Dana Priest, Mary McCarthy: Deliberate Effort To Mislead?
Have you heard of Kaavya Viswanathan's encounter with plagiarism? Well According to the Harvard Independent, it isn't her first brush with that charge.
in 2005, the shoe was on the other foot: according to public court records obtained by the Independent, Random House faced accusations that a book it published — a book delivered to it by the same company that "packaged" Opal Mehta, 17th Street Productions/Alloy Entertainment — willfully plagiarized a text belonging to someone else. And the alleged pattern of plagiarism — including the repetition of minor details, but with trivial alterations — is suggestively reminiscent of the kind of copying discovered in Viswanathan's novel...Of course, the writer asks that she be forgiven, because 'she never consciously' intended to plagiarize and therefore, we ought to forgive her (multiple) transgressions. After all, she meant well- and well, it's just so unfair that she be persecuted for her transgressionsns because after, she is such a nice and good person, who only wanted to share the truth of her art.
In any event, this preamble (entertaining and juicy as it it may be), pales in comparison to what appears rather well founded charges made by Dan, over at Riehl World View. Is the 2005 Priest Story A Fraud?, Dan lays out, in the light of day, the curious similarities between an article written in 2002 (curiously, now missing from the WaPo website) and the series of articles written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Dana Priest, in 2005. Dan's argument make for compelling reading. In addition, Dan makes the following observation:
Some might argue Dana Priest and the Washington Post, to some extent, filled out and re-cycled an old story three years later to take advantage of the climate and given the Bush administration yet another black eye for no reason. One that it obviously didn't need, especially over a program everyone seemed to be rather pleased with three years before.
Read it below. Then you tell me, what was the big Pulitzer worthy scoop in 2005? except for some details and country locations which, ironically, aren't even included, but simply referred to as known but not revealed. Everyone who read the WaPo at the time had the prison story as far back as 2002.
If it wasn't clear before, it is now- blatant and partisan reporting has become the order of the day.
In fact, Dan presents selections from the 2002 and 2005 WaPo stories. It is clear that the 2005 (Pulitzer winning) story is directly derivative of the earlier story. There is no real 'news'- and nothing substantive has been added to the earlier version.
What is trouubling is that there appears to be a delibertate effort to mislead the public. The Priest story appeared after she met with Mary McCarthy, implying that McCarthy was the 'source' of her information on the secret prison story. Now, McCarthy denies she leaked anything.
Was McCarthy in cahoots with Dana Priest and was she used by Dana Priest, in an effort to conceal Priest's plagiarism and make it appear as if her 'reporting' was more credible than it actually was? Ms McCarthy was not a novice- in fact, it was her job to investigate and prosecute leakers at one time. She knows her way around the block.
That said, if she indeed collude with Dana Priest, and that can be proven, the charges against her are all the more repulsive. She will have contributed in harming the government's effort in prosecuting the war on terror because her political agenda differed from those of the administration. In other words, her personal beliefs were reason enough to place her country in danger. Think about that.
Have we reached the point where personal gain and personal beliefs are reason enough to obviate the crimes of fraud, or even treason?