“What can I tell you?” says New York Times Hollywood correspondent Bernard Weinraub. “I screwed up
—I’m sorry.” | Weinraub’s apologies, given hurriedly in a very brief telephone conversation, are for lifting a paragraph from another source to use in his Monday, Nov. 11, bylined story about Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano (“Talk of Wiretaps Rattles Hollywood”). Weinraub confesses to having plagiarized the passage, although identifying the precise party he plagiarized isn’t simple. —Jack Shafer —The Case of the Pinched Copy: Who, exactly, did the New York Times’ Bernard Weinraub plagiarize? (Slate)
If you’re caught with big chunks of uncited text from another source in your own article, the faster you apologize, the better. Shame on you, Weinraub, for plagiarizing; but good for you, Weinraub, for apologizing. At least now your readers can think of you as human and flawed, rather than calculating and deceitful.