Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Why editors aren't always bad things: I've apparently raised a ruckus by suggesting that syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker took the idea from her latest column from a comment made at littlegreenfootballs.com. (For links see the item below.)
The original poster of the idea, in their response to the item stated that what Parker did "was not plagiarism." I concur. Ideas cannot be plagiarized.
What I was attempting to point out in a tongue-and-cheek manner (and admittedly did a piss-poor job of it) was that it appeared as though the lgf comments were unattributed inspiration for her column. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't use the same phrasing, etc. Parker did not use any phrasing similar to that in the lgf comment.
In 20/20 hindsight (isn't what this is all about?), I should have taken the tack of how blogs are becoming inspiration for the mainstream media. My bad.
Parker wrote me (a stern, but not really nasty [but that's OK, I'd be pissed too]) note saying that she got inspiration from elsewhere, notably, her 17-year-old son. (Does he read lgf?) I believe her.
Jeff Jacoby did something similar to this last year (also noted/linked below) and was subsequently suspended. I thought that was a big-time overreaction and wrong. I thought his editor(s) were out to get him. If Parker were to suffer a similar fate, I'd be ticked about that too, and you can bet there'd be items here, and elsewhere, decrying the small-mindedness of her editors.
My apologies to Kathleen Parker, whose work, I should note, I often like.
[For those who may think I'm backpedaling, you're right. Did it so quick that I fell on my butt.]