Monday, May 18, 2009

Is a NY Times Columnist Guilty of Plagiarism?

Maureen Dowd, perhaps one of the best known columnists of the NY Times, wrote in Sunday's (May 18, 2009) NY Times:

"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."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/opinion/17dowd.html?_r=1

On the previous Thursday, just a few days earlier, Talking Point Memo's Josh Marshall wrote,

"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."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/05/bubbling.php

So it seems pretty clear that we have a case of plagiarism here. Maureen Dowd now says it was an inadvertent error of failing to give proper credit and attribution. Here is what has been added to her online column:

Correction: May 18, 2009 Maureen Dowd’s column on Sunday, about torture, failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse to Josh Marshall’s blog at Talking Points Memo.

It should be noted that in 1987, it was Maureen Dowd who exposed then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's plagiarism of British politician Neil Kinnock's speeches.

2 comments:

Susan Kelley said...

Well, I guess she understood what plagiarism is. I really wonder how she expected to get away with it. She had to know many of the same people read both her column and that blog. I'm voting for arrogant error rather than inadvertent.

Cate Masters said...

According to an article I read, she heard the statement rather than read it. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, she would risk too much by blatant plagiarism. The media has a tendency to convict anyone - even their own kind - before learning the facts.