James Dobson and Family Talk: Who Really Wrote These Articles?

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

On Thursday, I brought to you news about the website maneuvers of American Association of Christian Counselors president and owner Tim Clinton after psychology professor Aaron New called out unsourced material in one of his online devotionals. Dr. Clinton has been removing articles identified in my post and in one case an article has been removed from the website of his new organization James Dobson’s Family Talk Radio. This morning, I submit Family Talk’s web team may have some more work to do.

Coping with Crisis

Currently, an article titled “Coping with Crisis” is hosted on Tim Clinton’s Family Talk blog page. However, if Clinton’s Bible for Hope can be believed (can we doubt anything with Bible in the title?), H. Norman Wright wrote that article. Clinton’s personal website also lists this article on his page without attribution to Wright.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Coping with Crisis” was removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Strive to Excel

Another article which may need scrubbing is “Strive to Excel.” Clinton has already removed it from his Medium, AACC, and personal pages. This article borrows material verbatim and without citation from a 1999 St. Petersburg Times article. Furthermore, this piece is taken from Clinton’s book with Max Davis, Ignite Your Faith without giving credit to Davis.  Go to the end of this post for a comparison of Clinton’s article with the 1999 newspaper article by Bruce Lowitt.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Strive to Excel” was removed from Family Talk’s website, It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Scrubbing in Progress

I see some scrubbing is underway. Clinton’s article citing Wikipedia without citation on respect has been scrubbed. The archived copy is here with the Wikipedia material in the first paragraph.

Family Talk Radio is aware of the situation because yesterday I asked them about another article which Family Talk attributed to Clinton which was actually written by Joshua Straub. That article was removed and I am waiting for some clarification about why. Since they are now scrubbing articles with uncited material, I can only assume that they know why they are doing it.

Celebrate Freedom

UPDATE: The articles I referred to above have now been scrubbed. Oddly enough, Clinton’s “Celebrate Freedom” post remains on the site even though he included inaccurate historical information from a source he didn’t cite.

UPDATE (8/13/18) – Ok, now “Celebrate Freedom” has been removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view here. It has also been removed from Clinton’s other websites.

Perhaps, Family Talk should just give me a call for the other posts which should be removed. I will have another one for you soon. Stay tuned…

A New Day A New You

UPDATE (8/13/18) – This piece has been posted at AACC‘s and Family Talk’s websites. It was also posted without an author back on 12/31/2010 on the AACC website. It has been scrubbed from the AACC website with that date but can be found via the Wayback Machine. Perhaps someone other than Clinton wrote it originally. In any case, it has material in it which appears to be lifted from a 1/4/10 Miami Herald piece by Jack Hardy titled, “New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Useful, Even When They Fail.”* Compare:

Clinton – It’s the “keeping them” part that gets us. In fact, 40 to 45 percent of people do make a New Year’s Resolution, and while it is true that 97% of resolutions are never fulfilled, 75% do make it past the first week, and 46% make it past the six month mark.

Miami Herald, Jack Hardy – Oscar Wilde wrote: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” It’s true; statistics confirm that almost 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are never fulfilled.   Even so, some 40 to 45 percent do use New Year’s Day to make resolutions and set goals.

While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable. Research shows that 75 percent do make it past the first week; 46 percent make it past the six-month mark.

Not only is the phrasing and information identical, Clinton presents the information as the president of the AACC, an expert in mental health. However, he doesn’t cite his source. While any writer should take care with research, it is more necessary for mental health professionals to do so with social science data.

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Here is a pdf of Clinton’s article, “Press On.” (In Google’s cache for awhile)

Here is the archived copy of the original St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce Lowitt.

The articles use very similar words and phrases. Here are some examples.

Lowitt: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. team was, like its gold-medal predecessor, little more than an afterthought — even in the mind of its coach.

Clinton: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. hockey team was little more than an afterthought.

Lowitt: The Soviets were seeded No. 1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics. The seventh-seeded U.S. team could cling to one piece of history.

Clinton: The Soviets were seeded №1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics.

The U.S. team was seeded seventh.

Lowitt: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. Only one dramatic save after another by former Boston University goaltender Jim Craig kept the United States close.

Clinton: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. One dramatic save after another by goaltender Jim Craig kept the U.S. team close.

Lowitt: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans squeezed into the 8,500-seat arena began a chant of “USA! USA!” that never abated in the final 10 minutes.

Clinton: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans began a chant of “USA! USA!” that did not end for the final 10 minutes.

Lowitt: Later, Brooks pulled from his pocket a yellow card with a scrawled message. He said it contained the pregame message he read to his team:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

Clinton: After the game, coach Herb Brooks pulled a yellow card from his pocket with the scrawled message on it that he had read to his team just before the game:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

The quotes from the players in Clinton’s article were the same as in the Lowitt article although shortened. Read both pieces and decide for yourself.

*Hardy’s article isn’t available on the web. I was able to obtain it via the Miami Herald archives. A reprint of it is available via this chiropractic website.

6 thoughts on “James Dobson and Family Talk: Who Really Wrote These Articles?”

  1. Have the religious leaders involved in this mess ever decried “easy believe-ism” or societal permissiveness? have sermons been preached about loose morals and shredded ethics?
    All of these attitudes and more have been united in their lust to achieve political power. Contemplate the photo that leads this blog entry , and see tableau that is a symbol of the rot that infests evangelical fundamentalists since uniting with the reality show colossus with the feet of clay. I’m not saying that Revelation 13:5 has been made flesh – or that the prophecy of Daniel 2:33 is made flesh. However- the similarities are instructive.

  2. Honest it’s okay to say that someone else wrote something…

    I must say that if either one of my kids had done this in college or grad school… at the least they would of failed the course and/or sent to the student honor board and then released for the semester.

  3. Dr Throckmorton, thanks for a good laugh today “Coping with Crisis”! Maybe Dr Clinton is studying the article for hints on handling this crisis. Doesn’t he know the Internet exists? You’d have to be crazy to commit plagiarism anytime in the last 15-20 yrs. Maybe he plans an insanity defense?

  4. “Go thou and sin no more.”
    Kudos to them for correcting this wrong.
    That puts them ahead of the pack, when it comes to the Religious Right. Usually they just gaslight.

  5. We live in an age where plagiarism is rampant because it is so very easy to do. Not stealing is right there listed among the 10 commandments. I do not understand how so many who call themselves Christians think this is such a minor thing. Taking credit for someone else’s work is not a fruit of the Spirit but of the flesh. It is certainly a warning sign that someone is a false leader in the Church. Hypocrisy is a real issue and not one we should ever take lightly because Jesus did not do that. The lack of conscience in those who are doing this is a big red flag. We need leaders who fear God and do not look for quick, easy shortcuts.

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