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View Diary: Important Melody Townsel revelation--PLEASE DISSEMINATE (355 comments)

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  •  I've been plagiarized; you're a jerk (4.00)
    I once wrote a mediocre column for a national publication and some poor student in Pennsylvania plagiarized it, rather than a good column. The paper called me up in a panic, and my basic reaction was, "Wow. Someone liked that column? Cool!"

    One interesting question might be: how many of the reporters who've written the articles about Townsel have actually plagiarized some of the articles (or Daily Kos items) about Townsel? If you don't know some general background info about her, and you might be able to get it from her or some press release but actually you get it from the Reuters article, I guess that's plagiarism and the reporter could get hanged for it. But my guess is that that really happens all the time. The only time anybody seems to get in trouble is when reporters plagiarize the feature-y stuff off one another rather than the cold hard facts.

    Anyhow, you may not be a troll, but I think you are, at best, being a judgmental jerk and might actually be Bolton. What else can explain this passage:

    I have no idea if Melody has been a selfish self-promoter for her entire career or not.  It seems that she didn't quite learn her lesson the first time she got caught -- she continued to seek the outer boundaries of acceptable behavior in order to step on the backs of others toward the top.

    What on earth are you talking about? If you know her or have seen feature articles about Townsel that give a lot more information than Daily Kos has given about her, then, OK, enlighten us about how she "continued to seek the outer boundaries of acceptable behavior." Otherwise, when exactly did she step on the backs of others outside of college? And, even if she did do that, what would that have to do with her account of her interaction with Bolton?

    And, when you come right down to it, the stuff that Bolton did was nasty and probably should disqualify him to be UN ambassador, but it wasn't really illegal. Maybe what he did would qualify him to be one great fixer in Central Asia.

    •  I just felt it ought to be said (none)
      I would be inclined not to take seriously Melody's plagiarism of 20 years ago, but she wrote a couple of things in her letter that set off a few warning bells.

      First, she wrote that after being caught plagiarizing:

      Months later, while working for another college newspaper, I wrote a review for a local play that tracked closely in format to another writer's review -- and, although it was not plagiarized, it made my editors, who had become aware of my recent past, very uncomfortable, and we mutually agreed that I would no longer submit stories to them.  

      (emphasis mine)

      This suggested to me that she was still playing with the limits of what she could get away with, even after being kicked off another newspaper.

      Second, and this goes to how she presents herself TODAY, not 20 years ago, Melody wrote:

      Republicans have dredged up an unfortunate chapter of my life and, clearly, are about to announce it to the world.

      (emphasis mine)

      This, to me, set us up to have exactly the kind of conversation that we had: "you go girl!" "don't worry about it! it's 20 years old" "republicans do it all the time! they're hypocrites"  It's framing the issue to be discussed only in a certain way.  

      I'm not trying to be a jerk; I'm just trying to have a real conversation and consider the issue from more than one side.  It is very important for democrats to be unified, but we also have to critically think through what we're unified around.  It probably will be the case that even though we have this conversation, we still come to the conclusion that Melody has integrity and courage to stand up to the corrupt Bush administration.  But our conclusion will mean that much more if we have that conversation, than it will if we don't.

      •  I see where you're coming from, but (none)
        Second, and this goes to how she presents herself TODAY, not 20 years ago, Melody wrote:

        Republicans have dredged up an unfortunate chapter of my life and, clearly, are about to announce it to the world.

        I agree that it's fair to be as thorough in looking at Townsel's credibility as we would be at looking at the Swift Boat Vermins' credibility. (Although, given that Townsel is being more polite, I think she deserves more politeness.)

        If it really is possible, as some are posting, to bring up college incidents of plagiarism in a court of law when challenging someone's honesty, then maybe that's a valid thing to do here.

        But, to me, it sounds so far as if Townsel is just acting like a normal flawed human being and the wingnut Rovies really are trying to smear her, without even having anything to smear her with.

        Example: see Bolton Accuser Sought Publicity, an article about her that ran Sunday. Carl Limbacher, the NewsMax reporter, is using heated, tabloid style rhetoric to report that -- golly! -- she's a PR person -- who likes GETTING PUBLICITY!!!!!

        Even the plagiarism anecdote that she's talking about seems to be an example of the fact that -- golly -- sometimes PR people -- aren't -- competent journalists!!!!

        Who would ever have thought of such thing.

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