August 30, 2012 · 0 Comments
By John Zaremba:
The Boston Globe is refusing to reveal the identity of an editorial writer whose opinion piece earlier this month closely mirrored an online column by a GOP strategist.
Globe brass, along with spokespeople at the broadsheet and its Manhattan owner, The New York Times [NYT] Co., have rebuffed inquiries all week about the scribe whose editorial slamming Vice President Joe Biden’s “back in chains” remarks read like a rehash of Todd Domke’s piece on WBUR.org two days earlier.
The Globe addressed the incident in an editor’s note on Aug. 24, saying, “An Aug. 17 editorial on Vice President Joe Biden’s comments on bank regulations contained some similarities in phrasing and structure to an opinion piece by Todd Domke on WBUR.org. The use of the material without attribution was inconsistent with Globe policies and the Globe regrets the error.”
Globe editor Martin Baron referred a Herald reporter to op-ed chief Peter Canellos, who declined to say why the paper is breaking from past practice by refusing to name the staffer.
“I can only speak for our current policy, which is not to discuss disciplinary matters,” Canellos said. “I can’t speak for years-old cases that long predate my tenure in this job, or that of our current publisher in his job.”
Media critic Jim Romenesko found the paper’s response “disappointing.”
“The Globe has named other people involved in recent cases of plagiarism — Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria, for example — and it’s disappointing they won’t identify the person in their newsroom who was caught lifting material from WBUR,” Romenesko said. “Now they’ve prompted a public guessing game.”
Domke said the Globe hasn’t contacted him about the incident. “It’s surprising. It’s disappointing. I’d always hoped it would be The New York Times that stole ideas from me,” he said. “Sometimes, I do ghostwriting for clients, but they ask me first, and then they pay me.”
Erin Smith contributed to this report.