris Hedges or Glenn Greenwald, as I’ve stated many times. I firmly believe that CJ was way more lazy than he was dishonest, in terms of the plagiarism charges, since he cited the writings he was referencing numerous times in other works. Again, not good, but not quite what you’re making it out to be. Incidentally, I’m not a fan of CJ’s writing at all. I thought I made clear that I really dislike his rhetoric and I find it incredibly irritating. It’s interesting that you’re assigning all these motives to me that I don’t actually feel. So it weakens your argument’s impact on me.

      1. I think the point Vlad is trying to make is that being a Devils advocate isn’t always a necessary position.

        CJ has been proven as dishonest individual in his discussions, email exchanges and professional writing. Giving him the benefit of the doubt feels to Vlad an unnecessarily generous especially as his apology doesn’t even admit the full extent of his plagiarism ( half a dozen, not the 12 reported at the time, and more since then ).

        I suspect Vlad is cross because CJ has a platform and audience that ( like him ) won’t refer to original sources but just lap up what he writes. This becomes in turn dangerous for people like Sam Harris because fundamentalists “buy” what CJ says Harris has said

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