Maureen Dowd is a Plagiarist

Maureen Dowd reads (and cuts & pastes)  from the blogosphere she so often criticizes!

The New York Times columnist admitted today she included a paragraph from a blog in her column without attribution, something the MSM accuses bloggers of doing all the time.

I love waking up on a Monday morning to find little nuggets like this in the news.

Of course, nothing is as it seems to be when you live inside the MSM “bubble”. Dowd claims that her plagiarism was inadvertent. In fact, she says she didn’t even read the blog she’s accused of lifting. Her explanation is she was talking with a friend last week about what she intended to write and the friend then gave her the following line:

More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

For comparison purposes, let’s look at the original quote from the blogger in question, Josh Marshall:

More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Those of you with a quick eye will see that Dowd simply switched out “when the Bush crowd was” for Marshall’s “when we were”.

Let’s get back to reality for a moment. When you talk on the phone what’s the likelihood that you hear the caller on the other end recite a sentence of this length and you remember it long enough to then be sure you type it out exactly as “heard” when you write your NYT column?

Not likely.

There’s no way Dowd innocently used Marshall’s words. It’s not possible. If she was so enamored with her friends words, she would have asked her if she spoke them off the cuff or if she had read them somewhere else. Being the seasoned writer Dowd is, there’s no way the thought to inquire the source would have escaped her.

For Dowd’s excuse to be plausible, the conversation with her friend would have had to have gone like this:

Friend: “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

Dowd: “Hey, that’s good stuff. Can you repeat what you just said? I want to use it in my column.”

Friend: “Sure, no problem, let me repeat it to you.”

Sorry – that’s not the way it works. More likely, the “friend” emailed a link to Dowd which she happily clicked on and read straight from Marshall’s blog. She most likely thought no one would suspect for a moment that SHE took the quote from a blog. No, she probably thought everyone would belive the blogger took the quote from her! Cut and paste, and now the words are hers!

So, what’s next? Aside from the obligatory correction we’ll see in tomorrow’s NYT, will executive editor Bill Keller comment? Should he?

For as long as bloggers have been around, the MSM has derided them as non-professional, reckless, haphazzard, and unethical. Today, those exact words describe the actions of Maureen Dowd.

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