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Gerald Posner Out at Daily Beast for Plagiarism

Secrets_Of_The_Kingdom_Inside_the_Saudi_US_Connection_Gerald_Posner_unabridged_mp3_compact_disc.jpgIt was Slate’s Jack Shafer‘s story that brought attention to the chief investigative reporter for Daily Beast Gerald Posner‘s lifting from other sources. See the piece here.

Look, if you goof up once and end up with a sentence or a phrase identical to someone else, then you should keep your job and your reputation. But if this is the type of thing you do all the time and there are multiple examples of the exact same lifting over and over again…then you should lose your job and the public should know the truth about your work.

Posner writes on his own website:

This afternoon I received a call from Edward Felsenthal, the excellent managing editor of The Daily Beast. He informed me that as part of the Beast’s internal investigation, they had uncovered more instances in earlier articles of mine in which there the same problems of apparent plagiarism as the ones originally brought to life last Friday by Shafer. I instantly offered my resignation and Edward accepted.

What was clear was that the excellent reputation established by The Daily Beast in the last year should not be tarnished by any controversy swirling around me.

The thing we find…the word…odd? Is that he got caught via the Internet but blames the Internet for his folly too:

The core of my problem was in shifting from that of a book writer – with two years or more on a project – to what I describe as the “warp speed of the net.” For the Beast articles, I created master electronic files, which contained all the information I developed about a topic – that included interviews, scanned documents, published articles, and public information. I often had master files that were 15,000 words, that needed to be cut into a story of 1,000 to 1500 words.

In the compressed deadlines of the Beast, it now seems certain that those master file were a recipe for disaster for me. It allowed already published sources to get through to a number of my final and in the quick turnaround I then obviously lost sight of the fact that it belonged to a published source instead of being something I wrote.

Once is explainable. Over five is a pattern.

Hat tip @slate

Previously on FBLA: Chief Investigative Reporter for Daily Beast Suspended for Plagiarism

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