Fortune magazine staff writer Barney Gimbel has reportedly quit amid charges he ripped off entire sections of a New York Times Magazine article, in a plagiarism job a college freshman would be ashamed of.
The New York Observer got a copy of an upcoming Editor's note from Fortune apologizing for Gimbel's ripoff. Gimbel's story, about Russian oil company Lukoil, is here; the 2004 NYT mag story he stole from is here. Was Gimbel just rushing to make deadline, or what? The NYO has several examples of similar passages, but just one is enough to show that he obviously was putting very little thought into concealing his apparent crime:
He did well in high school and graduated from the Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Petrochemistry, after which he worked on the Oil Rocks, a fabled offshore field in the Caspian Sea. The facilities were Dickensian. He lived on primitive rigs prone to explosions, fires, storms and other disasters. On one occasion, a blowout on his rig threw him into the storm-tossed Caspian, and he had to swim for his life.
He graduated from the Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Petrochemistry and soon went to work on the Oily Rocks, a storied offshore city on the coast of the Caspian Sea. The conditions there were famously treacherous. Once, during a storm, a blowout on his drilling rig sent him flying into the high seas, and he had to swim for his life.
CORRECTION: This post originally said, incorrectly, that Gimbel was fired—in fact, the Observer reports he quit last week.