Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke ripped CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski for what he called “electronic terrorism” and use of “fear and intimidation” for an investigative report that derailed Clarke’s appointment to a position in President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security.
Last month, Kaczynski and his K-File team reported that Clarke neglected to properly attribute his sources at least 47 times in his 2013 master’s thesis. Clarke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “only someone with a political agenda would say this is plagiarism.”
But in an interview with the Media Equality Project’s Melanie Morgan, Clarke went further in attacking Kaczynski: “He’s not accomplished. He doesn’t need many skills besides the computer. He goes after writings, books, essays, dissertations and just screams plagiarism. Anybody who has even written extensively is vulnerable.”
Clarke’s comments were published on conservative website Media Equalizer, which refers to CNN’s K-File as a “smear team” and asks, “Why is CNN employing a partisan hit squad designed to destroy each and every one of the president’s political nominees?”
Kaczynski did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment but he has taken to Twitter to make his feelings clear.
Good journalism from @MediaEqualizer would have entailed reaching out for comment. I could have corrected some of their errors.
— andrew kaczynski ???? (@KFILE) June 21, 2017
Kaczynski’s team, who were snapped by CNN from BuzzFeed, was also credited with ending Monica Crowley’s chances of joining the National Security Council when it found similar sourcing issues in her 2012 book “What the (Bleep) Just Happened?”
Her publisher, HarperCollins, pulled the book earlier this year in the wake of the report.
Clarke continued his attack on Kaczynski: “This guy is a hired gun. That’s why CNN brought him on. He’s a defamation-of-character specialist. He’s a purveyor in his smear tactics. You make the claim, you make the smear and watch the person in his cross-hairs squirm. He doesn’t care if the truth comes out.”
Clarke also took personal shots at Kaczynski, referring to him as a college drop-out.