If Self-Plagiarism in Editorial Cartoons Is Bad, How About NY Times Editorials?

Times recycledA couple of weeks ago, Ethics Alarms gave political cartoonist Ted Rall an Ethics Hero designation for calling out his own profession for the practice of lifting the work of other cartoonists, as well recycling their previous cartoons as new. I hadn’t been aware of the problem, but apparently Rall wasn’t the first in his field to condemn it. Now James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal blog “Best of the Web” has found evidence of self-plagiarism in actual editorials…those of the New York Times! Taranto, who has been on a real roll lately, reveals of the Times editors…

“In a Jan. 8 editorial in praise of Hagel’s nomination, they wrote:

“On national security policy, there is much to like about Mr. Hagel, one of a fading breed of sensible moderate Republicans.”

“In a  Feb. 1 editorial after the hearings, they had a slightly different take:

“There is much to like about the approach to national security policy taken by this decorated Vietnam veteran and former senator who is among a fading breed of sensible, moderate Republicans.”

“The Jan. 8 editorial also included this trenchant observation:

“The opponents are worried that Mr. Hagel will not be sufficiently in lock step with the current Israeli government and cannot be counted on to go to war against Iran over its nuclear program if it comes to that.”

“And here’s what they said after the hearing:

“Mr. Hagel’s opponents fret that he will not be sufficiently in lock step with the current Israeli government and cannot be counted on to go to war over Iran’s nuclear program if it comes to that.” Continue reading