I've been fascinated by Slate.com music critic Jody Rosen's story, "Dude, You Stole My Article." Rosen discovered that a "Mark Williams," a writer for a small alt-weekly in Texas (its website is now down), the Montgomery County Bulletin, had plagiarized a Jimmy Buffett feature that Rosen had written. Intrigued/pissed off, Rosen decided to dig farther:
Rosen spoke to the paper's editor, Mike Ladyman, but then Ladyman rabbited and went to ground. After Slate ran Rosen's feature, though, the Bulletin abruptly folded and Ladyman and WIlliams (or, as it appears, Ladyman/Williams) went on a pity-party attack, blaming Rosen for taking their/his mendacity public. From the Houston Press interview with Ladyman:
But it was "Williams"' open letter to Jody Rosen that iced this cake. It reads, in part:
It is easy to make fun of our little rag, Mr. Rosen -- to call attention to the gaffes and human foibles of a couple of faceless rubes a half a nation away; but, despite your grievances with our publication, I feel that we have done some good in our corner of the world. Through our output of articles over the years, we kept a hateful rogue element of the local Republican Party from taking control of our county library system and ripping the Constitution to shreds; we have reported unblinkingly on the troubled plight of illegal aliens living in our area; we have stood face-to-face with members of the Ku Klux Klan to question their ideological inconsistencies; and we touched the heart of a killer who turned himself in after reading an article in our publication on his victim, who, for years, struggled with alcoholism and the estrangement it caused with his family. In short, we have called attention to a great number of injustices in our crappy little town, both great and small.
So there it is, Mr. Rosen -- congratulations on breaking an already fragile soul. In the end, I’m not sure what the point of all of this truly is, other than some sort of small dully colored feather in your journalistic cap. We bow to you, Mr. Rosen -- to your talent, to your humanity, to all that is you.
Hey, Jody Rosen: nice feather, man.