The upshot is that the individual who allegedly faked the data, Michael LaCour, has allegedly been hired as "an Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Politics at Princeton University."
The anthropologist Jonathan Marks makes some apposite remarks:
Incompetence is not a defense, and the end does not justify the means. . . . After all, once you have established that your colleague's work is not reliable, it really doesn't matter why. If some scientists don't do good research, it is difficult to maintain that they should nevertheless still be employed and receiving grants, much less that you want to continue collaborating with them!Kudos to Professor Green for doing the right thing and to UC Berkeley graduate students, David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, and Yale professor, Peter Aronow, for bringing this fraudulence to light. As Marks notes: "it is not in anyone's interests to find fraud, and they will go to odd lengths to avoid it." (ibid.)
The problem with the "incompetence defense," then, is that it implicitly raises a question about the rest of their work and about your own judgment in standing by incompetent work. To say someone is a sloppy researcher whose work is riddled with mistakes is not a compliment, and it immediately raises the questions of why you are associated with such a person, how competent the rest of their research has been, and why they should remain at work. I can think of no other profession in which that would be tolerated.
(Jonathan Marks, Why I am Not a Scientist (Berkeley: University of Californian Press, 2009), 189.)