15 thoughts on “Had By His Student”

  1. And got his teaching assistant to shill for him…..

    OTOH, confabulists will confabulate…

  2. If the student did lie, I think Bellesiles was *willingly* taken for a ride by his student. He not only accepted the story at face value but wanted to believe it.

    I tend to agree with G Bowen. It is all too convenient that when called out that Bellesiles says the student lied.

  3. @ J Richardson – Bellesiles didn’t say the student lied, the Chronicle Review said quite clearly that the student admitted to lying.

    “Subsequently the student told us that he had fabricated several details in the story he had told Mr. Bellesiles and The Chronicle. The student said he knew a soldier who he believed had died in Afghanistan, but he said the person was not his half-brother. The student had no explanation for why the name was not on the military’s casualty lists.”

  4. If Bellesiles was an honest individual (in any sense) he would have confirmed this dramatic story himself, before telling anyone about it. Clearly it didn’t take much research (beyond a few minutes on the internet) to find numerous large holes in the claim.

    Now, as a professor, Bellesiles was free to handle this alleged students allegedly false statements in any number of ways….But considering his past record of falsification and dissimilitude from the conventional norms of US Society and the military (the guy was teaching military history, kind of like having Robert Byrd teach the history of slavery), he should have double, triple checked his sources…or kept his mouth shut.

    That he didn’t (allegedly allowing himself to be conned by another liar) doesn’t generate any sympathy for him as a legitimate professor or researcher. That he won’t keep his mouth shut demonstrates serious mental issues (including but not limited to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, DSM-IV-TR 301.81)

  5. @J. Richardson:

    “The Student” didn’t write the story, nor did he publish it: The blame rests upon the Chronicle, and Bellesiles for publishing it.

  6. I agree with Rustmeister. A minimal amount of legwork would have avoided this whole mess.

  7. Having known a few Marines, I’m surprised that the “Marine veteran” teaching assistant didn’t call bullshit on the story. Practically none of it should ring true to anyone with knowledge of military practice or the current wars.

  8. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t tend to verify stories of people’s personal tragedies that I’m told. On the other hand, I’m not a published professor either. :)

  9. Ash that’s a HUGE difference right there. Its one thing hearing a story about a guy from somedude who know him ect ect, and taking their word. Its another thing publishing that story as fact without making even the simplest attempt to verify the story.

    Just as a blogger I come up with posts based on stories and anecdotes I hear around…but because I want to have a good name, and have my writing respected by those who read it, I always attempt to verify what I write.

    And that’s just being a blogger….

  10. The whole thing reminds me of Stolen Valor. Would actually like the Marine TAs record checked out as well. (Not accusing or anything…just one more thing to check…seems odd to me that he did not smell BS either…of course dumb Marine is also a possibility.)

  11. The lesson here is to be as skeptical of that which reinforces your beliefs as that which you disagree with. This is by no means only a problem for the left. I fact check stuff that I am sure is right for that reason.

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