September 14, 2007

TNR Writer: Dishonest journalists "should be named, shamed, and driven out of the profession altogether, never to write again."

The New Republic has a writer named James Kirchick who got righteously indignant when a HuffPo writer plagiarized his original work.

Says Kirchick:

There is no worse offense in the journalistic profession than stealing someone else's work and those who do should be named, shamed, and driven out of the profession altogether, never to write again.

Oh James... I think we can come up with just a few journalistic offenses more damning than mere plagiarism.

Here's a few for starters.

Unquestioningly run fake stories of American atrocities, where you can't even correctly pin down even the country in which one of them takes place.

Allow a police force to be accused of murder based upon a claim that was disproven with a simple Google search.

Blatantly lie to your readers and your fellow journalists about fact-checking said stories beforehand.

Hide the marital relationship between the dishonest author and your staff fact-checker for as long as possible, and then fire the person who discloses it.

When you try to justify the fact you didn't do basic fact-checking before you ran these stories by citing experts in your "re-reporting", keep them anonymous and in the dark, asking them only vague, almost meaninglessly general questions. That way, they don't know how they are being used, and they can't be given the whole story (because if they knew all the facts, they'd tell a quite different story).

Refuse to acknowledge or print the testimony of authorities and witnesses that directly contradict your claims, and refuse to answer any of the substantive criticism leveled against you, while alleging that others aren't allowing the truth the come out, so that you can avoid resigning in disgrace for another day.

These things might be just a bit worse than putting your name on someone's else's story, but I think we all agree with your preferred punishment.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 14, 2007 09:02 AM

Hmmm... when do the firings of the editorial staff at The New Republic start, CY?

Posted by: C-C-G at September 15, 2007 02:21 PM

The New Republic complains about journalistic malpractice.

Rich creamy schadenfreude so thick you can roll it up and eat it with a fork. But use a spoon, you'll want to get every drop.

Posted by: Looking Glass at September 16, 2007 05:03 AM

I'll bet James has lifted quite a bit of his work elsewhere. He's protesting a tad too loudly.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 16, 2007 09:36 AM

An interesting thing -- if you read the comments of TNR subscribers, there is little sympathy whatsoever for Kirchik. Apparently he has overused this tone of wounded indignation and exhausted people's patience.

Posted by: huxley at September 16, 2007 03:30 PM

Maybe TNR readers realize that if what Kirchick proposes actually happened at TNR, they'd have to hire replacements for just about the entire staff.

Posted by: C-C-G at September 16, 2007 04:13 PM