Boston Globe Takes Credit for Breitbart Scoop

Today the Boston Globe has a front-page, below-the-fold story titled "Filings raise more questions on Warren's ethnic claims." It's a well-written take on documents and information first brought to light here at Breitbart News two weeks ago. Unfortunately, it's presented as a scoop with no link or reference to the fact that the information has appeared previously in another publication. 

Indeed, today's Globe story, authored by Mary Carmichael (pictured above), explicitly claims this is a brand new scoop: "The documents suggest for the first time that either Warren or a Harvard administrator classified her repeatedly as Native American in papers prepared for the government."

As you'll see, that's simply not true. The key information in the Globe story was reported first by Breitbart News. The easiest way to see this would be to read the two stories back to back, but to simplify things I'll highlight some passages that are strikingly similar. Here's the key support the Globe offers for its headline, which appears on page three of their story:

In 1999, Harvard started publishing its full affirmative action plan on its website in the belief that it might be considered a public document.

The report from that year lists one Native American senior professor at the entire university. A section devoted specifically to the law school also lists a single Native American senior professor, presumably the same one. Both entries specify that the professor is female.

Two weeks ago I opened my story here at Breitbart News like this:

A newly revealed document taken from a 1999 Affirmative Action Plan Book published by Harvard University indicates that Elizabeth Warren was officially listed as a Native American by Harvard Law School. Though Warren is not mentioned by name, the report shows just one Native American member of the law school.

Later in the story I included a link to the same document on the Internet Archive which the Globe linked today. This is the key similarity, because without this document, there is no story.

In my report, I made much of the fact that this Affirmative Action information is self-reported, i.e. that it would likely have come from Warren herself. To prove this point, I quoted at length from an obscure Dept. of Labor FAQ for employers which I found several layers deep on their website. It reads in part: "If self-identification is not feasible, post-employment records or visual observation may be used to obtain this information." Notice the bit which I've italicized. In today's Globe story, Ms. Carmichael apparently quotes the same obscure Dept. of Labor FAQ without explaining where it came from:

The US Department of Labor requires large employers to collect diversity statistics annually and suggests they be based on employees’ classification of themselves. In cases in which employees do not self-identify, federal regulations allow some administrators to make judgment calls on the correct categories using “employment records or observer identification.’’

There's more. On the last page of today's Globe story is a mention of a 1998 letter which a Harvard spokesmen sent to the New York Times. As it happens, Breitbart News was the first to report on that document more than two weeks ago. The same story also connected Harvard's concern for its minority hiring record to the protest led by Derrick Bell a few years earlier. This is one of the themes of today's Globe story as well.

There's no doubt that the Globe story adds some additional information on this topic. For instance, the authors directly contact the person responsible for maintaining Harvard's diversity statistics during the '90s. They also publish links to identical documents from the years 2000-2004. I had access to all of these at the time I wrote my story but chose to focus on 1999, as it was the earliest example. However, there's no doubt that the core of today's Globe story is the material published here at Breitbart two weeks ago.

Even if Ms. Carmichael came to all the above information through her own sources (a generous assumption), the Globe still can not claim, as they do today, "The documents suggest for the first time..." Any Google search of these topics during the last two weeks would have revealed that Breitbart News had already brought these same key documents to light, making the same exact points on the same exact topic. Frankly, it's very hard to believe Ms. Carmichael and her editors missed it, but I am contacting the Globe about this oversight and hope the situation will be resolved soon.


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