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This isn't exactly news, but it sure is fun. And, given the subject's countless sleazy campaign exploits, his manifest corruption, and his recent efforts to begin his electoral ascent to the Georgia governorship (taking the same route as Zell Miller, through the Lieutenant Governor's office) and (shudder) beyond, it certainly seems relevant to remind folks about an un-Christian episode from Ralphie's past that he's done a very good job of keeping off the press radar.

Here's a snippet of a column (offline) by Jeannette Walls from the October 1996 Esquire that tells the amusing tale:

Write `Thou Shalt Not Steal' 1,000 Times

THERE'S ONE ETHICAL issue that moral crusader Ralph Reed might want to avoid: ripping off other people's work. The holier-than-thou director of the Christian Coalition was dropped as a columnist from his college newspaper after he was accused of plagiarism.

More below...

In 1983, Reed, then a senior at the University of Georgia, wrote a column for the campus paper, The Red and Black, with the headline GANDHI: NINNY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Shortly after Reed's article ran, another student wrote in and made a compelling case that "every assertion, every quote, and several seemingly original Reed phrases may be found directly or in slightly modified form" in a Commentary article by Richard Grenier. Reed then apologized for "not citing my sources, including the article in Commentary," but insisted that his column "was the culmination of two months of exhaustive research.... To imply otherwise is the most shocking, profane form of personal attack I can imagine."

Nevertheless, the paper's editors announced, "Mr. Reed's columns will no longer appear in The Red and Black."

"All these letters came in congratulating us for getting rid of him," says Russell Kaye, who was then a photographer for the paper, "not because of the plagiarism but because people hated his column. He was this sort of creepy, nerdy guy who was always writing about things like blasting some student group for showing a film that he thought was inappropriate."

Reed's office says that he has put the ugly incident behind him. Amen!

(Thanks to an eagle-eyed archivist pal for the tip)

Little Ralph is clearly selling himself short. Being labeled a plagiarist is "the most shocking, profane form of personal attack" he can imagine? The Swift Boat veteran John Kerry, victim of one of Ralph's more recent pathological smears, might beg to differ.

Originally posted to WendellGee on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:31 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's a tasty bit of related snickering (4.00)
    A little honesty would help from Pat Murphy at the Idaho Mountain Express!

    The baby-faced genius behind the creation of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, the preciously pious Ralph Reed, swears as a Christian he didn't know he was paid with Indian tribal gambling funds to lobby against casino gambling rights for a competing Indian tribe. Several million dollars paid to Reed came from notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff (also a onetime protégé of Rep. Tom DeLay) who collected more than $80 million from tribes and in whose home Reed camped out on the couch as a guest. Reed obviously needs to appear dumbstruck and ignorant about the fees: He's running for Georgia lieutenant governor and condemns gambling as a sin. Being honest could mess up the political career of this good Christian.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:32:27 AM PDT

    •  in charge (4.00)
      Here's another little bit from a 5/15/95 Time article (google-cached) on Ralph's background and ambition. I'm not comforted by his mother's assessment of her son's character:

      Ralph Reed Jr. was born in 1961, the son of a Navy physician from Portsmouth, Virginia. Nicknamed ''Buddy,'' Reed displayed his nature from the beginning. Asked what her son always aspired to be, his mother Marcy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "In charge." Raised a Methodist, Reed was an indifferent Christian-though an avid Republican-through his early college years. He wrote a rabid column while at the University of Georgia, taking hawkish positions on gun control and the nuclear freeze. (He resigned from the paper after a reader charged him with plagiarism.) As a student, he ran school campaigns and gained a reputation as a player of dirty tricks.
  •  Ralph Reed: Liar . Thief. Hypocrite. n/t (none)
    •  ralph reed = liar, thief, hypocrite (none)
      and is other news, the repuglican party is staffed by similar liars thieves and hypocrites


      repuglicans like to be represented by liars thieves and hypocrites

      repuglicans = morally bankrupt idiots

  •  Ralph Reed= Con Man (none)
    don't let him wriggle out of that one.  Unknowingly my ass.  The only  rational view of the evidence is that he and Abramoff cooked up a long con scheme designed to  steal 50 mil from an impoverished  Indian tribe.

    Ralphie Boy was paid 3 million dollars  to go into west Texas and gin up enough moral outrage among his gullible minions to get the casino shut down.

    This was so Abamoff could take all their money to pretend to lobby to get it reopened.

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

  •  maybe (none)
    maybe Ralph's the real "writer" at Talon News.

    Fuck The MSM, ePluribus Media is the future!

    by edkra on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:28:20 AM PDT

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