Thursday, June 21, 2007

How Many Strikes Does Jeff Jacoby Get?

When it comes to writing honest - and not plagiarized - stories, Jeff Jacoby was already batting the Mendoza line, having been suspended in the past.
he recycled, without attribution in his column, the work of others
Yet, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. In today's case of "sounds familiar," BMG diarist Heck of a Liberal writes the dirty truth:
[The] Jacoby opinion piece, which slams liberals for not engaging in as much "enlightened" debate as conservatives, was to me almost the same piece that a writer from the Hoover Institute (Peter Berkowitz) wrote for the Wall Street Journal on May 29. Both writers are analytically challenged... but what disturbed me most is Jacoby essentially wrote the same article without attributing the original article. In college this would be considered plagiarism.

Well, Heck of a Liberal, I think you're on to something here. Jeff Jacoby has done - yet again - exactly what got him suspended before. He's "recycled, without attribution in his column, the work of others." Just read the articles and decide for yourself.

Which is which?

Author A:
On a variety of issues that currently divide the nation, those to the left of center seem to be converging, their ranks increasingly untroubled by debate or dissent, except on daily tactics and long-term strategy. Meanwhile, those to the right of center are engaged in an intense intra-party struggle to balance competing principles and goods.
Author B:

WHAT DO liberal Democrats think about the war in Iraq? That's easy: It was a blunder that has become a debacle, and it should be brought to an end as soon as possible.What do conservative Republicans think about the war? That's not
so easy.

The right has been fighting over the war since well before it began...

Author A:

He starts many of his paragraphs like this:
Consider Iraq.
And look at same-sex marriage.
Author B:
Take immigration.
Another example: abortion.
Or health insurance:
My favorite odd coincidence? The Lieberman factor (Emphasis mine):

Author A:
In contrast, Democrats today are nearly united in the belief that the invasion has been a fiasco and that we must withdraw promptly. Indeed, rare is the Democrat (Sen. Joe Lieberman was compelled to run as an Independent) who does not sound like a traditional realist denying both America's moral obligation to remain in Iraq and its capacity to bring order to the country.
Author B:

On one important issue after another, the right churns with serious disputes over policy and principle, while the left marches mostly in lockstep. Liberals sometimes disagree over tactics and details, but anyone taking a heterodox position on a major issue can find himself out in the cold. Just ask Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Don't readers just love how they both throw the same line in there. I bet it works both times.

At what point did plagiarism become acceptable in the mainstream media? Let's hope the Globe hasn't stooped quite that low. However, isn't the underlying subject of this discussion interesting? We have two articles criticizing Democrats for having a lack of ideas and being too unison in their mindsets. Isn't it at least a little bit ironic that two conservative writers writing for major newspapers in the media come up with the same exact opinions, without referencing each other? Isn't it at least a little unusual that they're singing a chorus in unison about how unique, diverging and great their Conservatism in America is? Isn't it odd that they're using the same quips, styles and formats to get the same, exact points across? Nope, it's not odd, it's plagiarism.

---Author A is Peter Berkowitz, writing for the Wall Street Journal. Author B is Jeff Jacoby, (hopefully formerly) employed by the Boston Globe.


bostonph said...

Mail it in to the Globe. Jacoby shares Peter Porcupine's penchant for regurgitating GOP talking points, but that's a flat out lift.

Ryan Adams said...

I actually already did.

An author, regardless of the industry he or she is working for, must attribute sources. It doesn't even bother me that he's basically copying Berkowitz's work, if he just said, "Peter Berkowitz had this great piece in the WSJ and I'm going to talk about his ideas today," then it would be something completely different.

I really hate how the media is allowing this baseless crap - how the Republicans are really the diverse group because, while they're a party of all old, rich, white, straight and mostly men, they have the "diversity of ideas." What crap? Maybe they have the diversity of ideas because they've have the bad ones. Maybe the Democrats are speaking in unison because that's where the country's at, because what's wrong with this country is beyond obvious and requires many similar initiatives to fix... like liberating OURSELVES from Iraq.

However, if the Republicans want a diversity of ideas, maybe they should look at the Dems a little harder.. and maybe they should stop COPYING each other's work.

Anonymous said...

Conservative Affirmative Action

Jeff Jacoby does not have to write good columns for the Boston Globe to retain his position. Nor does Mallard Fillmore have to be funny. In certain areas, incompetence gets excused so we can make conservative quota.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to sign:

Anonymous said...

I could not help but notice your barely concealed rage at Jeff Jacoby for having a different opinion than yours.
Of course, far be it for me to insinuate that your agenda might have something to do with your efforts to have it so that you not only have to ignore him, but you can have him forcibly silenced.
I would never accuse you of that, inasmuch as you would never throw out a completely unjustified politically motivated plagiarism charge.

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