Plagiarism and Race: I Was Just Thinking...

Some unoriginal thoughts about plagiarism and race

I was just thinking[1]...that without the factor of race, last week's big dustup over Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle would have been seen as much ado about nothing.[2] The only reason anyone cared whether Barnicle, a white male, had recycled--without attribution--a few one-liners from comedian George Carlin was that only a few weeks ago another Globe columnist, Patricia Smith, a black female, had been forced to resign for making up stories.

Nobody asked me, but[3] I think Barnicle's misdeed was a journalistic misdemeanor, not a felony like Smith's. But since the problem of the 20th century is the problem of...

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