August 12, 2005 09:54 AM
Blumenthal's Bad Attribution
CJR has put together a comparison between two profiles of Robert Novak, one by Sidney Blumenthal at Salon and the other by Amy Sullivan at the Washington Monthly. Sullivan's appeared first -- eight months ago. There are clear similarities between the two, arguments and turns of phrase that seem specifically modified to escape direct quotation, a slightly more sophisticated version of how we got through graduate school.
Suliivan: Swiveling in his chair, Novak went on the attack -- "It looks like the ambassador [Wilson] really doesn't know who leaked this to me"The biggest surprise here, of course, is that anyone reads the Washington Monthly. Second: Apparently that line about Novak and the "greasy pole" is all Blumenthal. Well, he did work for Clinton. While we hate to get in the way of any media-lanche that would bury Novak, this does look bad. We don't know if there's an appreciable legal difference between plagiarism and laziness, but Blumenthal should probably find out.
Blumenthal: Swiveling back and forth in his chair, he engaged in a show of bravado. "It looks like the ambassador [Wilson] really doesn't know who leaked this to me"