Monday, May 18, 2009

Dance, Kurtz, Dance!

Is it me, or is Kurtz's three-sentence answer a triptych of non sequiturs?

Boonsboro, Md.: Is Maureen Dowd in any trouble with her employer for such an obvious case of plagarism? I remember the WP firing a columnist over less -- something before he was even hired. Or is MoDo teflon-coated?

Howard Kurtz: Some of you seem to think that Dowd is getting special treatment because of her status as a Pulitzer-winning star. It does seem odd that the line she says she got from her friend matches almost verbatim what was on the TPM blog. But again, it would have been a snap to rewrite that sentence, so it does seem to me to fall into the category of an inadvertent mistake.

Some thoughts:

Re: the first point. Yes, we do. I mean, Dowd has the authority to pick her date lines (via). And certainly there is no evidence that Andy Rosenthal has ever subjected one of her crappy columns to a rewrite; they all suck. (Indeed, Andy believes Dowd is "very serious.")

Re: the second point. Yes, it does seem odd. It is odd! But odder still that Dowd thinks it's okay to plagiarize her friend but not okay to plagiarize Josh Marshall. Maybe she ought not plagiarize at all.

Re: the third point. Kurtz has it ass backwards. He thinks, because it would have been so easy for Dowd to simply rewrite the passage, that her mistake must've been "inadvertent." This makes no sense to me. If it was so easy, Dowd would'vbe simply done a rewrite! That she did not is, in fact, evidence that coming up with fresh ideas is an arduous process that, because she is a Very Serious Columnist, Maureen Dowd would rather not endure.

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