AP admits widely panned story on Harvard plagiarism didn't meet standards

Posted 54 days ago


The Associated Press updated a headline on Wednesday that deemed plagiarism a "new conservative weapon," following widespread backlash to the post on X, admitting the story did not meet the outlet's standards.

"The story doesn’t meet our standards," Lauren Easton, the VP of AP Corporate Communications, told Fox News Digital. She said they were in the process of updating the headline.

The AP's original headline read, "Harvard president’s resignation highlights new conservative weapon against colleges: plagiarism," which was widely mocked on social media, after Harvard President Claudine Gay announced she would be resigning from the position on Tuesday.

"Plagiarism charges downed Harvard’s president. A conservative attack helped to fan the outrage," the AP's new headline reads.

"American higher education has long viewed plagiarism as among the most serious of offenses. Accusations of plagiarism have ruined the careers of academics and undergraduates alike," the AP's updated lede reads.

Gay resigned following several allegations of plagiarism on Tuesday, and claimed any attacks against her were fueled by "racial animus" in a letter announcing her decision.

"My deep sense of connection to Harvard and its people has made it all the more painful to witness the tensions and divisions that have riven our community in recent months, weakening the bonds of trust and reciprocity that should be our sources of strength and support in times of crisis. Amidst all of this, it has been distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor—two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am—and frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus," she wrote.

Gay also faced widespread criticism over her response to a question at a congressional hearing about whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated Harvard's code of conduct. Gay initially said it depended on the "context," before issuing an apology.

"Reviews by conservative activists and then by a Harvard committee did find multiple shortcomings in Gay’s academic citations. In dozens of instances first published by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, Gay’s work includes long stretches of prose that mirror language from other published works," the AP's original piece said.... (Read more)