Talking Points Memo bloggers won’t comment on Maureen Dowd controversy

Earlier today, a blogger for TPM Cafe provided stunning evidence that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd had lifted an entire paragraph from a blog post written by TPM founder Joshua Marshall.

Here’s the Dowd paragraph:

“More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

And here is Marshall’s paragraph:

“More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

The Huffington Post reached out to Dowd, who said, “i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent — and I assumed spontaneous — way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column. but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me. we’re fixing it on the web, to give josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.”

I reached out to both Josh Marshall and the TPM Cafe blogger who broke the story. Marshall responded with a polite, “I really don’t have any comment.”

The TPM Cafe blogger (I believe his first name is Joshua as well but I don’t know the last) said, “Honestly, I’d rather not. I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything that isn’t already clear cut. Obviously, I don’t know what happened, but I am interested in hearing what Dowd’s explanation is though – considering how big a role she played in Joe Biden’s plagiarism problem in 1988. ”

I can’t help but wonder why Marshall doesn’t want to comment on this issue. Either way, a virtual “lynch mob,” as one blogger called it, has already been set loose within Twitter and the blogosphere. The New York Times will be feeling the repercussions of this for weeks.

9 Comments

  1. Fire Andrea Mitchell! Says:

    NY Times’ Maureen Dowd pulls a Joe Biden and plagiarizes Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall!…

    Democrats don’t pay taxes, and they can’t write anything without copying someone else’s words apparently. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times wrote this today:
    “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the to…

  2. Bloggasm » The parasitic nature of bloggers Says:

    [...] light of the Maureen Dowd plagiarism controversy, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald reflects on the symbiotic relationship between bloggers and [...]

  3. Ralph Kramden Says:

    “I can’t help but wonder why Marshall doesn’t want to comment on this issue.”

    Well, OK, but what do you suppose Marshall might want to say? I think the incident pretty much speaks for itself, and I can’t imagine a comment from Josh that would illumine it any further.

  4. Art Kane Says:

    Q: “I can’t help but wonder why Marshall doesn’t want to comment on this issue.”

    A: It’s called “class”.

  5. Rogers Cadenhead Says:

    I don’t think it shows class, I think it shows he’s afraid of making enemies at The Times. It’s definitely weird to give a no comment when you’re completely in the right.

  6. Drew Says:

    Seems like a win win for Marshall no matter what happens. He a) got his actually message on the subject out to a wider audience and b) he and his site will get an incredible amount of free publicity from a mention in the Times and countless other sites talking it up. No matter what happens to Dowd he benefits from just letting it ride.

  7. fishbane Says:

    I think Drew is right on here – there is simply no reason for Josh to comment. I don’t think I would here, either – the facts are plain, his reputation is only burnished by this, and displaying class and maturity just makes me like him all that much more.

    If I were quoted (with or without attribution) by the NYT, That in and of itself would be a wonderful moment in the sun. Why ruin it?

  8. Annette Says:

    Simon,
    Thanks for the email. I have quoted your post on my site and linked back to you.

    Thanks for the heads up and the shout out.

    It means a lot.

    Annette

  9. Drew Says:

    Marshall posted about it, finally. Class:

    Very Briefly on Dowd

    I generally think we’re too quick to pull the trigger with charges of plagiarism. I haven’t said anything about this because I really didn’t think I had anything to add. Whatever the mechanics of how it happened, I never thought it was intentional. Dowd and the Times quickly corrected it, which I appreciated. And for me, that’s pretty much the end of it.

    –Josh Marshall


Blog Widget by LinkWithin