More plagiarism at the New York Times?

News & Politics

Remember what the Washington Post's ex-conservative blogger Ben Domenech said when he got busted for plagiarism? He claimed that his former editors had been illicitly adding other people's work to his articles. His excuse got the reception it deserved--goggle-eyed incredulity.

Amazingly, The New York Times is happy to publish the same excuse with a straight face if the guy in the hot seat is a senior staffer. Yesterday the paper of record admitted in an editorial note that that four paragraphs of this story were lifted directly from the website of a London newspaper without attribution. The NYT claims that the replication was an accident that happened when writer Andrew Ross Sorkin appended some of his notes to his final story, which his editor mistook for Sorkin's original work:

"In preparing the article, The Times's writer consulted an online report from The Independent on Sunday ... which he appended to the end of his computer file for reference," the note, which ran on A-2, said in part. "Through an editing error, four short paragraphs of The Independent's report, about the history of Steve Forbes's political ambitions, were incorporated in the Times article. The Times regrets the error."

The Times, following its usual style, did not disclose the name of the writer or the editor. But a New York Post story on the incident published today identified the writer as Andrew Ross Sorkin. "An editor added the paragraphs into the story not realizing it was part of my notes," Sorkin told the Post. He called this a "stupid error." [Editor & Publisher]
Neither the Times nor Editor & Publisher provides a link to the original article. So, for your perusal, I present a link to Jason Nisse's Independent story about Steve Forbes' search for outside capital for his media empire, dated May 7.

Presumably these are the "four short paragraphs" from the Independent that the Times says were accidentally submitted along with Sorkin's story on Steve Forbes' search for outside capital for his media empire, dated May 8:

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