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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"

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"

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.

On Sullivan and Blumenthal [CJR]

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