Margaret Wente and the Clash of Civilisations
Margaret Wente, the Globe and Mail columnist, is one of those pundits for whom doubt or uncertainty are badges of weakness. Ms Wente would rather be clever, than wise; smart, than thoughtful; opinionated, than subtle. Like the Tea Party Republicans of America, or Stephen Harper’s paler, more tepid Canadian version, Ms Wente deals only in certainties – and, it has recently transpired, in plagiarism.
Not that this – plagiarism, I mean – has given her pause. On the contrary, in her headlong rush for self justification, she has recently published, in the same Globe and Mail, not a mea culpa and an apology, but a robust defence of her position – in which, perversely, she contrives to present herself not as the perpetrator of an intellectual mugging, but as the plucky survivor and victim of an ambush by those who do not like what she writes. Busy columnists, it seems,
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