Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Maybe Wente Should Just Go

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.

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