20 November 2006

Animals Backed into Corners

It's bad enough that the Star Tribune pads out their bankrupt editorials with outright plagiarism, but now they waste equal space with pathetic and unbelievable excuses from the editorial page editor (who get her job from the department of redundancy department) who tries to convince the readers that the dog ate their homework through the toilings of Kate Parry, the embarrassingly compliant lapdog ombuds-person who offers phony cover for the whole diseased operation.
"The writer ... took notes on the Hertzberg piece, intending either to directly quote him or otherwise include some of his views. ... Later, in consulting these notes, the writer inadvertently failed to distinguish which parts were direct quotes and which were paraphrased ideas, resulting in the writing of phrases that included an unattributed, improper mix of the two. ... "
Have you ever heard so much bullshit? This is a major-market newspaper, not some Britney Spears fanzine. Are we to believe that those writing editorials cannot distinguish their own words from the one's they're lifting? Further, when it comes to tyring to isolate the lazy moron who did the plagiarizing, the whole place hides behind the always-convenient privacy rouse:
That meant I couldn't get answers to what would be natural questions in the minds of readers: Was the employee disciplined? Were previous editorials by this writer checked for signs of plagiarism? Because the editorial page staff develops positions as a group and writes unsigned editorials, I can't check for that without knowing the writer's identity.
More bullshit.

Worst of all, the whole fake apology and petty explanation offered by Parry leaves out (in an attempt to exonerate the paper) the most important element in defending plagiarism: In her supposed acknowledgment that the balls were dropped in policy, procedure and professionalism she's left unable to defend the paper's failure to observe the most basic component of working from others' work - you include at least some mention of the name of the original author. Nowhere in the Strib's editorial did they mention Hendrik Hertzberg's name.

What sad amateurs they have over there.

No comments: