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NY Times Steals from LGF

John on July 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Yesterday, Charles Johnson at LGF put up evidence that a photo issued from Iran and published by the AFP was a case of fauxtography. That Charles would be the first to notice the fakery in a photo that ran on the front page of many major newspapers is not surprising to anyone who knows the history of Rathergate or earlier fauxtography episodes. The man has eagle eyes.

Far more interesting to me is the way in which the major news media has picked up the story. Mike Nizza and Patrick Witty posted news of the fake photo on their NY Times blog “The Lede” today. Conspicuosly absent from their recapitulation of Charles’ find is any mention of the fact that the fake was uncovered by another blogger (though they do throw him a bone by linking to an earlier claim of fauxtography).

Why would well paid NY Times bloggers refuse to credit another blogger for a story? Commenters have repeatedly thanked the writers at the Times for bringing this to public attention, but it wasn’t Nizza and Witty that found it.

There is a moderated comment thread on “The Lede” so I wrote a simple comment pointing out that Charles Johnson had identified the photo and deserved a clear credit or hat tip in the story. Strangely, though hours have passed, my comment never appeared on the NY Times site.

Since this morning, other news agencies including FOX and The Guardian and of course Drudge are now crediting the Times with the discovery. It’s maddening and I don’t even know Charles Johnson. Just the thought of multi-million dollar news corporations of the sort who regularly bash bloggers as wannabes outright stealing stories from said bloggers…

I have a theory about why the Times writers did this the way they did. Providing the link to Charles’ earlier piece was a clear admission of where they found it. Readers who follow the link could probably figure out where the story originated in a couple clicks. I think Nizza and Witty didn’t want to credit Charles more plainly because they know the leftist troglodytes who read the Times would have a snit all over the comment thread. Very likely true, but it doesn’t excuse the theft.

Nizza and Witty owe Charles an apology.

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