My post from last Thursday about the odd resemblance between the prose in this John McCaslin column and an earlier item from the blog Libertas was picked up by TBogg (thanks) and then by, among others, Wonkette (here and here) and Garrett at fishbowlDC (here and here). McCaslin wrote to Garrett over the weekend; his message is quoted in the second fishbowl post:
"My source for the item in question, who was a member of the film audience, is obviously the contributor to the blog. What appeared in my column is what he sent to me -- in his own language -- after he had telephoned me while I was in California that same week. He obviously rewrote what he had written for the Libertas blog. I had never seen the blog item until you posted portions of its text next to my text. I would appreciate you making this clear in your next fishbowl."
OK -- I'm confused. McCaslin is saying that, yes, someone else wrote this and sent it to Libertas, then rewrote it and sent it to him -- and he ran it without any credit whatsoever. Now, I'm just a schmuck blogger, but isn't that a bit odd?
Go back to the McCaslin column. The byline reads, "By John McCaslin." McCaslin never says that he's quoting anyone. The words are presented as his own. Am I to understand that the the column isn't really "By John McCaslin," it's actually " 'By' John McCaslin," with "By" in ironic quotes?
Sure, as a blogger I reprint all kinds of material -- but I always credit (or at least link) the source. If I were a "real" journalist like McCaslin, and therefore had real journalistic ethics, would I not credit the source, and just run someone else's words as my own?