Monday, May 02, 2005

Harper's Plagiarism Revisited

The May Harper's has a review by Wyatt Mason of a book by Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno which charges the author with engaging in plagiarism.

"Sawyer-Laucanno's biography is jammed with instances of wholesale borrowing," Mason says, "--remarkable parallels of language and information."

Whoa! Is Mason talking about Sawyer-Laucanno's book-- or previous Harper's articles?

When one looks at the nine examples of Tom Bissell's plagiarism (covered on this blog in January), and the plagiarism by Jeff Tietz of a David DeKok book in another Harper's essay (covered on this blog in February), one sees Wyatt Mason discussing the very same thing.

Kind of schizoid behavior on Harper's part, don't you think? They point out plagiarism by others, when they've done the same thing. I can't see the difference between the examples given in the Wyatt Mason article of reworded sentences and unattributed secondary sources, and what Harper's writers Tom Bissell and Jeff Tietz did.

The last paragraph of Wyatt Mason's article, in extremely vague language, seems to be saying that plagiarism is everyplace. "--we are drowning in information--" Is the current Harper's article a way of excusing their own behavior?

Regardless, plagiarism is plagiarism-- and only a total fool would buy Sawyer-Laucanno's (or Tom Bissell's) explanation that he didn't have his source open in front of him-- it all just happened accidentally.

I'd like the demi-puppets who supported Bissell-- Maud Newton, Daniel Radosh, Mark Sarvas, Bondgirl, Galley Cat, and company-- to comment on THIS article please.


King said...

As expected, not a peep from demi-puppet Lit-Blogger Land about the Harper's story, which pulls the rug out from beneath these hapless people. (They're too busy sucking-up to rich folks at NYC's "Young Lions.") At the time I made noise about this matter, in January and February, Harper's, Bissell, and Tietz themselves didn't say anything. THEY knew what they did. They had enough fool ass-kissing idiots to make their flimsy case-- then, typically, so typically, drop the matter and run away.
They demi-puppets refuse to return to it to this day. Notice their silence. (By now, they can only respond anonymously.)
Admit they were wrong? Not they!

Orlando Hotpockets said...

Maybe they did not respond this time because it was adequately answered the first time around and now everybody is bored shitless by you.

That is one theory.

Jeff Potter said...

So they plagiarize then they rail against the same kind of plagiarization and somehow they get a bye? No, they don't. Their first answer was a joke. It didn't work. Their own expose only exposes themselves. That's a far more sensible theory. Of course they're too busy fawning over useless writers to answer their accurate critics: but the world now knows what they're up to. Do you really think they can escape their own hollowness? Watch them shrink...

Antonio Hotpockets said...

That's nothing compared to the gutless theft by ULA power-brokers of passages from one of the great literary works of our day, "The Heat of My Pockets" by Orlando Hotpockets. Who is my brother.

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