Friday, May 06, 2005

Is Plagiarism News?

Katharine Q. Seelye has an article entitled "USA Today Reporter Quits Over Lifting Quotations" in today's copy of The New York Times (enter dailykos as name and password to read link):

"Tom Squitieri, a 16-year veteran of USA Today, resigned from the newspaper yesterday after his editors said he lifted quotations from other newspapers without attribution. A statement by USA Today cited an article by Mr. Squitieri, published on March 28, that "included quotes taken from The Indianapolis Star that were not attributed to the newspaper." The Star and USA Today are both owned by Gannett. The newspaper added: "Squitieri's actions violated USA Today's standards on sources and attribution." In addition, the newspaper said Mr. Squitieri, 51, a Pentagon reporter and a former foreign correspondent, lifted quotations used in other articles submitted for publication, but those quotations were trimmed before the articles appeared."

The New York Times also mentions another writer that was canned for plagiarism by The Christian Science Monitor and four other unnamed writers at four unnamed papers that also got the boot in the last month.

My favorite part of the article: "Gene Foreman, who teaches journalism ethics at Pennsylvania State University, said he was "baffled" that journalists continued to violate policies at a time when the spotlight on the media was so bright. "It really surprises me, because the gain is so minimal compared to the risk, and the penalty is severe," Mr. Foreman said. "It's a life sentence."

A life sentence, you say.

I uncovered plagiarism committed by multiple writers at a news organization that has affilliations with the Republican Party but that's not news.

No. I'm a joke to the real "journalists" in the Media. Here's what some had to say in response to my letter to Romenesko:

From SETH PORGES, former Editor & Publisher writer: "In response to Ron Brynaert's letter about E&P's Joe Strupp "refusing" to cover Jeff Gannon's plagiarism: Ron asks: "Why won't Joe Strupp write about Jeff Gannon's plagiarism? Who is he covering up for?" Reading that, it is difficult to stiffle a laugh. I worked with Joe for some time at E&P and I assure you he is a journalist of unfettered ethics. Ron might have broken an interesting story that got quite a bit of play, but accussing a single journalist of conspiring to cover up a story because they have not yet written about it is beyond ludicrous. Every blogger screams at the world that their pet story is not receiving adequate media coverage. Well, I'm sorry, but Joe is only one man, and he can't write every story that every single person wants him to cover."

Seth. Why hasn't Jeff Gannon been outed as a plagiarist along with the other Talon News writers by anyone in the mainstream media? According to The New York Times today, plagiarism qualifies as news. But I read two fucking stories in The Advocate and Vanity Fair in the last week that neglected to mention that fact, and Joe Strupp writes about Jeff Gannon all the freaking time and Editor and Publisher covers plagiarism all the freaking time.

From JEFFREY WEISS, Dallas Morning News: "Um...Gannon was a shill posing as a real journalist (whatever that is, these days). Wasting a lot of outrage on whether his "work" was plagiarized seems like being outraged at the low quality of the paper used to make counterfeit money. (Or akin to the punchline to an old vaudeville joke about a bad restaurant: "And the portions are so small!") To be fair, I guess evidence that he was stealing from others would bolster the case that he was not a real journalist. But is there really any question about that, at this point?"

Um...yeah...Jeff...there is "any question about that." Mr. Gannon's been defended as a journalist all over the MSM with no mention of his plagiarism. And it wasn't just Jeff, Jeff. I've outed a bunch of other Talon Newswers as plagiarists here (links at the top of this blog) including GOPUSA's owner, Bobby Eberle. But that's not news either.

What's Jeff's idea of news?

Evidently, writing propaganda that the folks at Free Republic appreciate (perhaps Jeff's a member there too along with the other Jeff): link.

I guess I shouldn't be outraged at the low quality of Jeffrey Weiss' propaganda. But, hey, at least it wasn't plagiarized.


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