Sunday, May 17, 2009

BREAKING: Dowd Admits Plagiarism To NYTPicker: "Josh Is Right," Dowd Says. Plus She Blames It On "A Friend."

Maureen Dowd has sent the NYTPicker this comment on today's accusations that she may have plagiarized a portion of her Sunday column from Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo:

josh is right. I didn't read his blog last week, and didn't have any idea he had made that point until you informed me just now.
i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent -- and I assumed spontaneous -- way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.
but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me.
we're fixing it on the web, to give josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.

We have emailed Dowd some followup questions, including comment on the identity of her "friend."

One possibility is Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic's longtime literary editor. It has long been rumored that Dowd speaks frequently to Wieseltier about her work, and considers him a close adviser on her column's content and point of view.


Unknown said...

the problem with the explanation of getting the lines from a friend is that she then plagerized that friend...

or am I missing something.

she is using other peoples' words with out crediting them.

not very reporter-ly or professional

Shaz said...

"I didn't read his (Marshall's) blog...." C'mon! Her "friend" expresses the same point "in a cogent and... spontaneous way" and she "weaves" the idea into her column almost word for word? Sorry Mo, not buying.

Anonymous said...

This is suspiciously similar to Mike Barnicle's excuse when he was caught cribbing from George Carlin's book. Something tells me the NYT will be more permissive than the Globe was, though. But the friend gives her the idea, and somehow it ends up a verbatim replica of TPM's? How many other times has she done this that no one has notices?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, if this is the only "plagiarism" blight in her writing career, it isn't nearly as a big a deal as people are making out of it.

So unbeknownst to her some friend verbatim quotes Josh, and she likes the usage and uses it in her article with implicit/explicit permission. Big whoopie. Like I'm sure something similar doesn't happen in so much journalism ;)

Either way, who cares. It's Maureen Dowd. It's not like she's actually solving any real world problems.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crap. This is plagiarism, and for a journalist, it's pretty serious. For a journalist who has leaned on others pretty hard for lesser sins of plagiarism, it's pretty awful.

That she's one of the journo establishment who regularly trots out inaccurate caricatures of bloggers as not having original material, and that Josh Marshall has been producing solid journalism on his blog, well that's ironic, as they say.

It's also pretty disgusting.

That she tells a transparent lie to cover it up is a sin that should result in bannination.

What's with all the folks saying "oh, jeez, we've all made some cut-n-paste errors". No, we haven't all. Most of us never do, in fact. And again, the point is that she, as a Very Serious Journalist, is supposed to be above that sloppy blogger stuff.

Daly de Gagne said...

Unfortunately Maureen Dowd appears to have neither quoted her friend, or indicated she is quoting an unknown person.

Given that she appears to have used a word for word quote from her "friend," she should have done one or the other.

The consequence of blatant plagiarism is dismissal from one's job. I wonder if that applies when the culprit has the star creds that Ms Dowd has.

I personally appreciate a lot of her writing, but I hope her status won't result in her being treated differently from other journalists.

Anonymous said...

Maureen Dowd plagiarized from Josh Marshall's blog. It is clear cut and obvious. She should come clean, realizing that her career will stay afloat, but doing Josh the justice of having his work fully credited.

Harrison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harrison said...

Sorry I re-read your post. That is the stupidest explanation ever. Maybe she will blame the CIA?

Reliapundit said...

how did she hear the exact puncutuation tpm used!?!?

she's lying - like pelosi.

like pelosi, she should resign.

Unknown said...

What a bunch of hooey! The only way in the world this could have happened anything like the way she tells it is if her friend "dictated" the paragraph over the phone and she "took" that dictation. There is no way she was under the impression that this alleged friend was merely suggesting a word flow. For starters, if someone "suggested" some wording for a paragraph over the phone to me, it's very unlikely that what I would end up with would be an almost word for word copy. And it's also very unlikely that the alleged friend wouldn't have pointed out that he/she was reading from someone else's blog.

Another possibility of course is that someone else is writing her columns for her. Someone careless.

Whatever happened, she's a disgrace to journalism. Therefore I suggest the New York Times increase her salary immediately.

TheBronze said...

Dowd is a liar. Pure and simple.

fregan said...

Friend says something over the phone and says you should write something like this. Make this point. She says, yeah, email me what you just said. He does and she thinks it's his thought and has given her permission and knowing he doesn't want attribution usually, she uses it. The friend forgot to say or mis-communicated that it came from Josh Marshall.
Modo ain't no plagiarizer.

AG said...

Yeah, it is plagiarism, and I don't know what the explanation is for how it got there, but come on-- only an idiot would think she could lift this stuff directly from one well-read (and online) source to another without anyone noticing. Think what you will of Dowd, she's not an idiot. I can't imagine she intended to steal it.

AG said...

Frank, I agree.

Anonymous said...

One possibility is Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic's longtime literary editor. It has long been rumored that Dowd speaks frequently to Wieseltier about her work, and considers him a close adviser on her column's content and point of view.What is it with leftists and their need to baby their thoughts amongst a collective? Think JournoList and Townhouse.

Is it that they are so afraid of themselves they need support or that they are so afraid of themselves they need to build memes?

Anyway, this is a dem on dem death match and hilarious.

XLiberal said...

You expect Maureen Dudd to have an original thought?

Memetician said...

Her excuse is the adult equivalent to "The dog at my homework." I wonder what the the NYT's plagiarism repercussions, if any, will be.

Anonymous said...

The real story is the abuse of her readers;there are no excuses for plagiarism.

Mr Keller step up quickly and defend your newsroom practices, don't allow this individual to blowup an otherwise superior newsroom!

Has Maureen Dowd become too big a star in her own mind to be subjected to the smell tests that all other journalists endure?


Her "friend" was probably Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Anonymous said...

STFU Mo, the more you talk the more of a hypocrite you are. Of course I know, that if you're a lying Liberal weinie you only care about being right - even if right is totally wrong. And by-the-way, your " My friend gave it to me excuse is lame. Every kid in the world who gets caught with dope is holding it for a "friend". Shut up and go away.

Trochilus said...

Frank and Amanda, above . . . you are both in denial.

She is a plagiarist any way you look at it.

Try to remember what happened to Jayson Blair at the NYT.

The moment the editors were contacted by
Macarena Hernandez about the similarities between his story and her story -- based largely on identical quotes that had earlier been in her story, Blair was called on the carpet and required to provide proof that he had traveled to San Antonio to get the quotes.

From Wikipedia, here:

"Blair's plagiarism of Hernandez’s article was so flagrant that it led to further pressing by Times editors, who asked him to prove that he had, in fact, traveled to Texas and interviewed the woman in his article. After being unable to provide proof, Blair resigned from The Times on May 2, 2003.

Following the resignation, a full investigation of all of Blair’s articles began.
(my emphasis added)

Dowd now says, in writing and in pertinent part:

"i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent -- and I assumed spontaneous -- way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column."

She should be called in and required to prove that that the call took place, and who the friend was.

If she is unwilling or unable to prove it, she should be fired for plagiarism . . . and publicly lying.

If she produces him/her and the person backs up the story, MoDo should be fired for plagiarism of the "cogent" remark of her "friend."

She did not write, "As a friend of mine has so cogently said . . ."

In other words, MoDo is a plagiarist no matter which version of events is accurate.

And if the NYT doesn't subject her to the same level of scrutiny that they subjected Jayson Blair to, then maybe Al Sharpton should show up on their doorstep with a group of supporters, first thing tomorrow morning.

Where is Al when you finally need him?

Trochilus said...

Daly de Gagne, there is the practical proof of your theory . . . that she should be fired for plagiarim.

What's good for the NYT, should be good for the NYT!

Anonymous said...

Have they ever covered stories about mobbing and gangstalking?

Anonymous said...

What happened is that she liked the way he said it, she cut-and-pasted it into her draft thinking she would make the same point in different words, then she forgot to go back and change it up.

If "a friend" sent it to her by email (the only way she could have gotten the exact same wording), then she was just plain lazy for letting "a friend" do her writing for her.

There's no way she would have done intentionally plagiarized something so easy to find on the internet. She intentionally borrowed somebody else's words (directly or indirectly) and didn't bother to add anything to them. She's just plain lazy and that's disappointing for somebody who's supposed to be writing things worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Why would Dowd blame "a friend"?

I'm surprised she didn't say this is Bush's fault too. She's made a career of it for 8 years.

Trochilus said...

Anonymous,3:23 PM

When you say:

"She intentionally borrowed somebody else's words (directly or indirectly) and didn't bother to add anything to them. She's just plain lazy and that's disappointing for somebody who's supposed to be writing things worth reading."

you are really covering up for her.

There is a word for intentionally borrowing and using someone else's words.

That word is plagiarism. The NYT has dealt with it in the past. Let's see how they deal with it here.

But either way, as accurately pointed out by Daly de Gagne, above, or by myself, above, or impliedly by Allahpundit, in an "Update" at HotAir, or (no doubt) by an increasing number of people at numerous locations on the internet, Maureen Dowd is a plagiarist.

Her "oh, I guess got caught . . . so I'm going to pretend it was just a friend" excuse is not just lacking in credibility -- it is proof that she knew those were someone else's words, that she chose to use them as her own without any attribution.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you're on fire, guys... true, her explanation is hard to believe and it was a bad mistake. (i also can't imagine she did it on purpose.) but the sentence she copied expressed an opinion, an opinion about what the emerging facts suggest. if you echo other people's opinion, you might be a boring person, but is it really the kind of plagiarism you compare it to?

(a clueless European)

Trochilus said...

Anonymous 6:17 PM:

you say, "but the sentence she copied expressed an opinion . . . as if that excused it!

So, if you copy someone else's opinion virtually word for word, that's not plagiarism to a "clueless European" . . . such as you have called yourself?

Here in the United States that is plagiarism!

As for the bit about what the "emerging facts suggest," please, give it a rest! A McClatchy story tried to push that nonsense a few weeks back, based on one "anonymous" intelligence official, and one very left-wing psychiatrist.

It is the one remaining theory the extreme left in this country has been reduced to pushing in order to desperately try and get an edge in the policy debate they have been losing badly -- i.e., falsely accusing the Bush Administration of ordering the "torturing" people for the purpose of inducing confessions that would connect al-Qaeda to the regime of Saddam Hussein, in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.

What they do not want to come out is the proof that the enhanced interrogations saved thousands of American lives because they blurted about the follow-up attack plans, such as the one for LA.

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