Adam White A Good Representation of The Record’s Annoying Pomposity

BY AKATZ@LAW.HARVARD.EDU

I am an editor of the Law Review — go ahead and print that. Despite its efforts, The Record has not made me ashamed of the fact. And print this as well: I find the Record’s pomposity — as best exemplified by Adam White’s diatribe “defending” his character and the accompanying Record editorial (and also by the continually unfunny “The Verdict”) — incredibly annoying. The Record writes that “[i]t is insulting that the student [accusing Adam White of plagiarism] wishes the burden of evidence to rest on the party being accused.” Well, thanks for that insightful and arrogant criminal law review, but I did just fine in that course, thank you.

When we speak of “innocent until proven guilty” and “placing the burden of proof on the accuser,” we normally refer to public accusations that will produce public consequences. Clearly The Record and Adam White ignored the fact that the “accusing” student’s email was addressed specifically to White and, as White admits, explicitly stated that the email was not for “public consumption.” Indeed, it was White’s own decision to publish the email that turned it into a “public accusation.” I thus don’t see the logic of maligning the “accusing” student for not placing the burden of proof on himself before privately conveying his concerns that he had been illegitimately scooped.

Moreover, it is simply absurd for White to characterize not only the “accussing” student, but all Law Review editors, as “self-important.” Indeed, given that the email was meant to be and remain private, White’s unilateral public disclosure of the email makes White the obvious self-important self-promoter. It is transparent that the email was used as another excuse to make inflammatory remarks about the Law Review, something that has become something of a sport at The Record — a sport that, I dare say, has been at the expense of good journalism. Either that, or White’s story was just an excuse to pompously inform the HLS community know that he sometimes (and presumably illegally) enjoys “fine Cuban cigars.”

On a side note, because I know more facts about the scope of “information leaks” than were made public by White and The Record, let me say that I also have my doubts about whether White learned of Hastie through something other than his Amtrak reading. But, alas, I could honestly care less how he came across his story idea. And thanks for your invitation, Mr. White, but I’ll pass on speaking with you “in person.”

While I find The Record’s continued pomposity incredibly annoying, that is not what drove me to write this email. Rather, it was a desire to beg those at The Record to stop worrying so much about zinging Gannett House and start working on their journalism. During my last three months here at HLS, I’d really like to look forward to a school paper that is more informative and educational than The Improper Bostonian.

Aaron Katz3L

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