Why shouldn’t acts of plagiarism committed online be preserved online for study and enlightenment? Publishers don’t attempt to collect and destroy the newspapers, magazines or books they sell if they are later found to contain works of plagiarism. Nor do the copyright cops invade libraries to snip from the newspaper microfilm rolls the frames that are later discovered to have contained plagiarized material. We’ve wisely agreed that instances of print plagiarism should be preserved for study and for re-judgment in case the accused is innocent – and yes, also for fingerpointing.
Opinion by Jack Shafer: “When editors bury that which cannot die”
If they weren’t encouraged to pretend, political reporters would tell you to take a Iowa breather and wait for more consequential contests—such as the New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida primaries. Even sports writers pretend sometimes, notably around the time of the Olympics. If they were completely on the level they’d instruct fans to take an extended bathroom break between games. But the commercial demands on both kinds of news fill what should be dead air with speculation, minutiae, human interest, gossip, and commentary. One would think that readers and viewers would resent all the ephemera masquerading as news, but they actually seem to appreciate it! How else to interpret the high ratings for the Republican debates this year or, on the sports side, the proliferation of pre-game and post-game shows, or a whole networks owned by and devoted to the NFL and MLB?