Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

February 28, 2010

Times Plagiarist Uses Jeff Jarvis-isms to Defend His Practice in "The Age of Blogs"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:45 pm

You may have seen that The New York Times has suffered another plagiarism episode, this one on the part of one of its “Dealbook” financial bloggers. What was different about this one was the spin the admitted plagiarist put on his act. The vigilant Times-watch blog picked up this quote from the plagiarist, one that first appeared in the Greenwhich Time newspaper:

“I don’t know what to tell you,” the plagiarist said, “Things move so quickly on the Web that citing who had it first is something that is likely going away, especially in the age of blogs.”

He also is quoted thus: :

“For instance Dealbreaker and other blogs report on a lot of stories, but I don’t think anybody has ever cited them as being first with a particular scoop. I’ve had it happen to me a bunch of times at The Post and it really didn’t bother me because most readers just don’t care. They don’t read bylines and they don’t care about whether one paper cited a website or another paper in their stories.”

What struck me is that though media guru Jeff Jarvis is by no means an advocate of plagiarism, the new plagiarist defense is essentially to mouth Jarvis-like platitudes about how everything’s different in the brave new world of blogs and that information wants to be free and the story is no longer the unit of the new age of the web journalism with its “content-farms” ,and those poor souls who develop information into a story, i.e. connect the dots, not just throw them at the screen, don’t have any right to any proprietary feelings about what they craft.

Crediting people for their work is “going away” the plagiarist tells us, “readers don’t care” about by-lines so what’s the point of not stealing, right?

This guy has a brght future as a new media guru.



  1. Amazing.

    You actually posted something without screaming about Tea Party people. Couldn’t find a way to blame them for the NY Times continuing their fine tradition of plagiarism?

    However, you do continue one of your own traditions… that of misspelling things. (Calue!)

    The name of the publication that published Zachary Kouwe’s quote is the Greenwich Time… with only one “h” in Greenwich.

    You’ve done well in kicking the blame-the-Tea-Party habit, Ron, please work just as hard on your spelling in the future.

    Comment by ConservativeWanderer — February 28, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  2. I love the irony of him blaming the plagiarism on new media.

    Yes it’s those pesky blogs infecting his beloved New York Times. Why the Times is helpless to actually maintain quality control and loosing their noble name. Just like how they were helpless to report on the Holodomor, ask Walter Duranty.

    Though Ron has a point. PJM is new media and just look at the stuff they let slip through the cracks.

    This just in: Jason Blair had a geocities web journal in 2002!

    Comment by Jack — February 28, 2010 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  3. “This guy has a brght future as a new media guru.”

    Where is the calue in that run huh? A brght future what does that even mean…. this is clearly not calue writing here.

    Comment by robotech master — February 28, 2010 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  4. [“]They don’t read bylines and they don’t care about whether one paper cited a website or another paper in their stories.” I agree that bylines are often ignored by consumers of news (being one myself), although it does bother me when I see nearly identical stories in multiple locations with no attribution.
    However, for producers of news (those referenced above that “connect the dots”)I imagine it would have a chilling effect on the quality or quantity of their work.
    It might be best for the bloggers and the print media to recognize and publicly acknowledge each others’ legitimacy, like that will ever happen.

    Comment by Talnik — March 2, 2010 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

  5. Just finished starting to clean up out of the NOREASTER!! Here’s the Brave New World in a Nutshell: 1) As Ken Auletta observed in his Google book, there is no writing, only information 2) Writers are not creators, only content providers, vis. the journalists at Bloomberg Media who are put on the clock to churn out info; a bell rings in a supervisor’s office if they leave their desks for more than 15 minutes unauthorized 3) In a postmodern world, there is no such thing as original thought, only repackaged information 4) information (words) gravitates towards the hardware as one monolithic entity 5) bloggers are not writers, they are information recyclers or interface drones 6) the depersonalization of information makes it easier for large power centers to control it and disseminate it downwards, shutting out the individual voice permanently 7) thus the Chinese model, drooled over by Tom Friedman, becomes the norm for the USA 8) there is not a dime’s worth of difference between Obama and Viacom: they are both one way content tyrants

    Comment by charlie finch — March 4, 2010 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

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