New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in an email to Huffington Post, admits that a paragraph in her Sunday column was lifted from Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall's blog last Thursday. . . .(Hat-tips: Don Surber, Memeorandum.) Her "friend" who gave her the quote was, no doubt, her paid editorial assistant. The New York Times provides all its columnists (including David Brooks, for example) with assistants. This practice is a hold-over from the days when the New York Times actually made money. The purloined paragraph:
[I] was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent -- and I assumed spontaneous -- way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.
[B]ut, clearly, my friend must have read [J]osh [M]arshall without mentioning that to me.we're fixing it on the web, to give Josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.
More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.This isn't an obscure fact that you ask an editorial assistant to look up. ("Hey, Jennifer, what's the GDP of Botswana? And get me a cup of coffee, hon.") It's a propaganda claim. That Maureen Dowd is paid $300,000 a year and can't even be bothered to come up with her own liberal spin should tell you all you need to know about why the New York Times is slouching toward bankruptcy.
UPDATE: "Oh, to be a JournoList blogger tonight!"
UPDATE II: Ed Driscoll notes the history of "Dowdification." Amazing that she couldn't accurately quote the President of the United States, but she got Josh Marshall word-for-word.
UPDATE III: Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters: "Exit question: what does the friend know, and when did [s]he know it?"
UPDATE IV: Jimmie Bise at Sundries Shack:
I didn't think there was a limit to how many times someone could write a column based around the theme "ZOMG! Dick Cheney is teh suck!"Dowd's column was part of a pushback against the Pelosi/torture revelations. If you suspect that this pushback was part of an orchestrated effort by Democrats to change the subject, you are a right-wing conspiracy-theorist nutjob.
UPDATE V: Welcome, Cold Fury readers!