Politics & Prejudices
Regarding 'Rape Insurance'
The anti-abortion fanatics spit on democracy itself.
Published: December 16, 2013
Plagiarism at the Oakland Press
NORMALLY, PLAGIARISM IS a firing offense in journalism. Except, that is, if you are Glenn Gilbert, the executive editor of the Pontiac-based Oakland Press. Last week, he got caught doing it himself.
What’s worse, he copied the work of one of his former interns, Zack Colman, now a reporter at the Washington Examiner. Jennifer Peebles, managing editor/digital of the Examiner, revealed in a published story that Gilbert copied large sections of a piece Colman did on the wind energy tax.
Not paraphrased, but copied it word for word.
This was first reported on the prestigious Poynter Institute website. According to the managing editor, when Peebles called Gilbert to confront him about ripping off her reporter, he refused to apologize and said, “I thought you’d be flattered.”
Eventually he did e-mail a sort of mealy-mouthed apology, saying: “Our intention was not to slight the Examiner’s contribution and we regret any inappropriate attribution.”
Don’t you love that royal “Our?” Gilbert is, however, unlikely to be mistaken for the Queen of England in journalistic circles.
Glenn Gilbert was brought to town by the frequently bankrupt Journal-Register Company seven years ago, then proceeded to dismantle an excellent news operation built by two fine former editors, Bill Thomas and Garry Gilbert (no relation).
Gilbert-the-lesser fired three of the paper’s top editors, people who each had been there for more than 30 years, and has helped send the newspaper on a downward spiral far deeper than its peer publications. Fortunately, he is apparently going to retire.
And while it may be true that Glenn Gilbert has never made any positive contributions to journalism, we should keep an open mind about his plagiarism. After all, he may have been only trying to clumsily come up with a new way for newspaper companies to cut expenses: Steal from other newspapers.
My recommendation (I almost said “Our,” but I have no pretense to royalty) is that newspapers instead reprint works already in the public domain. Starting with Homer’s Odyssey. At any rate, it ends better than the odyssey of Gilbert-the-minor’s minor career.
> Email Jack Lesseberry