NYT's Maureen Dowd Caught Plagiarizing Left-wing Blogger

UPDATE at end of post: Dowd's employing the famous "I heard it from a friend" defense.

On a regular basis, NewsBusters has warned readers of the infiltration into traditional media outlets content written by left-wing bloggers.

On Sunday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was accused of plagiarizing a piece posted a few days prior by Josh Marshall of the liberal website Talking Points Memo.

Dowd has now admitted her mistake.

As Marshall wrote Thursday (h/t Hot Air):

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.

Dowd wrote before she got caught:

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.

As such, Dowd merely substituted "the Bush crowd was" for "we were." The rest is exactly the same.

Dowd's piece now reflects her admission:

Josh Marshall said in his blog: “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.” [...]

An earlier version of this column failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse to Josh Marshall’s blog at Talking Points Memo. 

So, we not only have so-called journalists channeling nonsense from the liberal blogosphere, but now they're just cutting-and-pasting from it.

And newspaper owners wonder why their subscription rates continue to plummet.

*****Update: The story gets even funnier (h/t NBer iBlog):

Maureen Dowd has sent the NYTPicker this comment on today's accusation of plagiarism:

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.

Exit question: what does the friend know, and when did [s]he know it?

New York Times Online Media Blogs Josh Marshall
Noel Sheppard's picture


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