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National Review
National Review
6 Jan 2024
Ari Blaff

NextImg:Bill Ackman Fires Back at Reporter Accusing Wife of Plagiarism

Harvard alumnus and donor Bill Ackman condemned a journalist from Business Insider, the outlet that accused his wife Neri Oxman of plagiarism, saying she made false and misleading statements.

On Friday night, Katherine Long shared several instances of Oxman apparently cribbing sentences from Wikipedia. “I sent these receipts, and dozens more, to @BillAckman earlier today, hopping [sic] they would help him do the research he said he had no time to do before blasting us here,” the reporter wrote on X.

However, Ackman pushed back shortly after, arguing that the entire sequence of events was a total fabrication. “Not only did Ms. Long not contact me. I have never spoken to her in my life. How can she be paraphrasing something I said if she never spoke to me?” The billionaire investor elaborated that Business Insider reached out to a member of Ackman’s financial firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, late Friday evening and notified them that the article would be running in two hours.

“Note that they chose to send the email after sundown on Friday night to a family that enjoys Shabbat dinner together,” Ackman wrote on Friday evening. “As a result, we don’t have time to research their claims prior to publication,” Ackman wrote earlier in the day.

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Ackman has been a vocal critic of Harvard’s handling of campus antisemitism in the wake of the October 7 atrocities committed by Hamas. The philanthropist demanded the college remove then-president Claudine Gay following her performance on Capitol Hill in early December, where she and other Ivy League presidents gave waffled responses about speech advocating the genocide of Jews. As instances of Gay’s plagiarism abounded throughout the coming weeks, Ackman lobbied again — this time successfully — for her resignation.

Since Thursday, Business Insider has run a series of articles accusing Oxman, a design professor at MIT, of plagiarism dating back to her 2010 dissertation. “I was forwarded an email this morning from a reporter at Business Insider who noted that there are four paragraphs in my 330-page PhD dissertation,” she wrote in a lengthy X post on Thursday afternoon.

“For each of the four paragraphs in question, I properly credited the original source’s author(s) with references at the end of each of the subject paragraphs, and in the detailed bibliography end pages of the dissertation. In these four paragraphs, however, I did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would be the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors,” Oxman elaborated before apologizing later in the day.

On Friday, Business Insider alleged they had discovered over a dozen additional examples of plagiarism in the same dissertation lifted straight from the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

“It is unfortunate that my actions to address problems in higher education have led to these attacks on my family. This experience has inspired me to save all news organizations from the trouble of doing plagiarism reviews.”