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.