Angela Nagle’s Statement Regarding the Daily Beast

May 26th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

[Despite the byline on this blog post, what follows is a statement from Angela Nagle.-Douglas Lain]

Since the publication of Davis’s hit piece, the editors at The Daily Beast have added a note at the end admitting that there was, in fact, no ‘verbatim’ copying. However if this admission is true, the central claim of the piece that justified its newsworthiness in the first place, that ‘several passages… are lifted’ and ‘cut and pasted’ are also false. There is no way to interpret those words except ‘verbatim’ copying, which is the damaging claim now widely believed and spread all over the internet and on multiple other blogs and websites because of this piece, repeated and spread by Davis on Twitter.

Below is a list of all of the examples of mischaracterizations, falsehoods and other problems in the piece itself.

1. Davis suggests I have stolen from Andrew Hartman’s book A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars because I unknowingly repeated a misquotation error in it. But I cite Hartman and his book by name 6 times including just a few lines above the quote, which is intended to make clear that it is a continuation of me drawing from Hartman’s work. Hartman said in response to the piece “I made a tiny mistake in my own book which you repeated. But otherwise, you cited me several times and did not plagiarize whatsoever. I like your book and think this attack is made in bad faith.”

2. The quoted passage about Chateau Heartiste and mine don’t even resemble each other, let alone count as plagiarism. The common words are in bold below. Davis writes:

Later in the chapter, Nagle echoes RationalWiki’s entry on “Chateau Heartiste,” a virulently misogynistic and racist “pick-up artist” blog. The site’s proprietor, James C. Weidmann, “believes white civilization is being destroyed by miscegenation, immigration and low white female birth rates owing to feminism,” Nagle writes. “This decline can only be undone, he thinks, by deporting minorities and restoring patriarchy.”

The RationalWiki entry states that Weidmann “thinks ‘white civilization’ is getting destroyed as it is ‘overrun by Uruk-hai,’” a reference to the dark, anonymous “orcs” of J.R.R. Tolkien. “The only solution to the terrible prospect of Whites becoming a minority is, according to Weidmann, to forcefully deport all minorities.”

3. On Roosh V:

Davis then claims that I lifted from an article about Roosh from The Cut. On closer inspection, the only words that are the same are "a victory for" and "movement". The Roosh quote is in quotation marks and attributed to him.

4. Henderson citation:

Davis claims I don't cite Schwartz in the New York Times in my description of the trolling of a schoolboy, Henderson. While I do cite that article previously, I directly cite Whitney Phillips' book This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things here for that reference, who includes the story of Henderson in her book. Philips has based her summary of events on the New York Times one, which she cites in her footnotes (hers is an academic text) but by leaving out this detail he has intentionally tried to mislead the audience to think there is no citation for it when there is.

5. In the first quote about Kony2012, the only significant consecutive phrases that are the same are ‘film’s purpose was to promote the charity’ and ‘arrested by the end of 2012’. These are simply mundane phrases about widely available information that would be likely to occur in any retelling of an event. The next quoted line about Kony2012 is phrased very differently and even gives a differently phrased number by saying ‘over 100 million’. And again, it is simply retelling widely available information that has been rewritten many ways and many times.

6. On Jordan Peterson:

He implies that a BBC article on Peterson had been copied by Nagle but the only significant consecutive word sequence he presents is “the Ontario Human Rights Code”.

The other claim he makes is that a BBC article and I quote a letter, quoted and attributed, which said the students found Peterson’s gender pronoun stand “unacceptable, emotionally disturbing and painful” and attribute this letter to the University of Toronto when it was from a letter, Davis says, “leaked by Peterson, that was signed by a dean and a vice provost”… Right. So it was a letter from the University of Toronto then, attributed to the university by multiple news sources.

Everything else about Peterson is bulked up for several paragraphs trying to imply my secret affinity for him. At this stage, Davis seems to have temporarily forgotten that he’s supposed to be thinly veiling his political motivations and doesn’t include any examples of alleged plagiarism.

7. Davis says my retelling of the Germaine Greer story uses the same structure, facts, and phrasing as that of a newspaper report by Claire Lehman but doesn’t present examples, it only says that she is one of a group of “right-wing” writers who I channel. The main similarities in phrasing are that we both mention key facts such as a petition that has now been co-signed by more than 2,000 people and a quote from the same key figure, the women's officer at Cardiff University Students' Union, Rachael Melhuish, fully attributed.

8. Davis implies that the Sokal affair description was plagiarized. Most of the similarities here are simply the basic facts necessary to describe the event like ‘1996’ or that he was ‘a physics professor at New York University’, the name of the journal in which it was published and some of its star writers. This affair has been written about hundreds of times or more. It would be like saying you needed to link to Wikipedia if your description of WW2 included the dates, the main actors, and the locations.

9. Davis has claimed that this is not a politically motivated attack, but there is a background to this that brings Davis’ motivations and journalistic ethics here into question. Davis continues to amplify attacks against me from obscure blogs full of claims most would find hair-splitting and even bizarre. Davis has gained a reputation for attacking and destroying the reputations of anti-war leftist writers (https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/online-trolls-syria-alt-left?amp) who he sees as being part of a sinister alliance with the far right, a ‘red-brown alliance’. Just about everything Davis thinks of as proof of membership of this alliance, from his claim that the Corbynite Diane Abbott is a ‘nativist’ and Corbynism is "old-fashioned, nationalist leftism" to his characterization of France’s trade union stalwart Melenchon as a closet reactionary, to his belief that leftist opposition to invasion in Syria is part of a shady project of Kremlin influence, have clearly put me in his line of fire. In recent weeks on Twitter, I had been primarily tweeting in support of Corbyn and Melenchon against the invasion of Syria, which was around the time he began retweeting attacks on me.

10. Any lack of clarity in the example linking me to Aleksandr Dugin was based on a few consecutive words, an innocent oversight of punctuation that was not corrected in redrafting. The implication that this connects me to him politically, which Davis has been amplifying on Twitter and implies in the piece but later rows back on at the very end of his piece, does not stand up to scrutiny as it would contradict the rest of the contents of the book and all my other writing on these ideologies to date. There was one significant common phrase in the example from The Verge, though it was also a retelling of publicly available information, not an original argument or idea, and one case of common phrasing of information mentioned that should have been correctly cited to a source or rephrased more fully, the lines about Elam, though even that was mostly bulked up in the middle with an attributed quote. Neither of these involved ‘cut and pasting’ because they were phrased differently as a whole. The similarities were nevertheless there and an innocent editorial oversight, due to haste and my working from old research notes, which will be corrected in the revised edition, out soon. Ultimately Davis failed to show a single example that stands up to his central claim that I simply cut and pasted passages and paragraphs verbatim, which the editors have already begun to retract.

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