Friday, June 10, 2005

Unfairly 'Gannonized'?

At his eponymous blog, Jeff Gannon seems to be suggesting that he's been unfairly accused of plagiarism. His word for the unfair accusations: "Gannonized."

In a post entitled Reporter "Gannonized" as he closes in on "anonymous" source, Guckert/Gannon writes, "David Collins, a veteran reporter for Baltimore's WBAL-TV has come under attack in the form of an anonymous letter sent to the editor of the Baltimore City Paper. Collins has been investigating the curious case of a former staffer to Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich allegedly spreading rumors in an internet discussion website about Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley."

Jeff doesn't mention the word plagiarism at his blog, but that's what the "spreading rumors" is about.

City Paper's Gadi Dechter writes in the article that Gannon linked to (Who’s Accusing WBAL-TV of Copying Other Media Outlets’ Reporting?):

"The anonymous letter to City Paper concludes with a comment suggesting that its author is displeased with the direction of Collins’ recent reporting: “In their inexplicable zeal to do Governor Ehrlich’s and Joe ‘The Prince of Darkness’ Steffen’s dirty work by exposing the Deep Throat who uncovered Ehrlich’s political hit man,” it reads, “WBAL’s ‘I Team’ has plagiarized the work of other journalists."

"Editors at both The Sun and the Post say they were already aware of the instances of alleged plagiarism and unethical reporting described in the letter to City Paper. Neither paper contests the basic facts as described in the letter. The unsigned letter details three instances of alleged wrongdoing by Collins, the most serious of which is the claim of plagiarism."

"On the morning of April 26, U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin, D-3rd, held a press conference announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes. That afternoon, Sun statehouse reporter David Nitkin filed his account of the announcement, which first appeared on the Sun’s web site at around 2 p.m., according to the paper’s online news editor, Matthew Baise."

"The first sentence of Nitkin’s 18th paragraph is: “Cardin begins the race with a reservoir of support among the Baltimore political establishment, as well as from environmentalists and women’s groups.”

"That evening on the Channel 11 evening news, Collins introduced his own coverage of the Cardin announcement with this line to news anchor Stan Stovall: “Well, Stan, Ben Cardin begins the race with a wealth of support from the Baltimore political establishment, as well as environmental and women’s groups.”

"The similarity between the sentences is a coincidence, Collins says, who insists he didn’t read Nitkin’s coverage before writing his own and didn’t have access to the internet besides. “I was out of the building that day, and my computer was down,” he says."

Is that Jeff's excuse, too?

Was Gannon's computer down on April 11, 2003 when he wrote the same exact paragraph that appeared in an Associated Press article that appeared the day before? (link)

"One of the slain clerics, Haider al-Kadar, was a widely hated loyalist of Hussein, part of the Iraqi leader's ministry of religion. The other was Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a high-ranking Shiite cleric and son of one of the religion's most prominent ayatollahs, or spiritual leaders, who was persecuted by Hussein. Al-Khoei had urged cooperation with U.S. troops."

Was Gannon's computer down on September 29, 2003 when he wrote an article very similiar to one written by Randy Dockendorf of The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan written three days before, both of which contained an identical sentence? (link)

""Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate, founded USA TODAY, the nation's largest daily newspaper."

Was Gannon's computer down on August 22, 2003 when he wrote an article that closely resembled one written by Bob Allen of the Associate Baptist Press ten days before? There certainly doesn't appear to be much of a difference between these two lines (link):

Allen: "The Christian Coalition of Alabama passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

Gannon: "The Alabama Christian Coalition passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

I'm not so sure that Melissa Beecher, formerly of the Waltham Daily News Tribune, nor Richard Lodge, an editor-in-chief at the Community Newspaper Company, would be willing to buy the "computer was down" excuse when Jeff Gannon didn't credit Beecher for her exclusive story, changed a few words around here and there, but "borrowed" this complete sentence (link):

"Both sides agree that the children have not been abused mentally, physically, sexually, or emotionally."

That's just a few of the stories that Jeff Gannon incorporated for his "reporting", and others can be found elsewhere on this blog (more to come soon, as well).

At his blog, Jeff Gannon recently incorporated the ability to trackback to his posts. So far, no one has taken advantage of this. Until me. Let's see how long it takes Jeff Gannon to remove my trackback.

Jeff, if you think I've "Gannonized" you, then let me know your side of the story. Is it just a coincidence that so many Talon News writers wrote identical sentences in many of their stories to articles that ran in the mainstream press like The New York Times and Fox News?

Feel free to respond by email or by leaving a comment on my haloscan because I think you're a low down, dirty, stinking plagiarist and not anything close to a journalist.

If you disagree, Jeff, why don't you sue me?


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