Plagiarism at the Daily Beast: Gerald Posner concedes lifting from the Miami Herald.

Media criticism.
Feb. 5 2010 3:18 PM

Plagiarism at the Daily Beast

Veteran journalist Gerald Posner concedes that he lifted from the Miami Herald.

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"I must have had the Miami Herald there and copied." He regards the subtle differences between his copy and the Herald's as evidence of him "doing the rewrite" of what he thought was his copy.

Posner is no stranger to the story he plagiarized, having covered elements of it for his 2009 book Miami Babylon: Crime Wealth and Power—A Dispatch From the Beach. He has continued to gather material on it for the book's upcoming paperback edition. Citing primary documents in his possession and his own original reporting, he said that he didn't have to plagiarize the Herald to write his Beaststory.

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But, again, he's not making excuses. He also refused to soft-pedal in any way what he did because it was inadvertent, as many plagiarists do. "The act is the act," he said.

Posner said he's always been tough on plagiarists and has long believed that people who get caught taking other people's copy should say this: "I am humbled by it, and it will not happen again."

"There is no excuse," he said, repeatedly expressing his regret. "I take full responsibility."

According to Felsenthal, Posner will continue to write for the Beast.

"I'm convinced this was an unintentional aberration in an extraordinary career breaking news and doing top quality journalism with high ethical standards," Felsenthal said.

Addendum, Feb. 6: A sixth sentence lifted from the Herald article by Posner has been called to my attention:

"Because her husband left her his estate, she is now free to sell his assets, including their home, his boat and his massive collection of Batman memorabilia." —Miami Herald

"Because her husband left her his estate, Narcy is now free to sell his assets, including their home, his yacht, and his massive collection of Batman memorabilia." —The Daily Beast

Addendum, Feb. 6: The seventh sentence lifted by Posner from the Herald: