Slate Article Causes Copying Texas Alt-Weekly to Quit in a Huff

Remember the article from Slate music writer Jody Rosen, who stumbled upon a little alt-weekly in Texas, the Montgomery County Bulletin, who had stolen his Jimmy Buffet article? Rosen got obsessed, did some research, and found that one of the paper's few writers, Mark Williams, had pretty much plagiarized everything ever. Now, says the Houston Press, the Bulletin is up and quitting due to the scandal. "It's no longer a publication. I'm quitting. After this Slate article and this is the future of journalism in New York City. I don't want any part of it," said publisher Mike Ladyman. (It's hard to feel sorry for Ladyman; he didn't seem to give a rat's about the plagiarism issue when Rosen contacted him repeatedly.) Good job, Slate! (A fun quote from the non-media-savvy Ladyman after the jump, plus an angry letter from copycat writer Mark Williams.)

Ladyman on Rosen: "He truly acts like the rock-and-roll or the music critic. And if you don't talk to him right away and for as long as he wants to, he feels slighted."

From copying writer in question, Mark Williams, who claims he found all the material he plagiarized in press releases:

"Mr. Rosen: I suppose it is time that we made contact, since I seem to be your favorite new obsession. For such a heralded and busy journalist, it is obvious that you have an abundance of free time in your daily schedule. You have done an exemplary job of exposing the seedy underbelly of duplicitous small town weekly newspapers and the evil doers that run them. You have indeed brought us to our knees."

"I sincerely apologize for my crimes against you and any perceived damage done to your person or your career accomplishments. It was never my intention to cause you harm. The article in question was included in other press materials I had received via e-mail. I used parts of the article as background and did so thinking it was cleared for such use; but, as you have so subtly pointed out, I was mistaken."

"...It must have taken years of seasoned investigative know-how to push me off my lofty perch. It takes a dogged, intrepid journalist to expose the alleged wrongdoings of a 44-year-old college dropout who drifted from one lousy media job to another for 20 years; it takes courage to debase someone with a mouthful of cut-rate dentures who, up until 2007, lived in his parents' home for seven years due to near-fatal bouts of clinical depression; it takes a journalist of a certain caliber to torpedo a pathetic hack who has barely squeezed out a living for nearly a decade at seven cents a word."
Not to pile on here, but you still gotta write your own words, man. Oh, there's more, of course. Find it here at the Houston Press.