As the whole Cassie Edwards story pointed out, it is hard to be a plagiarist these days. Anyone with just a little suspicion can use the internet to correctly attribute just about anything, so it is a stupid, stupid, thing to do. The kind of thing you really only expect from people who never had the proper academic grounding, or a good English teacher flunking them for appropriating someone's words. . .
Then again, if your English teacher was James Twitchell, I expect that flunking his students for plagiarism was not all that high on his priority list. Seems he's owned up to plagiarizing sections of his book for Simon & Schuster, Shopping for God. (via GalleyCat)
In his own words (we hope):
It's my responsibility to make sure that the words and ideas are my own and, if not, that they are properly credited. In many cases, I have not done this. [...] I have used the words of others and not properly attributed them. I am always in a hurry to get past descriptions to make my points, a hurry that has now rightly resulted in much shame and embarrassment. I have cheated by using pieces of descriptions written by others.
Which is a fine mea culpa, except when you consider he's been publishing since 1995 and initially blamed the lifting in the latest book on sloppy research even as earlier incidences in prior books came to light. Where have we heard that one before?