Call the journalism police. It’s a quote heist.
Familiar with the phrase, ``imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?’’
A story in Friday’s Washington Times about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)—written in the wake of his flap this week with Sen. John McCain (R-Az.)--lifts quotes I dug up in my own interviews for my story on the freshman senator. (Note Saturday entry update)
I wrote a long piece on Obama that ran in the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 22.
Let's compare the quotes in my story to what ran today in the Washington Times, without attribution to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago Sun-Times LYNN SWEET
``Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, a Chicago native, says Obama "has not been the kind of strong leader people expected," with the caveat that he is a freshman. "To me, the jury is still out." (Jan. 22, 2006)
Washington Times ERIC PFEIFFER
Online activist Markos Moulitsas said Mr. Obama "has not been the kind of strong leader people expected. To me, the jury is still out." (Feb. 10, 2006)
"He needs to be a little more of a leader in the center if he really wants to have an impact beyond being an Illinois senator," says Sen. Trent Lott (R-La.), asked last month about Obama. (Jan. 22, 2006)
``He needs to be a little more of a leader in the center if he really wants to have an impact beyond being an Illinois senator," said Sen. Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican. (Feb. 10, 2006)
I e-mailed Markos today to ask if he was interviewed by Pfeiffer.
``I refused to talk to Eric Pfeiffer, so he stole your quote with no attribution,’’ replied Markos, who runs the popular progressive website. Markos’ take on this quote filching can be found at www.dailykos.com.
(By the way, Markos is a native of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on the North Side and was raised in Schaumburg.)
Pfeiffer also includes descriptions of wall hangings in Obama’s office. That section appears to combine information in my story and in a piece by Jodi Enda in the February edition of The American Prospect.
``He never called our office or spoke with the Senator,’’ e-mailed Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.
THIS JUST IN...
The Washington Times ran this gracious correction in Saturday's edition:
February 11, 2006
An article in yesterday's editions about Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, failed to identify the source of quotations from Sen. Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, and Internet blogger Markos Moulitsas. The quotations originally appeared Jan. 22 in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Thanks, Washington Times