PEEK

NYT's Maureen Dowd Plagiarizes TPM's Josh Marshall

To me, plagiarism is a capital offense.

Via thejoshuablog, Maureen Dowd's column in today's New York Times contains a paragraph that, with the exception of four words, looks to be a direct and uncredited lift from Josh Marshall at TPM. See for yourself.

Ms. Dowd:

"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."

Josh Marshall on

Thursday, May 14, 2009

:

"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."

The difference is "the Bush crowd was" in Ms. Dowd's column and "we were" in Josh's.



Coincidence? Two writers coming up with the exact same thought and phrasing right down to the punctuation? Possible, but the odds are astronomical. Subconscious? Ms. Dowd read Josh's piece, liked it, and when she wrote her piece, recalled it word for word but forgot where she read it or thought it was so brilliant it just

had

to be hers. Accidental? She meant to credit Josh and just forgot to do it? Possible, and probably the excuse she or the editors will use when they're asked about it.

Mustang Bobby is a regular blogger for Shakesville.
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