The plagiarist defrauds readers by leading them to believe that he has come by the facts of his story first-hand–that he vouches for the accuracy of the facts and interpretations under his byline. But this is not the case. Generally, the plagiarist doesn’t know whether the copy he’s lifted has gotten the story right because he hasn’t really investigated the topic. (If he had, he could write the story himself.) In such cases he must attribute the material he borrows so that at the very least the reader can hold somebody accountable for the facts in a story.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if Occupy Wall Street — the soi-disant “99%” — were being secretly funded by billionaire Davos Man George Soros, exemplar of the 1%? Well, no, it wouldn’t, actually. As Noreen Malone points out, lots of the 1% have, like Soros, expressed sympathy with OWS, including Bill Clinton, Ben Bernanke, and at least one member of the Buffett family. And when you’re sympathetic to a cause, and have lots of money, often you donate money to that cause.
The latest shenanigans at News Corp are particularly shocking because they took place at the Wall Street Journal — the flagship publication which was meant to be insulated, at least in part, from Murdoch sleaziness. But this is really bad: the WSJ Europe was telling its advertisers that it had a circulation of 75,000 — but in fact fully 31,000 of those copies were bought for as little as 1 cent apiece by companies which never saw them, and pawned them off onto random students.
Nick Denton lost his bet with Rex Sorgatz by the narrowest of margins — just 10 million pageviews, or alternatively just four days. But he handed over a check for $100 with a smile, and even threw us a huge party into the bargain! Hence, obvs, my not-entirely-sober status by the time we’d waited for Lockhart Steele to finish his eleven-course dinner and make his way up to the Gawker Media rooftop.