Plagiarism as a Parlor Game?

Yesterday afternoon WaPo Opinion Media writer Erik Wemple reported on TWT and UPI Columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave’s questionable attribution habits. In other words, he doesn’t attribute necessarily, he gathers bits and pieces from the vast number of news sources he reads daily.

The best part of the story are the excuses de Borchgrave offers Wemple. Our favorite: “As I recall, it came from my Pakistani associate Ammar Turabi and from the Pakistani English-language papers I read daily. I assume the AP, which I seldom read online, picked it up originally from Pakistani news sources.” The AP disputes this, saying the interview was given directly to the AP, not other sources of which de Borchgrave speaks.

This whole thing could wind up being a fun parlor game to play with friends. For example, read this TWT story from April and Google the last graph. “It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.” Results of the exact same sentence show up on a variety of sites two years earlier. That must have been an easy cut and paste for de Borchgrave.

So far, TWT Editor Ed Kelley isn’t talking. Speaking of Kelley, another great line from de Borchgrave: “I don’t have an editor.”