In a bit of synchronicity, the memeorandum announced the "resignation" of Ben Domenech from the WaPo .com site because of plagiarism. Of course, Ben should have been fired, just like Nina Totenberg was fired after lifting several paragraphs more or less verbatim from the Washington Post while she worked for The National Observer.
Nina recovered, was hired by NPR, a publicly-owned left-leaning media outlet that evidently doesn't mind its employees' pinching from here or there if they have the right connections and the leftoid politics.
Of course, if you are a WASP NYT Reporter who is a Bureau Chief in Boston like Fox Butterfield, who got a slight rap on the wrist [One week suspension with pay and re-instatement to Bureau Chief Job] for pulling off the slick trick of plagiarizing an article about plagiarizing a speech. In the pre-Jayson Blair era, this was possible for the then-highly regarded Gray Lady of Times Square. [Besides, FoxB was wired with the Kennedy machine very closely, so a wink and a nod sufficed.]
But The New York Times still just doesn't get it, as lucky Steve Erlanger, the NYT Jerusalem Bureau Chief happily discovered after.....
After an "Editor's Note" in the New York Times admitted the citational faux pas of Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Erlanger, the "P-word" was avoided in favor of more delicate phraseology.
In an article about Israeli film director Amos Gitai, Erlanger certainly did not plagiarize. He did not intend to lift "two paragraphs . . . that were virtually identical to a passage in an article by Michael Z. Wise in the August issue of Travel + Leisure magazine."
Erlanger "inadvertently mingled" parts of the Travel and Leisure article with "his own notes from an interview with Mr. Gitai, and then used some of them in the Times article without attribution." As the "Editor's Note" concludes, "The material from the magazine should have been credited to it [the Travel and Leisure article by Michael Z. Wise]."
Yes, the NYT now gets stories wrong on a weekly basis, but back in 2005 they still were able to skirt using the "P-word" or overlook lapses in fact-checking!
More spectacularly, robo-skag she-beast syndicated-columnist Molly Ivins demonstrates that being a serial chronic plagiarist is no problem if you bash Bush and fawn leftward using incessant gutter language. Ivins is so monumentally wrong-headedly stuck on stupid that she often [twice anyway] gets caught plagiarizing INACCURATE info that is subsequently corrected by the pilfered publication:
"[C]urious how plagiarism seems a minor thing when the plagiarist is an ideological soulmate" ruminated a member of a listserv for editorial writers. She had been following a discussion of syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins' most recent plagiarism gaffe--copying of content from a Washington Post story which incorrectly detailed President George W. Bush's Social Security plan.Ivins characteristically called one of her inadvertant contributors a "bitch" for objecting to being quoted without citation. However, no one mistakes Ivins for a journalist, or in many quarters even for a human being.
The copying probably would have gone un-noticed if the Washington Post's figures had been accurate. But they weren't, and like other notable plagiarists who have gone before, Ivins fell into the trap of copying mistakes and errors which existed in the original text.
On the same listserv which discussed Ivins' copying from the Washington Post, reference was also made to other instances in which Ivin's derivative political commentary merely recycled content of other journalists, errors included--for example, an op-ed by Barry Schwartz in the New York Times.
Ivins' apparent lifting on more than a few occasions seems to have done scarcely more than raise a few eyebrows. Gene Weingarten devoted some Sunday space in the Washington Post to Ivin's re-use (without acknowledgement) of a phrase coined by Clive James to describe California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger -- "a condom stuffed with walnuts" for James' original "a brown condom stuffed with walnuts" [emphasis added]. According to Weingarten's diligent research investigating the provenance of this condom-walnut combo, one must concede the possibility that Ivins produced the phrase independently. But as Clive James cautioned Weingarten, "It is also possible that a peasant llama farmer in the Andes independently thought of the Internet. We have no way of knowing! In fact, please print that so the llama farmer is not deprived of his credit" (G. Weingarten, "Below the Beltway").