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Friday, August 08, 2008


A few weeks ago, Slate's music critic Jody Rosen received an email suggesting his article had been printed under a different name in a small alternative weekly in Texas. Rosen dug around the paper's website, and says that he couldn't find anything that wasn't plagiarized.

Comments [7]

shawn brockup from Conroe, Texas

1.) there is a mark williams I have met with in person to interview him about an article he wrote as I was writing a followup article he had written.

2) There is a mike ladyman as I have met with him as we were bartering web servers for advertising in his paper.

And mark and mike are two different people.

You people don't understand the prospect of entrusting people to perform the work they were hired for and not micromanaging them. Mr Ladyman was not aware of the plagerisim or he would of never permitted it to cause damage to his newspaper he ran for over a decade.

Most articles I see talking about the demise of "the bulletin" always toss in the fact that "The Bulletin" was some wacky left wing rag/paper and it makes me wonder if it is really about the plagerism or is it a way to try and shut down an open minded paper that has controversial articles.

I believe the accusations that mike ladyman created the identity of mark williams as a ghost writer should be considered liable and slanderious and done in a malicious manner to cause damages to the name and reputation of "The Bulletin"

The Bulletin is not dead just making some changes.

Shawn Brockup

Sep. 02 2008 02:31 PM
Mike White from Westland, MI

BTW, have you noticed that the paper's website is offline now?

Guess it'll be easier to plagiarize w/o the website. I wonder what their advertisers would think to know what's going on...

Aug. 14 2008 09:13 AM
Mike White from Westland, MI

Terrific story. I'm always a fan of plagiarists getting called out (I've been harping on Quentin Tarantino about this kind of thing for years).

I'm sure this kind of "co-opting" goes on far more than is known, perhaps just not as blatantly. I almost had to pull the car over, my mind was so boggled by Mike Ladyman's completely deluded 'little guy versus the establishment' tack for his defense. It was so bizarre that it was hilarious.

Great show this week. Keep up the good work!

Aug. 13 2008 09:17 PM
Derek DeVries from Grand Rapids, MI

A couple of elements of the petulant rebuttal by "Mike Ladyman" were confounding:

1. If he was doing his best work focusing on local activism and issues with original reporting - why did he even need to syndicate national content by plagiarizing it?

2. He actually seemed to think that plagiarizing the work under the pseudonym of an unknown like "Mike Williams" somehow gave the message of the writing an advantage, when the reality is that it likely would have derived more credibility by attributing it to its original sources: columnists like Joe Conason who are known entities.

Sad. Hopefully this trend doesn't get worse.

Aug. 11 2008 05:53 PM
Emily Ball from El Cajon, CA

I found the way Mark Williams defended his unethical tactics ironic and sad. He stressed that the tragedy of outing him was that it would hurt a weak but worthy publication that champions just causes and works to empower the disenfranchised. He fails, however, to see the injustice in his own conduct and instead chooses to see the publication as valuable and therefore all of his conduct within it as such. This "ends justifies the means" approach is the very kind of thing I would expect him and The Bulletin to object to in politics, business or anywhere else; unfortunately, however, not in their own journalism.

Aug. 11 2008 07:23 AM
Anne Fuller from Juneau, Alaska (KTOO-FM)

Why did the program host use the verb "co-opted" to refer to theft and plagiarism and copying?

I remember that people asking for significant change have been diverted to being named to a committee to study the change. That's co-opting.

So, if a person advocating for more housing for the poor stops making speeches after being given a nice house, that's being co-opted.

Co-opt is a pejorative term and so is copying and so is stealing, but they don't refer to the same act.

Aug. 10 2008 02:31 PM
Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh from New York

The fact that Mark Williams--who, until I heard him speak, I thought must be a pseudonym of publisher Mike Ladyman's--attempts to shame Jody Rosen for exposing Williams' theft is mind-boggling. It is like saying, "I tithe to the church every week. Now that you've told people I shoplift, I won't be able to give anymore. Think of all the people who will now suffer because of you! I hope you're happy!"

Writing is not free. It is work. Mark Williams is a thief, and Mike Ladyman is a thief. I did feel disappointed that On The Media implied that because the Bulletin is a small paper, the theft won't rock the journalistic world. It absolutely should. Every theft of a writer's work weakens the writing profession. All the arts are struggling to survive in a world where the wild Internet has made it possible to anonymously steal and shrug it off ("Come on! It's just the Internet. Everyone does it."). This is taking us further toward a world where no one can afford to produce creative work because no one is willing to pay for it.

Aug. 10 2008 10:40 AM

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