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I'm going to warn you up front that this is a petty, trivial post but you may get a laugh out of it like I did.

Friday evening I wrote on my blog about a proposal to rename a major Chicago roadway after Nelson Mandela. It's a good idea from a good Illinois State Representative, La Shawn Ford.

Sunday morning I saw a twitter link for the conservative blog, Illinois Review, writing the same thing. Or, copy-and-pasting the same because it was taken entirely from my blog and the press release. They just added a few lines at the end trashing Representative Ford, of course.

The big giveaway was their use of the distinctive line from my blog that, "the change would put Mandela's name on the tip of many Chicagoan's tongues daily." They also used the same photo I took from HuffingtonPost, who took it from AP. But, they didn't link back to my blog! Not a big deal, but bad netiquette.

Illinois Review does some original content, but it's part of the network of conservative blogs that spam the internet by copy-and-pasting stories from each other while often obscuring the original source (presumably Grover Norquist's underground bunker). It's an effective tactic for spreading the latest talking points and manipulating google searches.

I decided to leave a comment with a link back to my blog so their readers could see where they found the story. It wasn't approved. I tried again. It still didn't show up but they did approve a couple comments trashing Mandela because what else do you expect?

Since they wouldn't even approve a link to my blog as a comment (and I was procrastinating doing real work) I decided to needle them a little by calling them out on twitter.

At this point, Illinois Review could have done several things and I never would have given it another thought. They could have:
1) Added a link with or without an apology.
2) Not responded.
3) Changed the post without comment.

What do they do instead? Deny it! They claim it all came from the press release. Then they covered their tracks by editing to remove the phrases and picture taken from my blog. So I respond...

And then this happens.

Illinois Review Lies about it

They accuse me of lying! That's when I got pissed. Not giving a link back is merely rude. Editing a post and then accusing me of making the whole thing up crosses a line!

I responded: "lol @IllinoisReview It's not a big deal unless you make it worse by lying. Google cache and screen caps exist." That warning may be why they deleted their end of our twitter exchange, once again covering their tracks. But google cache. I took a screen cap of the original plagiarized post they took down.

Illinois Review copies me You can click to enlarge the screen cap from google cache and compare it to the edited version online now. The new version looks like it came directly from the press release, as they claim. The original makes it very obvious that they copied my blog.

Everyone borrows and modifies phrases now and then. It's no big deal. What's the point of lying about where you found a story, trying to cover it up, and then accusing me of lying when I call them on it? WTF?

It's the contagious Fox News mentality. Fox misleads viewers daily and never makes a correction. This is the perfect example of why no amount of scientific studies will ever convince the hard core right-wing talk radio crowd that climate change is real. They would rather make up new lies to cover their tracks before ever admitting they're wrong.

Now I'm forced to defend my reputation since they tried to make me look like some kind of crazy person making up stories. Now the whole exchange and screencaped proof is here so everyone can laugh at Illinois Review. If you're going to create an entire blog by copy-and-pasting stories, at least link back to your source, even when it's a liberal tree-hugger blog.

Also, I strongly recommend you sign Representative Ford's online petition to rename Cicero Avenue in honor of Nelson Mandela. Mostly because it's a good idea, but also because it will annoy the lying plagiarizers at Illinois Review whenever they drive by a sign for Mandela Road.

Cross-posted from my blog.

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