NYT Public Editor says Rick Perlstein was unfairly treated by ... the NYTtags: Rick Perlstein, plagiarism
... My take: There’s a problem here. An article about polarized reaction to a high-profile book is, of course, fair game. But the attention given to the plagiarism accusation is not.
Yes, the claim was “out there” but so are smears of all kinds as well as claims that the earth is flat and that climate change is unfounded. This one comes from the author of a book on the same subject with an opposing political orientation. By taking it seriously, The Times conferred a legitimacy on the accusation it would not otherwise have had.
And while it is true that Mr. Perlstein and his publisher were given plenty of opportunity to respond, that doesn’t help much. It’s as if The Times is saying: Here’s an accusation; here’s a denial; and, heck, we don’t really know. We’re staying out of it. Readers frequently complain to me about this he said, she said false equivalency — and for good reason.
So I’m with the critics. The Times article amplified a damaging accusation of plagiarism without establishing its validity and doing so in a way that is transparent to the reader. The standard has to be higher.
comments powered by Disqus
- WWII Pilot Found Buried in Italian Corn Field
- Melting Cave Ice Is Taking Ancient Climate Data with It
- King Tutankhamun did not die in chariot crash, virtual autopsy reveals
- Easter Island’s ancient inhabitants weren’t so isolated after all
- Turin shroud was made for medieval Easter ritual, historian says
- Despite new hires, Yale history department retains vacancies
- African-American Professor: Reagan Did More To Help Black Education Than Obama
- Turning West, Historians Take a Wider View of Early America
- History to Launch Online Course for College Credit
- 33.3 million viewers tuned in for 'The Roosevelts' documentary series