The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 6/15/2005

LeBeau and UMKC – into the Memory Hole?

The first mark of the realization of guilt (on a bigger scale) is the removal of evidence. UMKC and LeBeau are cleaning up their act by dropping the evidence of his misdeeds and possible others from the net. Feel free to capture history via the Way Back Machine (thanks again Brewster for coming up with this. and thanks Google for Google cache).
I thought I had written my last about the pathetic LeBeau story, but instead it becomes a saga.

In one profile of LeBeau, he is called “one hell of a PR man.” Now we see other sides.

MO: KC not Columbia

Several of my collegues graduated from Mizzou aka the University of Missouri. It’s located in Columbia, MO. They’ve asked me to let you know that UMKC is not Mizzou.
I’m sure that they are both fine schools. Having been an undergrade at NCSU and a faculty member at UNC (that’s the Chapel Hill one), I completely understand the issue.

Hog Day approaches – The True Q

Keith Henderson as Elvis
This weekend is the 23rd Hillsborough Hog Day. There will be True BBQ there (both days since Hog Day has grown like a pig and now takes two days), there will be great live music, there will be antique cars, there will be hog-calling, there will be arts and crafts — And there will be a great Elvis Tribute by Keith Henderson.

The center piece of the Day is still eatin’ pig. That’s the best. As the Hog Day site describes:

When day breaks on Saturday, Hog Day is already bustling with activity. While vendors, who sell everything from video games to handpainted stained glass, set up in the General Merchandise, Food, and Craft areas, you hear a persistent “thunk, thunk, thunk” and you know the pig is ready. The cooking teams chop all their cooked pig and sauce a portion for the Barbecue Tasting Judges. In 2005, the judges will include Jonathan Childress and Damon Lapas of Chapel Hill’s That BBQ Joint. Led by Chief Judge David Hunt, the judges will compare notes and make their final decisions as to the top 5 barbecue cooking teams. They are to be saluted for tasting 36 different barbecues at 8:30 am!

The rest is shuttled to the main tent, where it’s made into sandwiches and pounds of the freshest barbecue in the state. Cash prizes and trophies are awarded for best barbecue.

Admitting/denying/decrying plagiarism

While the AP and other stories are calling Bryan LeBeau’s letter on HistoryNetwork and consequent interviews an admission of guilt, it is only half so. Yes, he admits copying, but only quotes — as in “I don’t recall where I got Cornel’s quotes. As they were just quotes, I suspect he was quoted somewhere, and I clipped them.” Not exactly random quotes. See for yourself. West here. LeBeau here.
Then there is the introduction given by LeBeau taken from Russell Baker as yet unacknowledged.
LeBeau also attempts to change his misdeed by removing the publication aspect of his theft. Although all of his Dean’s Newsletters are on the net, he claims to be uninformed that they are and have been for several years.
I do believe that LeBeau is sorry, but while he owns up to having done something “stupid,” he has not confessed to having done wrong. There is a difference. Searching for excuses is not the same as coming clean as anyone who has attended Confession should have learned.
Yet there are consequences, the Kansas City Star reports:

The dean, Bryan LeBeau, also said he has withdrawn from consideration to be executive vice president at DePaul University, a job for which he was a finalist, in the wake of news reports about the similarities.

But this is not tragic. Sadly, it is pathetic.

To quote Cornel West (or to quote LeBeau as he quotes West without acknowledgement):

We ought not to confuse the tragic with the pathetic. The tragic is about the exploration of human possibilities for freedom.

Ralph Luker writing on the Cliopatria History News Network
has a more detailed and, I would admit and confess but not decry, a smarter and more complete take on the LeBeau borrowings.

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