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ESPN addresses plagiarism issue

Well, it took about an hour, but ESPN.com finally has removed from its servers the five plagiarized paragraphs from the story posted Thursday afternoon by Michael David Smith.

The ESPN.com story is now replaced with a one-paragraph blurb, and it is preceded by this message:  “From the editors of ESPNBoston.com: A Thursday night blog post
featuring Joey Porter’s comments regarding Patriots quarterback Tom
Brady should have been attributed to ProFootballTalk.com. The
attribution has been corrected.

Though we’re desperately trying (and possibly failing) to keep the high road within shouting distance on this one, we’re not sure that the explanation — which is missing a key word that we’ve yet to hear privately, either — does the situation justice. 

This wasn’t a failure of attribution.  It was a five-paragraph, Chris Landry-style cut and paste.  As MDS pointed out in an IM exchange, the “ESPN.com staff” who did the cutting and pasting saw fit to remove the italics from the words “Around the League” and to supply quotation marks instead, which shows that this wasn’t a quick and thoughtless error.

Meanwhile, PFT Planet is being heard loudly and clearly, in the comments to our first item on the plagiarism and in the comments to the ESPN.com story.

It also has sparked a minor buzz on Twitter, including an observation from the man whose interview with Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter launched this specific ship.  “I’m honored that it was my smack-filled chat with Joey Porter that led to your first plagiarizing,” NFLN’s Rich Eisen said. “Congrats.  Now go sic em.

And, to his credit, our friend Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com — who was not responsible for the post in question — acknowledged the matter on his Twitter feed:  “I can understand where Mike Florio is coming from,” Reiss said.  “He should get an explanation.”

Though the matter has been corrected (and we appreciate that very much), we’re still waiting for the explanation.

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17 Responses to “ESPN addresses plagiarism issue”
  1. PFFFFT says: Nov 6, 2009 4:31 PM

    Another example of how ESPN has fallen from “journalists” to “sensationalists.” They can’t even spell words and names right on their telecasts! I’ve even seen “FARVE” on their programming. It’s too bad there’s no competition in the field because if there was, they’d be blowing ESPN out of the water.

  2. cincyandrew says: Nov 6, 2009 4:41 PM

    espn = mtv
    they used to be cool and everyone watched it when we were in middle school and we didnt know any better…..but now that we are older and can differentiate crap from real entertainment…we choose the office.
    thus in my analogy,
    the office = pft.

  3. VoxVeritas says: Nov 6, 2009 4:46 PM

    “Though we’re desperately trying (and possibly failing) to keep the high road within shouting distance on this one we find it impossible, since we very publicly supported a presidential candidate who had one of the world’s most notorious plagiarists as his running mate.”
    Fixed.

  4. Stone says: Nov 6, 2009 4:48 PM

    Wait in one hand and shit in the other, see which one fills up first. Or something like that.

  5. CT Pats Fan says: Nov 6, 2009 4:55 PM

    Let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill, now…..

  6. The Real Shuxion says: Nov 6, 2009 5:04 PM

    Wait in one hand and shit in the other, see which one fills up first. Or something like that.
    …………..(Caught)
    Should have been attributed to stone. The attribution has been corrected.

  7. Futt says: Nov 6, 2009 5:06 PM

    VoxVeritas, you’re an idiot.
    Straight up.

  8. footballrulz says: Nov 6, 2009 5:06 PM

    Mike — again—
    “no more billable hours, no more billable hours”.

  9. Patsfanin Philly says: Nov 6, 2009 5:22 PM

    ESPN is going to take the Sergeant Schultz approach ” I know nothing” and treat it the way they did the allegations versus Roethlisberger. If they ignore it, maybe it will go away. Is the word ‘apologize’ in their lexicon?
    Funny how they were all high and mighty when they were leading the pitchforks and lantern posse against the Patriots and Cable but they can’t even keep their own house in order……….

  10. TSE says: Nov 6, 2009 5:25 PM

    So in other words….
    ESPN is now giving free marketing and publicity to PFT and NBC.
    Sounds like ESPN is in the final stages of a merger or buyout of NBC and/or PFT. That much is pretty obvious, the only other explanation would be that ESPN is really stupid and/or incompetent.

  11. Clevelander says: Nov 6, 2009 5:26 PM

    This is a big deal to you? This whole site is made up of interviews and rumors from other sites! “This wasn’t a failure of attribution.” Really? Because that’s exactly what it sounds like. The only difference between you and them is that they don’t add in a bunch of unfunny jokes. Get over yourself. Whiner.

  12. The_Pest_16 says: Nov 6, 2009 6:18 PM

    Clevelander your right! i mean some of us are too busy to complain about something so trivial. We have the whole season to look forward and be exited about….right…Clevelander… in (i can only imagine) Cleveland. Unless your that black dude from family guy then you’ll be out of you misery by december (canceled)…like the other failed Cleveland franchise.

  13. 2brauneyz says: Nov 6, 2009 7:38 PM

    Mike, the explanation is that you are a king in an arena filled with douchebags. Rise above it. You’ll never get the explanation, or one that makes sense. Move on. You are the best.
    P.S. Vox, you are a douchebag.

  14. Route36West says: Nov 6, 2009 8:45 PM

    Ya I may disagree with your opinion Florio alot of the time in my comments and enjoy busting you balls. But you do the smart ass stuff back to us commenters in your posts and thats why I love this site. The way you run your site makes it seem like you care about the stuff you put out and your readers. That is this website is my homepage and why I F5 about every half hour waiting for a new story.
    So seeing ESPN steal a story from PFT it pisses us off. There website is horrible I dont even use except for week by week fantasy projections. All of there stories on there website are boring. PFT and ESPN could write about the same story but some how espn’s version will be boring when PFT’s isnt. So now there not even trying to write their own verisions they are just straight copy and pasting. Before they would just steal pft’s ideas nows its your words. Its horrible and they should make a complete appology or restitution.
    Even tho we all hate you Florio we all got PFT’s back. Thats why as soon as we knew what was happening we all went to espn and let them know that there not just going to sweep this under the rug like Big Ben.

  15. Route36West says: Nov 6, 2009 8:54 PM

    I wonder how ESPN would feel if I stole there signal during Monday night Football and streamed it live online for free. I bet they would have lawyers blowing up my phone saying they were going to sue me if I didnt immediately shut the stream down. You know what they probly would still sue me even if I took their stream down. They better stop stealing before someone really does decide they had enough of espn and follows through with it.

  16. Givner says: Nov 6, 2009 10:04 PM

    They steal from here? Really? how far they’ve fallen.

  17. Clevelander says: Nov 7, 2009 5:03 PM

    Let’s get one very important fact straight here…”The Cleveland Show” has already been picked up for a full 22 episode second season. So nyah.

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