It’s So Much Simpler To Cheat

A Florida newspaper is investigating instances of plagiarism that basically involve its editorial page editor cutting and pasting vast swaths of right-wing press releases and calling them the newspaper’s opinion. A very brave employee spoke up about this and other problems with this editor, including his checking out porn on his work computer, and like a good reporter, she kept documentation. Here’s some of the evidence. First, she quotes the press releases from the wingnuts, and then follows with the editorials the paper published.

The Jerusalem Post, June 12, 2002, “Stop Apologizing for 1967” by Michael Freund

Pointing out that Israel’s four Arab neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon combined had 60 times the land area of the Jewish state, Eshkol suggested that the pursuit of war by the Arabs was a needless waste of precious human and material resources.

All he asked from the Arabs, said Eshkol, was “full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States in the region.” Israel’s offer of peace was met two years later with a clear and unequivocal Arab response. Egypt and Syria mobilized their armies and vowed to destroy the Jewish state.

On May 30, Cairo Radio was even more explicit: “Israel has two choices, both of which are drenched with Israel’s blood: Either it will be strangled by the Arab military and economic siege, or it will be killed by the bullets of the Arab armies surrounding it from the south, from the north and from the east.” A week later the war began. And a week after that, it had ended, leaving Israel in control of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

Times-Union Editorial, May 31, 2003, “Mideast: Two Steps Back”

Pointing out that Israel’s four Arab neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, combined had 60 times the land area of the Jewish state, Eshkol suggested that the pursuit of war by the Arabs was a needless waste of precious human and material resources.

All Eshkol asked in return was “full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the states in the region.” The offer was met two years later with an unequivocal Arab response. Egypt and Syria mobilized armies, intent on destroying the Jewish state.

Cairo Radio was explicit: “Israel has two choices, both of which are drenched with Israel’s blood: Either it will be strangled by the Arab military and economic siege, or it will be killed by the bullets of the Arab armies surrounding it from the south, from the north and from the east.” A week later the war began. A week after that, it was over, leaving Israel in control of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

We’ve spent a lot of time during this presidential campaign praising local press as actually getting closer to people than the national media could ever hope to get. Seeing this from a local paper is infinitely more disturbing than seeing it from the New York Times, because this will get a fraction of the attention Jayson Blair’s misdeeds got, while its impact will be far greater.

Romenesko has more.

A.