Sunday, December 24, 2006

My mea culpa

Updated Monday December 25.

On Thursday, December 21, several of my friends in the blogging community wrote to let me know that an email had been sent to 53 bloggers (not me, though) directing them to a blog calling itself DovWeasel. This blog accuses me of plagiarism in 14 instances. Within three hours of receiving the email, I circulated the following apology to all 53 bloggers on the email's distribution list:

I made a mistake, and I am sorry.

Bottom line: I blog all day long, and sometimes I get lazy in ways large and small. On occasion, thas included omitting to properly attribute sources. Now, DovWeasel has made my sins abundantly clear.

My plan is to carefully review my blog, and to provide proper attribution in every instance. I hope to do this in the coming days and weeks, but I am making my intentions known now, so I won't be accused of destroying evidence.

Again, I apologize and make no excuses.

On Sunday, December 24, after carefully reviewing the allegations DovWeasel's statments I sent the list of 53 bloggers the following update:

Dear Friends:

I am writing to update you on my efforts to address the allegations made against me by the new DovWeasel blog.

As of today, Sunday, December 24, 2006, I have examined all 14 of the posts DovWeasel says contained instances of passage lifting, or failure to attribute. Attributions have been added to 12 of them.

[The exceptions: (1) (2) The former was not changed, because it doesn't contain anyone else's words or ideas; the latter is almost a word-for-word copy of a TNR article, but the word "Source" appears on the bottom of the original post. It seems I simply neglected to hyperlink that word to the original article. That error has been corrected]

As for the rest, I offer only my apologies and no excuses.


PS: I also wish to thank those of you have shown me support and friendship. I hope, in the fullness of time, to regain your trust.

The substance of DovWeasel's claims is correct. Twelve of my posts contain passages that first appeared elsewhere, and I have failed to attribute them. I regret this, offer no excuses, and apologize fully. These 12 posts have been corrected.

My friends, I have never been one to hide from controvery or from discussion. In fact, this blog was created primarily to provoke conversation, and I'm proud that it has become a place when all sorts of people can talk about anything. The failures brought to my attention by DovWeasel are no exception.

Therefore, I am hereby extending two invitations. First, to DovWeasel: Sir, though you chose to go about this in a roundabout way, I am inviting you to come into the open and to face my readers directly. You are welcome, at any time, to submit a guest post to this blog which presents your point of view. Provided that what you write is true and fair it will be published unedited. I sincerely hope that you accept this invitation.

Second, to the readers of this blog: In the past, we've had a fine time pillorying all sorts of villians -some large, some small - in the comments of this blog. Now, I suppose it's my turn. Fair is fair, after all. You are invited, therefore, to make your thoughts and opinions known here, in the comments of this post. As usual, they will not be edited, or deleted. As usual, I expect fierce debate and cutting commentary as ideas are vigirously exchanged. That, above all, is what this blog is about, after all, and I hope it will be always thus.

No comments: