Update: Shame on Posner and His Boss; Kudos to Slate
Literally minutes after I posted my take on Gerald Posner's admission of plagiarizing, and what I saw as his boss's apparent soft-peddling of Posner's admitted offense, I came across this story written by Slate's Jack Shafer:
Apparently, Shafer has discovered many more alleged cases of pilfering copy from other sources by Posner. Lots more ...
It looks like Shafer has gotten the attention of The Daily Beast's Executive Editor Edward Felsenthal, who sent along this e-mail to Shafer yesterday:
"We obviously take what's happened very seriously. We will be suspending Gerald Posner while we review his articles, to return if we are satisfied that he has taken the necessary steps to avoid this in the future."
For his part, Posner had this to say in a statement to Slate:
Today I found out that I am suspended from my Chief Investigative Reporter position at The Daily Beast. I now realize that a method of compiling information that I have used successfully since 1984 on book research, obviously does not work in a failsafe manner at the warp speed of the net. Some of the incidents raised by Jack Shafer are not plagiarism, but are instances in which I received the same exact prepared quotation or statement from a police officer or press agent as other reporters. But others are mistakes that I deeply regret.
Rest assured, no one has been tougher on me than I have over this issue. I ask all of you to accept my apology for these instances, a tiny percentage of the hundreds of thousands of words I've written over decades. I accept, however, the full responsibility.
The problem here, of course, is deciding where the truth begins and ends with this guy.
Shame on Posner for his disregard for others' work and his shoddy attention to his readers.
Shame on Felsenthal for making the cardinal sin of accepting Posner's explanation the first time around without satisfying himself like a good journalist should by checking it all out.