Tags: malcolm gladwell | plagiarism | anonymous | watchdogs

Malcolm Gladwell Plagiarism? Anonymous Watchdogs Say So

Image: Malcolm Gladwell Plagiarism? Anonymous Watchdogs Say So
Author Malcolm Gladwell participates in a panel discussion, 'You, The Jury: Cats Vs. Dogs,' during the New Yorker Festival on October 11, 2014 in New York City. (Thos Robinson/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 06:59 AM

Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker magazine is being accused of plagiarism by two anonymous bloggers who have made similar claims against other journalists that have stuck, according to Mediaite.  They claim he lifted quotes for a piece he did on Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Bloggers BlippoBlappo and CrushingBort, who run the website Our Bad Media, charged that Gladwell lifted comments made by Xerox engineer Larry Tesler about Jobs from another source for his 2011 article in The New Yorker "Creation Myth"

"Jobs was pacing around the room, acting up the whole time," Gladwell quoted Tesler in his "Creation Myth" article. "He was very excited. Then, when he began seeing the things I could do onscreen, he watched for about a minute and started jumping around the room, shouting, 'Why aren't you doing anything with this? This is the greatest thing. This is revolutionary!'"

"So, if you read Gladwell's article – and noted how 'Tesler recalled' the story of Jobs' reaction to no one in particular – you'd naturally assume that Gladwell had interviewed Tesler himself," the bloggers write for Our Bad Media. "He didn't. Rather, the quotes he uses are from interviews conducted by writer and Steve Jobs expert Jeffrey S. Young."

"Checking this is easy: Do a Google Books search for portions of Tesler's speech quoted in the Gladwell article, restricting your hits to before May of 2011," Our Bad Media noted.

Our Bad Media went on to cite another example, according to Mediaite, and received a response from The New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick on Thursday.

"The issue is not really about Malcolm. And, to be clear, it isn't about plagiarism," Remnick said in his response. "The issue is an ongoing editorial challenge known to writers and editors everywhere – to what extent should a piece of journalism, which doesn't have the apparatus of academic footnotes, credit secondary sources? It's an issue that can get complicated when there are many sources with overlapping information," said Remnick. "There are cases where the details of an episode have passed into history and are widespread in the literature. There are cases that involve a unique source. We try to make judgments about source attribution with fairness and in good faith. But we don’t always get it right. …"

Newsweek reported that CrushingBort and BlippoBlappo have leveled plagiarism charges against CNN's Fareed Zakaria and BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson.


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Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker magazine is being accused of plagiarism by two anonymous bloggers who have made similar claims against other journalists that have stuck, according to Mediaite. They claim he lifted quotes for a piece he did on Apple founder Steve Jobs.
malcolm gladwell, plagiarism, anonymous, watchdogs
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2014-59-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 06:59 AM
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