Maureen Dowd Plagiarized . . . Someone.

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 18, 2009

Whether it was Josh Marshall directly, or someone who transmitted Marshall’s words, plagiarism did indeed take place. So, why is it that the New York Times is, as Michael Calderone writes, “defend[ing]” Dowd? And Calderone is right to ask why Marshall’s lack of an objection to his words being appropriated without attribution is enough to justify the lack of action being taken by the Times.

The act of Dowdification alone should have justified Dowd’s firing from the Times. Her employer’s failure to fire Dowd led to the current controversy over her ethics. If it fails again to punish her, the New York Times will set itself up anew for yet another embarrassment visited upon it by the actions of Maureen Dowd.

  • Trochilus

    When Jayson Blair was accused of plagiarizing by Macarena Hernandez of the San Antonio Express-News for “lifting quotes” from her sources as cited in an article she had previously written, he was called on the carpet by the NY Times editors and required to prove he had traveled to Texas to get those quotes.

    He couldn’t, and he was gone. The obvious point here is that it was only after he was forced out the door that the NYT went back and documented the large number of “borrowed” materials that were contained in his prior stories.

    At a minimum, she should be required to produce the “friend” who she says gave her the “quotes” she says were unknowingly (to her) “lifted” from Josh. And when she cannot produce the “friend,” or the dated e-mail from the friend, she should be asked to resign.

    Given the highly unlikely possibility that she can produce her words-thieving friend — one who would have to admit that he/she lifted the quotes from Josh — Dowd should be required to resign for having lifting the material from that friend without giving attribution, or failing to check whether it was original.

    As others, such as Allahpundit have noted, what is the liklihood that someone would have e-mailed Josh’s exact words to her without noting that they were not his/her own? Not so much!

    From his post:

    “Even so, though, when I want to use something someone’s said to me in casual conversation, I always frame it as “As a friend said to me the other day” or some similar formulation. The alternative is to ask their permission to treat the idea as your own, but presumably she didn’t do that in this case or else the friend would have said where he got it from.”

    If the NYT lets her get away with this, then Al Sharpton should be out front of their building, on the morrow, standing right by the for sale sign, screaming “racism.” And in this case, he would be doing it justifiably so!

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