MSNBC: Rand Paul Didn't Plagiarize His NSA Lawsuit

All it took was an e-mail to find out


but not my work?
Young Americans for Liberty (now a separate thing from NBC News' website) has updated its story on allegations that Rand Paul had "plagiarized" a portion of his lawsuit over the NSA. An editor's note highlights that a story now headlined "Rand Paul didn't plagiarizes his NSA lawsuit" was originally titled "Rand Paul accused of plagiarizing his NSA lawsuit." What made MSNBC determine the accusations of plagiarism were baseless? They were denied by the lawyer whose ex-wife made the original claim. MSNBC reports:

Late Wednesday, the Washington Post published a story quoting Mattie Fein, identified as the ex-wife and spokesperson of conservative attorney Bruce Fein, saying that Paul and Cuccinnelli had used Bruce Fein's legal work without fully compensating him, and that the filing in the lawsuit was identical to one Fein had worked on for Paul's PAC.

A spokesperson for RANDPAC forwarded an email from Fein denying Mattie Fein's allegations. "Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me," Fein said in the email. "Her quotes were her own and did not represent my views.  I was working on a legal team, and have been paid for my work." Bruce Fein confirmed to msnbc that the email was from him.

Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.

More Reason on Rand Paul here and on the NSA here.

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  1. Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.

    They haven’t found a third-string copy editor to take the fall yet.

    1. Oh, I’m going to enjoy this. They’re going to just wipe out the last few atoms of credibility they have in the next couple of years trying to trash Paul.

      1. Yep. The people who watch MSNBC will be all ‘wow they’re going a little overboard aren’t they.’ Just you wait.

        1. Not them. Who cares what they emote? I meant anyone else in the universe. Literally the entire universe.

          Also, aren’t you some sort of communist?

          1. Of course not, Comra-uh, I mean, Americanski rock and roll hamburger friend.

            1. Oh, okay. Here, have some Levis.

            2. Amerikanka

              1. Or actually Amerikanyitz

  2. Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.

    Why would you need to source it? It was about a right-leaning politician.

    1. Right, who cares as long as they were able to embarrass someone without a D after their name. This whole suit is about grandstanding to become president, anyway. Death to opponents of Dear Leader!

      /summary of comments at sites running this story

    2. Their fact-checker is aboard Voyager, escaping from the solar system just about the time you read this comment.


        1. No, I told you that Auric and I had filed a claim on behalf of Sol system delineating our borders by a radius measured by the sun’s gravitational influence since its formation. About 4.6 billion light years.

          Don’t make us kick you out for trespassing.

  3. Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.

    Journalism is hard when it isn’t a copy-paste from an administration release.

  4. Last night on Hardball? Another night of Chris Matthews demonizing Christie. What a fucking piece of work.

    1. The entire MSNBC lineup is hellbent on milking Bridgeghazi for all it’s worth.

      Amazing how they don’t realize the irony of acting like Fox News on a FAKE SCANDAL!

      1. Maybe he should have spent less time worrying about libertarians and more time worrying about how dangerous the progs are.

      2. The bridge scandal (Fat & Furious to me) is also a fake scandal since seemingly no law was broken by Christie – just like with the IRS fake scandal.

        The purpose of the new media is to drum up fake news so that fake scandals extract a political toll.

        In that regard they are real.

        1. Fat & Furious hahahaha

          1. I thought progs like Tony held fat jokes to be “othering” or some such thoughtcrime.

            1. I don’t run with the PC police hippies. I believe in manners, but not removing all offensiveness or crudeness from all language. So as long as you say it behind their back, it’s fine.

              Admittedly it’s a bit of a jog to get behind Christie’s back.

            2. It’s only “othering” if it’s a liberal.

        2. Government abuses its power and shrike calls it all fake.

          Why do you even call yourself a libertarian shrike?

          According to you government can do no wrong.

          1. Concerning the White House it is a contrived scandal.

            The head of the IRS was forced out along with some underlings.

            1. Concerning the White House it is a contrived scandal.

              and it would appear concerning Christie as well.

              You are very quick to call something fake even when it is not fake. Perhaps you are correct that Obama and Christie had no knowledge of these scandals. That does not make them nothing or not problematic.

              In fact by jumping to saying they are fake you are giving Obama and Christie and the whole fucking government a pass on their culpability.

              Christie and Obama may not be to blame but they are heads of government. It is still their responsibility. Don’t just pass on it cuz it may hurt your team or the guy you like.

              Fuck what is more important to you as a libertarian? Guys you like not getting hurt or responsible government?

              1. They had 2 very different reactions. 1 denied it, hired a lackey to investigate and stonewalled. The other came out on day 1 and said this was a monumental fuckup- I’m firing people and taking accountability

          2. If memory serves, the Shreek calls himself a “classical liberal.”

            Yeah, right.

        3. Re: Palin’s Buttplug,

          The bridge scandal (Fat & Furious to me) is also a fake scandal since seemingly no law was broken by Christie

          Yes, there was – abuse of power. That’s a federal crime.

          I mean, in which country do you live, anyway?

        4. You don’t have to break the law for your actions as the head of an organization to be a scandal.

        5. Let’s review the “fake” IRS scandal.

          – Obama jokes about “auditing his enemies.”

          – Obama meets hundreds of times with IRS officials.

          – Democrat politicians call on the IRS to investigate conservative groups.

          – Obama opponents get audited. (100% of 501(4)(c) groups audited were conservative.)

          – Obama opponents also get visits from the FBI, OHSA, and BATF.

          – On the other hand, Obama-friendly groups (and a skeezy half-brother) get preferential IRS treatment.

          – Democrat politicians make more calls for the IRS to investigate conservative groups.

          Yup, sounds totally innocent. I’m sure Obama had nothing to do with any of that.

    2. Bless them. Bless them for helping to remove one more barrier to a NON-TOTAL STATE candidate for the GOP.

      1. Yep, MSNBC can make shit up too if that helps take Christie out. I just hope he sticks around long enough to draw fire away from my prefered candidate(s).

  5. Was there at least enough time between the initial claim and the debunking for Maddow to go apeshit over it on the air?

    1. Oh yes. And my Facebook page is packed with comments from the “Progressive” mouth-breathers.

  6. And, As of this minute, still on HuffPo’s front page:…..80386.html

    1. Dana Milbank also keeps quiet on the twitters.

    2. The entire story is still up on their front page, with a small note on the bottom:

      UPDATE (12:05 p.m. ET) — The following statement was provided to Paul’s office from Bruce Fein:

      “Mattie Lolavar was not speaking for me. Her quotes were her own and did not represent my views. I was working on a legal team, and have been paid for my work.”

      1. And every one of the commenters, or at least the ones that HuffPo has approved, is still pretending that the update doesn’t exist.

        1. They have not even changed the title of the article. If one were not to read all the way to the bottom, one would have the impression that this is a legitimate news story based on reliable sources.

          1. At least, as far as anyone could consider HuffPo “legitimate”.

  7. Such shoddy journalism… That sort of thing could never happen over here at the newspaper of record.

  8. Did Rand ever learn what the definition of plagiarism is?

    1. Lifting Neil Kinnock speeches and presenting them as your own?

    2. I see the resident moron has poked his head up to reassure us that he is indeed a fucking idiot.

      1. At least I know the definition of something literally everyone learns by high school.

        1. Are you sure?

          1. Am I sure about what?

            1. Are you sure about the definition you learned in high school? You’re talking about the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem Dat Teeches To Red An Writ, aren’t you?

              1. I’m sure I know what it means, though I’m less sure than I was a minute ago that everyone else (except Rand Paul) does too.

    3. Ah, more words from the village idiot.

  9. Can we expect a full retraction from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post?…..story.html



  11. MSNBC attempts to pull a hatchet job on Rand Paul and fails miserably.

    Yawn. I thought this was a regular occurence over at the “Lean Forward and Take It” Network.

    1. Don’t worry, their loyal shock troops like Tony (above) are still soldiering on, pretending that this was an actual story with some truth to it.

    2. I never understood why, in the leftist view, outsourcing is evil, but the outsourcing of MSNBC’s “reporting” to the DNC is permissible. Shouldn’t there be some concern over lost jobs and a living wage? Why no boycotts of Comcast?

      1. I can’t believe the Comcast merger is being allowed – ridiculous!

  12. They’re scared of him. Good.

    This is the second time they’ve leveled the plagiarism charge at Paul. (The first involved footnotes in a minor speech.)

    Seems they have nothing good to attack him on and will soon have to resort to debating his ideas on their own merits.

    1. “Seems they have nothing good to attack him on and will soon have to resort to debating his ideas on their own merits.”

      I lol’d

  13. And Joan Walsh at Salon doesn’t give a shit that the story was a lie.

    I think Rand Paul’s presidential hopes are untenable too. Every time the guy tries to do something statesmanlike, his opportunism and essential unseriousness get in the way. Partnering with Mark Udall to challenge the NSA would have been an important move. Instead, the suit has become a sloppy Tea Party cut-and-paste job ? just like Paul’s whole career.

    1. Irony: The first sentence in Walsh’s typical Walsh-quality piece is “You can’t make this stuff up.”

      1. +1

      2. She’s plagiarized Dave Barry, then.

    2. essential unseriousness


      1. What the fuck does that even mean?

      2. Is “unseriousness” even a word?

      3. Why is Joan Walsh paid for her opinion when I could scrape a better argument from the sole of my boot?

      1. Because Joan Walsh can be counted on to have the “correct” opinions.

      2. Treating a 200+yr old piece of parchment like the Constitution as the ‘law of the land’ is the apex of ‘unseriousness’

        1. Are you unserious?


      3. Its really easy. Joan Walsh and her comrades consider someone “unserious” if some Jon Stewart wannabes on the Left make some completely false claims about them while barely referencing any retraction.

    3. There exists the possibility that Joan Walsh of has had sex with several German Shepherds. As the exact percentage of the population who have had sex with animals is currently unknown, there exists the possibility that Joan Walsh of has had sex with several German Shepherds. As Joan Walsh of has yet to deny that she has had sex with several German Shepherds, it is still an open question as to whether or not Joan Walsh of has had sex with several German Shepherds. There even exists the possibility that there is videotaped evidence that Joan Walsh of has had sex with several German Shepherds as Joan Walsh of has yet to deny that there exists videotaped evidence that Joan Walsh of has had sex with several German Shepherds.

      1. ‘ere now, are you insinuating something?

        1. Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more!

          1. I think he is and as an owner of a German shepherd dog, I can put this rumor to rest. No fucking way would a German shepherd dog fuck Joan Walsh. Not even for one million peanut butter filled Kong toys.

            1. My Lab would fuck her for ONE PB-filled kong.

              But he’s a Lab, so…to be expected.

      2. Wouldn’t wish that on any dog.

      3. UPDATE: Joan Walsh has sent an email denying these allegations, though no further proof was offered. We will keep you updated as this story progresses.

  14. Late Wednesday, the Washington Post published a story

    It’s WaPo. Factchecking not required.

  15. And this is just a preview of the ever growing slander that is going to be thrown at Paul as he progresses through the nomination process.

  16. It’s obvious just from the headlines at Salon that the left is terrified of the Tea Party in general and Rand Paul in particular

    1. Yep. That’s it. You should definitely work as hard as you can to get him nominated.

      1. Go away. No one needs you to come shit in the pool every day.

      2. Still around, Tony? Still kicking that can? Jesus, man, haven’t you got some fieldwork for the DNC knocking on doors looking for youths to buy into your president’s signature law? Or do you consider this your community outreach?

        Why are you so worried, Tony? Your people got the thing passed. It’s weathered how many repeal and defunding votes? It’s going nowhere, Tony. It’s the law of the land. Or is that why you’re here, putting on a brave face for the good folks of a libertarian news site, because this thing is a ring around your collective necks? You can’t get rid of this thing, Tony. It’s going nowhere, and taking you with it.

        1. Actually I think I got confused for a second. What I meant to say was “No, please don’t nominate Rand Paul.” Or maybe, “Rand Paul is an awful candidate and you guys are morons not to see that.”

          I dunno. Whatever accomplishes the goal of you guys thinking that Rand Paul would be a good nominee.

  17. The lawsuit story has been fun. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trouncing the progs at CNN who instinctively criticize Paul out of hand. It gets very quiet, very quickly when you remind them that they are the party of civil liberties.

    1. Teabaggers are outraged by three new, untrue things every day before lunch.

      1. Cryogenic, inset reject are freewheel ballistics overpass?

      2. Which is actually pretty moderate when your usual drooling moron of a leftist will claim at these 30 untrue things before lunch.

        Being outraged by too much of their stupidity will give you heartburn.

      3. So what are you outraged about today?

        1. Having to do laundry tonight. That’s about it.

  18. Threadjack

    Re: Tony

    You guys act like liberals just dreamed up wacky schemes between bong hits.

    I don’t believe that is the case, otherwise liberals would at least have that as an excuse. No, liberals come up with these schemes because they’re evil, inmoral people.

    1. Yes that must be it.

        1. Or raise the price of their labor artificially so they don’t undercut the wages of unionized white people.

            1. Or put Americans into internment camps.


        2. No I wouldn’t?

          1. Yes, you would. It was for the public good and think about how much the government learned about the effects of penicillin on syphilis.

            1. Fine, I would, and obviously if you had your way you’d sell children into sex slavery.

              1. I love that when cornered you go right to the racism by insulting my wife’s ethnicity with S.E. Asian stereotypes.

            2. You know. Freedom.

              1. No. You’re just a racist piece of shit.

                But what else is new?

                1. I can’t tell if you’re being serious.

                  1. Seriously? You’re denying making a crack at my wife’s ethnic heritage?

                    You fucking cowardly piece of shit.

                    1. I’m denying knowing even that you have a wife.

        3. You would happily inject syphilis into poor Black sharecroppers.

          They weren’t given it, just not told they had it and not given treatment, to serve as a control group. Bad enough, but not as bad as you put it.

      1. Oh, believe me – that IS it.

    2. Or, like Tony they are profoundly stupid.

  19. Bruce Fein should be blacklisted from the liberty movement if he can’t keep his shrew of a wife in order. That statement makes him sound like a huge wuss.

    1. Have you ever tried to keep an ex-wife in order?

      1. There’s a high probability that she’s angling to grab some of what he got paid for his work on the suit, and that’s what’s behind all of this.

        I know because I have a toxic leech, errr, an ex-wife.

  20. How exactly do you “plagiarize” a lawsuit? Court papers are not copyrighted or trademarked. Papers filed in court are public documents that anybody can obtain and copy. And no lawyer has any “intellectual property” rights in a legal theory, claim, defense or argument.

    1. It’s the first swipe to cast Rand Paul as “dumb”. Too dumb to make a speech about whatever the heck it was Rachel Maddow took out of context that he “airquoted” from wikipedia and too dumb to write a lawsuit. They will test the waters with several different personae- but first club out of the bag is “dumb” because it worked so well for Bush II and Sarah Palin.

    2. Plus, if Rand hired the guy to write the suit for his PAC, then the PAC probably owns it in the first place, hence the lawyer’s comment that he was fully compensated. Any standard employment contract specifies that any work produced by the employee for the employer during the course of employment belongs to the employer, not the employee.

  21. It’s the ratchet effect. It doesn’t matter what is right, all that matters is the first sensationalist claim.

  22. I love libertarian ideals but this NSA lawsuit is ridiculous and breaks faith with the public! The Chinese and Russians would love nothing more than if the Americans dismantled their own spy networks! Great idea guys! – not! – ‘Don’t tread on me’ – they’ll be nothing left to tread on…

    1. Any effort wasted on warehousing and analyzing my daughters text messages could be applied to spying on the Chinese. Heck- that much data would have given them the number of worms chewing on Chairman Mao in realtime.

    2. Hey look, a moron!

    3. So…let the NSA warehouse domestic call data and hold secret hearings with no oversight or else the Commies will get us? I can’t tell, is this jingoism or fearmongering? It gets so tough to tell the difference sometimes.

    4. Doesn’t the NSA’s massive violation of our citizens 4th & 5th amendments break faith with the public? We are talking internal spying here, not stopping external intelligence networks.

  23. Sometimes that makes no sense at all dude.

  24. “Whose idea it was to run with a claim by a second-hand source without e-mailing the person on whose work the claim is based remains unanswered.”

    It was Dana Milbank’s idea.

    He’s the court jester of the beltway Democrat-Media complex, so he knew he’d have no price to pay.

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