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More Journalistic Plagiarism

The ombudsman forwarded me a letter from a blog reader, who had a problem with the Bewitched in Salem item on May 11. I said putting a Bewitched statue in Salem was too much like a Hogan's Heroes statue in a former death camp.

The letter states, "My problem with this observation is that it does not appear to be an original one. In another David Segal article on the same topic, with a dateline of May 10, one reads this quote from Salem resident John Carr: 'It's like TV Land going to Auschwitz and proposing to erect a statue of Colonel Klink.' It is possible that Mr. Achenbach and Mr. Carr separately arrived at identical ways to describe this situation. But if not, I feel Mr. Achenbach should have credited Mr. Carr with getting there first, so to speak."

This is a very mild letter. It's gentle. Usually we are called names, and our sins linked to larger societal ailments and political calamities. So my first instinct is to thank the writer for being so civil in an uncivil era. I think that, were circumstances different, I would like to meet this guy, because he sounds relatively reasonable and fair-minded. Perhaps we could even have become friends, had he not revealed himself to be an ILLITERATE MORON. People like him have pretty much ruined our country. Of COURSE I did not crib that wildly obvious, extremely cliche observation. I steal only from myself, compulsively.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 19, 2005; 11:32 AM ET
 
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