Tell me that what Media Culpa illustrates here isn't an example of what John Mashey refers to in the comments as "mosaic plagiarism". MC concludes as follows:
Like journalists, kids who plagiarize are sometimes excused if it’s deemed to be “an isolated incident”. But what if it’s a pattern? And what if the pattern is tolerated (by editors or teachers)? Some of Ms. Wente’s earlier lapses have been addressed reluctantly - through corrections or Editor’s Notes (direct response from the Globe has been frosty). But errors also raise larger issues – like "John", who Wente presented as the ‘face’ of the Occupy protests. John’s bio and quotes also appeared in her work without attribution (they had previously shown up on a couple of American websites in a different context). Sadly, it turned out John had nothing to do with the protests: Ms. Wente effectively invented an Occupy protester. Is that any less egregious than Jonah Lehrer’s invented Bob Dylan quote?
So there you have it.