Newsweek on Gerald Posner: Lies heaped on top of plagiarism

We stopped telling students not to plagiarize when we realized that they did not know what that word meant. Instead we told them that they may not copy anything from anywhere into the work that they present to us as their own unless they tell us they are doing that by using attributions and quotation marks and footnotes.

Students continue to plagiarize no matter what we say. Professors plagiarize too and apparently so do journalists.

When caught, the students are failed, the professors and the journalists are fired, except when they are not, when they get away with their misdeeds, which is most of the time for professors and on occasion for the journalists.

When a plagiarist gets caught he tells a story to explain how it happened, which given the circumstances, we ought to assume is an outright lie.

Latest case. Journalist copied five sentences -- not 800 pages -- and he got fired.

Here is Newsweek's snarky account of some of the convoluted lies that plagiarists tell when caught in the act.
Plagiarism Excuses: Taking—er, borrowing—a page out of the Gerald Posner playbook.
By David A. Graham

A recent plagiarism scandal at the Daily Beast—culminating in the resignation of chief investigative reporter Gerald Posner—is a fresh example of the way plagiarism happens, and gets caught, in the Internet era.

Posner was first fingered on Friday by Slate media critic Jack Shafer, who—tipped off by a reader—found five sentences that were identical or nearly identical to ones from a Miami Herald story. Shafer called Posner out, the Daily Beast posted a correction, and Shafer applauded Posner's no-reservation mea culpa. Case closed?

Well, not quite. On Monday, Shafer published a sheaf of new examples of, um, borrowed material in Posner's work, and Posner resigned from the Beast, writing an explanation on his blog... more...

1 comment:

Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky said...

I have been meaning to ask you Tzvee,
why do you always use the royal

PS. Wow that actually rhymes. My 1st ever rhymed comment.:-)