November 28, 2007

Michael Barrett: Minnesota House Candidate, Vice-Chair of the Minnesota GOP, Blog Plagiarist ***Update: Barrett Half-Apologizes, Hangs it Up

A few days ago, I received this comment from commenter MagicalPat on a post I did about a study group I think is beginning to beat the Nanny Stater war drum against bacon and other tasty smoked meats. We of course all know Nanny Staters exist for the sole purpose of sucking every ounce of joy out of our lives through any means they can.  It was a fairly popular post, I had fun writing it, I got a nice traffic bump, and people seemed to like it, heh, of course, someone liked it enough to swipe it.  

So anyway, I posted a new thread addressing the plagiarism(where you can see the process we went through digging through this story, its kind of a mess, which is why I wrote this).  I linked to the original post, and to the plagiarized copy (screencaptured copy of the post)Pat sent me from a blogger called The Seventh Son.

As you can see, he made a few tiny changes, and used the same pic, but its pretty much my post.  From there, I learned that Pat found out Seventh Son stole my post when he discovered that his own guest-post at Ankle Biting Pundits (screencaptured copy of Pat's post) was also plagiarized by Seventh Son.  Seventh Son ain't subtle.  And of course, he has no comments on his site, and no way to contact him.  Nice, right?

Later on, I realized he also plagiarized part of a post in which Slublog, a co-blogger at Ace of Spades HQ and has his own site, linked my story (just before Pat confirmed that for me in comments).  I believe Seventh Son picked up the story from Ace of Spades, as Ace has a pretty high traffic site.  Here is the crossposted link from Slublog's personal site, and where Seventh Son likely lifted it at Ace of Spades, here again is the Seventh Son post in question (screencapped copy of what he plagiarized here) so you can see what he lifted.

(Funny: Cuffy at Perfunction skewers our plagiarist quite nicely)

Pat continued to dig to see what else he could find out about The Seventh Son, and soon came across where Seventh Son got into a feud with left-leaning blogger lloydletta, who focuses on news in Minnesota.  What's funny is, it looks like lloydletta totally got the better of Seventh Son, and that may have prompted Seventh Son to shut down his comments and cut off contact.  Seventh Son, as I'm sure you can figure out from the title of the post and the links in his blog, is also from Minnesota.  lloydletta also gave us his name, The Seventh Son is in fact Michael Barrett. 

We've found that Barrett unsuccessfully ran for Minnesota's District 7 House of Representatives seat in 2006 (perhaps lacking in original ideas?), and through a site called Look True North, a site for Minnesota conservatives that Michael Barrett contributes(now contributed) to, we found his bio(under Seventh Son) and discovered he was also a Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party!  We confirmed this through the Minnesota GOP's Executive Committee page

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by me are my own personal views and should not be construed in any way as reflecting the views of the RPM or the CD-7 Executive Committees.

(Pat pointed this out, from Seventh Son's Look True North Bio, heh*  LookTrueNorth has Removed Seventh Son from their Biographies, so this is no longer there)

I'll also note, his site is linked under the Minesota GOP's Blogs section of its website, its marked as CD7 (unofficial) Blog.  They may wanna rethink that, of course they may wanna rethink having such a numbskull as their Vice-Chairman.  Oh, and it looks like he's a Fred supporter, Fred, I'm a supporter too, if he's part of your MN campaign, you may want to dump this chump.

Thankfully, Barrett has no problem quoting blogs, so he can't pull the "I'm an Internet Idiot" defense here, and worm his way out of this.  He knows to cite blogs if he's taking quotes from them.  You can see here where Barrett quotes a RedState article.  So not only is he a plagiarist, he's an elitist too.  Barrett has no problem plagiarizing posts from lesser known people like Pat, Slublog and I, but he gives due citation to bloggers with some status.  Gotcha!

I only speak for myself here, I'll leave it to Slublog and MagicalPat to offer their own opinions.  I know its my post is silly post, its what I do at doubleplusundead, I'm an Ace of Spades Spinoff-Moronblogger.  I could have lived with it had he either linked me and copied my post, nicked the article I used without a hat tip, or hell even nicked a line or two, I would've let it go.  But, he decided he'd enjoy credit for our posts, I think I'll enjoy goofing on him.

May I say, I think Barrett's in the wrong party...or maybe not, the mix of elitism and clumsy stupidity make him perfect material for the upper echelons of the Republican Party Leadership...maybe Trent Lott will need an assistant in his new lobbying gig. 

I've tried to get in contact with Barrett through various means for the past five days, I've also given the MN GOP notice that we have this story, have received confirmation they received the notice, and are looking into it.  However, I think its best that people are made aware of Barrett's plagiarism, particularly because he may be running for the House again in 2008.  We may as well put this story out there, because it'll be us, or it'll be the Left, and I'd rather we police our own.

Oh, and one last thing, should Barrett decide to scrub his blog if he finds he doesn't like unwanted attention, I've screencapped everything, so I'll post those as needed.  Just let me know if he's done so in comments, and I'll post my screencaps. 

****Update:  He totally scrubbed his blog, I've posted the parts he plagiarized.  Pity.  I think there's still a cache of his site, but I dunno how long that'll last,  I say pity because who knows who else he plagiarized, and we may never find out.

Update:  Look True North looks, doesn't like what it seesNot in the least, I'll note the words doubleplusundead and hard work are almost perfectly contradictory...heh.

Update:  Sue in comments lets me know that(screencapped Google cache of Barrett's apology) Barrett has apologized, and is hanging it up.  Really, all I want is an apology and proper acknowledgement (and I'm sure Slublog and MagicalPat are the same way), he's halfway there.

 He had no comments or email to send a note to, so it was impossible to contact him.  Sadly for him, he made himself unavailable, and only apologized just now, because this story is getting some fairly significant coverage at this point, and I would have handled it in a quieter manner.  Oh, well, his fault.

He makes the "internet idjit"  defense copout a little bit, which is weak, and I address it earlier, and the "I didn't intend it for a wider audience" cop out too, which kinda sounds like "I didn't think I'd get caught".  Which I'll note, he knew to quote people, he quoted RedState, so its an elitist thing too, quoting big bloggers while ignoring the more obscure ones. 

Update:  Minnesota GOP scrubs Seventh Son from its Blogs page.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 12:43 AM | Comments (83) | Add Comment
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