A Plagiarism in Cincinnati

It’s not every day I get plagiarized by Glenn Beck disciples, let alone get written up in the Daily Kos for it, but apparently yesterday was my lucky day.

First, the Cincinnati 9/12 Project — part of Glenn Beck’s campaign to re-establish core American principles, which apparently require belief in a male God — posted a blog item that might seem somewhat familiar to anyone who read my May 5 article on new tax reporting requirements for CNNMoney.com.

I first got wind of this last night, around about the same time that Coleman Kane of the Daily Kos noted it on his blog. Unlike the 9/12ers, though, who apparently fell for the fiction that my article was written by a CPA named “Wayne,” Kane actually did his research, Googling me to find out my resume. As he then wrote:

Notice how, save for some superficial changes to wording, they are almost identical? Even the idea flow and paragraph breaks match up! In fact, the major changes to the article were solely to remove the citations from other sources, which include opposition to and support of the new law changes, as well as comments by a legislative aide involved in the legislation.

What’s more — Neil’s a writer for CNN and many other publications, including NYC publications such as The Village Voice and City Limits. So the Cincinnati 9/12 Project plagiarizes an east-coast Ivy League writer to make their point (badly).

For the record, I’m not Ivy League — I went to Wesleyan, where our only connection to the Ivies was that Yale kept stealing our best professors by offering them decent salaries. But it is pretty remarkable that the Beck followers can take an article on a clumsily written piece of tax legislation — one that was inserted into the health care bill, incidentally, by a conservative Democrat and a Republican — and reach the conclusion that “only a bunch of leftists could write legislation that consists entirely of thousands of poison pills and call it ‘health care.'”

Though I probably shouldn’t get too upset, given that the Cincinnati 9/12 Project is based in Ohio, which isn’t a state anyway.

UPDATE: I emailed the Cincinnati 9/12 folks to note the plagiarism, and organization president Karen Best promptly wrote back apologizing and saying the post would be edited to correctly attribute the article and link to the original story, which has now been done. So presumably the blame here goes not to them, but to the mysterious “Wayne”…