February 17, 2010
But I guess lifting damn near whole articles from other publications is also par for the course at the Old Gray Lazy now.
Within a day, they found half a dozen examples of passages lifted from other news sources. On Sunday night, an editors’ note was published on the Times Web site admitting that Mr. Kouwe had indeed lifted lines from a variety of sources, including The Journal and Reuters.
By Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Kouwe had resigned.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for unethical journalism,” wrote Mr. Keller in an e-mail to The Observer. “Plagiarism is unethical journalism.”
“I was as surprised as anyone that this was occurring,” said Mr. Kouwe, referring to the revelation that he had plagiarized. “I write essentially 7,000 words every week for the blog and for the paper and all that stuff. As soon as I saw, I guess, like six examples, I said to myself, ‘Man what an idiot. What I was thinking?’”
Mr. Kouwe says he has never fabricated a story, nor has he knowingly plagiarized. “Basically, there was a minor news story and I thought we needed to have a presence for it on the blog,” he said, referring to DealBook. “In the essence of speed, I’ll look at various wire services and throw it into our back-end publishing system, which is WordPress, and then I’ll go and report it out and make sure all the facts are correct. It’s not like an investigative piece. It’s usually something that comes off a press release, an earnings report, it’s court documents.”
“I’ll go back and rewrite everything,” he continued. “I was stupid and careless and fucked up and thought it was my own stuff, or it somehow slipped in there. I think that’s what probably happened.”
Yeah. Just an accident. It's not as though the NY Times has made mistakes before, right? Ok, so how is management responding?
A Times spokeswoman said, “Our journalistic standards are the same online as they are in print.”
Look, I know things happen, and that shitbags wind up in every line of work. But why is it so many of these guys end up at the NY Times, especially after the Jayson Blair fiasco?
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