Back in 2003, Maureen Dowd was caught altering a quote from then-President Bush to apply a spin that was negative enough for the Gray Lady (the New York Times, not Maureen herself), a practice that James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal named “Dowdification.” (Related: see also, ransom note school of quote editing.)
Today, Maureen’s caught cutting and pasting, without attribution, from Josh Marshall of the leftwing Talking Points Memo blog, as Don Surber notes:
Blogger Josh Marshall accused Pulitzer Prize winner Maureen Dowd of plagiarizing him.
He posted on Thursday: “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.”
She published today: “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.”
Whoa, wait. You are not allowed to do this? D’oh!
This does answer the title to her book, “Are Men Necessary?” Yes. Someone has to write her columns…
At Hot Air, Allahpundit quotes Dowd’s excuse, which, as he paraphrases, boils down to, “I didn’t mean to rip off Josh Marshall, I meant to rip off my friend”, adding:
When she says she was “talking” to a friend, she might mean IMing. The friend could have copy/pasted it without attribution and she thought it was an original idea. Even so, though, when I want to use something someone’s said to me in casual conversation, I always frame it as “As a friend said to me the other day” or some similar formulation. The alternative is to ask their permission to treat the idea as your own, but presumably she didn’t do that in this case or else the friend would have said where he got it from.
Or as Aaron Gardner at Red State sums up the kerfuffle, “Maureen Dowd confirms Talking Point Memo is more than just a name…”
Heh, indeed™, to borrow a popular phrase coined elsewhere.
Update: Simon Owens writes, “Talking Points Memo bloggers won’t comment on Maureen Dowd controversy.”
Update: As Matt Drudge writes, “FLASHBACK: Maureen Dowd nailed Joe Biden for plagiarism in '87..."
More: Stacy McCain adds, “Amazing that she couldn’t accurately quote the President of the United States, but she got Josh Marshall word-for-word.” Priorities…priorities…