FW from Erwin Chemerinsky re: Tribe
RJLipkin at aol.com
RJLipkin at aol.com
Wed Sep 29 05:17:24 PDT 2004
In a message dated 9/29/2004 1:23:13 AM Eastern Standard Time,
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu writes:
Naturally opinion magazines will
spend more of their time and effort exposing the problems in the work of
those with whom they disagree than of those with whom they agree. So?
That, for better or worse, is the nature of opinion magazines; and
they're still doing a service by exposing the problems, and if the Left
exposes the Right's errors and the Right exposes the Left's, the result
is still more problems exposed and, as here, corrected.
Why is it "in the nature of" and opinion magazines to expose
plagiarism-related issues of anyone at all? Opinion magazines, as I understand their
function, should engage in opinion: "Tribes' constitutionalism is harmful,"
"President Bush's war is morally required," and so forth. Reporting on (and
charging) plagiarism is not paradigmatically opinion if it is opinion in any
significant and interesting sense at all. If that's true, and generally
speaking, what justifies the remark (not quoted above) that "these writers [in
opinion magazines] "have
no obligation to be evenhanded." Surely, they have no constitutional or
legal obligation, but these are not the only possible obligations.
Evenhandedness seems to be a journalistic obligation, and in my world, a fundamental
moral obligation. Thus, I'm not sure I can identify what kind of 'mistake' it is
to lash out against these watchers on the grounds that they're somehow not
evenhanded." Criticizing bad faith or hypocrisy in these matters for anyone
believing in evenhandedness on moral grounds (and probably journalistic grounds
also) seems far from a mistake; rather such criticism seems morally required.
For me at least, it would be helpful for Eugene to indicate just
what he means by 'mistake' in this context. I would think it fairly obvious
that, in general, if an opinion magazine (or anyone for that matter) enters the
arena of plagiarism watching, it does have an obligation to be evenhanded. So
Eugene's explanation here would be helpful.
Robert Justin Lipkin
Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof