On Sunday Maureen Dowd lifted a passage from a blog post by TPM's Josh Marshall and used it in her Times column without attribution, something she claimed was accidental. Finally, Marshall has addressed the matter.
I generally think we're too quick to pull the trigger with charges of plagiarism. I haven't said anything about this because I really didn't think I had anything to add. Whatever the mechanics of how it happened, I never thought it was intentional. Dowd and the Times quickly corrected it, which I appreciated. And for me, that's pretty much the end of it.
Maureen had us correct the column online as soon as the error was brought to her attention, adding in the sourcing to Marshall's blog. We ran a correction in today's paper, referring readers to the correct version online.
There is no need to do anything further since there is no allegation, hint or anything else from Marshall that this was anything but an error. It was corrected. Journalists often use feeds from other staff journalists, free-lancers, stringers, a whole range of people. And from friends. Anyone with even the most passing acquaintance with Maureen's work knows that she is happy and eager to give people credit.
Though Marshall's blessing may now help Dowd and the Times bring this matter to a close, we stand by an assertion made on Monday by our own Hamilton Nolan about the Times' hypocrisy in regards to the creation of content:
Let's point out that the NYT is one of the loudest newspaper voices bemoaning the idea that they create all the original content and the internet rips it off, in a one-way downhill dance of media thievery. In fact, the NYT itself has a grand tradition of stealing stories from smaller regional papers, parachuting in their own correspondents to re-report and repackage those stories for a national audience.
All papers do that! But none as well as the Times.
Yeah, exactly. What he said.