Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maureen Dowd, weaving, not linking

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.

Josh Marshall, 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 the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Maureen Dowd, May 17, 2009
Three thoughts about the Josh Marshall-Maureen Dowd affair:

1. Dowd's explanation of how a paragraph from Talking Points Memo ended up in her New York Times column —
i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent — and I assumed spontaneous — way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.

but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me.
— seems absurd. It credits friend and columnist alike with uncanny, savant-like powers of recall. It also fails to explain why Dowd didn't credit her alleged source for this observation. How'd you like to see your cogent sentence turn up without attribution in your friend's Times column? Some friend!

2. Weaving is an odd metaphor for what Dowd appears to have done — i.e., copied and pasted a useful bit that she then forgot to credit.

3. The corrected version of Dowd's column credits Marshall in a way that seems, well, demeaning:
Josh Marshall said in his blog: "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."
If you don't recognize Marshall's name, you wouldn't know that "his blog," unnamed, is a widely-read site for political news and commentary. The tone here reminds me of the ways in which traditional media will often credit "a blogger," unidentified. Worse still, Dowd doesn't even provide a link.

Sheesh.

Exhibits A and B
Josh Marshall's post (Talking Points Memo)
The corrected Maureen Dowd column (New York Times)

comments: 4

Elaine Fine said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave . . .

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine, you plagiarized!

Genevieve said...

I've always thought Maureen Dowd is cold as ice. However, I have respected her. Now, I'm disillusioned. I wouldn't have expected this.

Michael Leddy said...

I wonder why she didn't acknowledge what must have happened — copying and pasting and forgetting to give credit.